SBD/19/Franchises

SPIRIT OF MANITOBA LOOKING TO MAKE CHANGES WITH THE JETS

     After putting down a C$10M initial payment for the Jets --
53 minutes before Friday's deadline -- the Spirit of Manitoba has
two months to structure its deal to conform with Revenue Canada
rulings and meet NHL approval.  The group must pay the C$22M
balance by August 15 to complete the deal (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS,
6/17).  After Spirit member   Charles Spiring expressed the
group's desire to have their "own man" in place running the team,
"it might have been smart for [Jets GM] John Paddock to resign
immediately," writes Kelly Taylor in Sunday's FREE PRESS.  Jets
President Barry Shenkarow and Paddock are expected to stay on
until the deal goes through, and most likely through free agent
dealings and the July 8 draft (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 6/18).
     DEVIL-MAY-CARE ATTITUDE IN NASHVILLE:  This morning's
DETROIT NEWS reports that the Nashville TENNESSEAN has only one
reporter covering the Stanley Cup Finals. TENNESSEAN Sports
Editor Neil Scarborough: "People may want the team, but they
don't necessarily want the sport" (DETROIT NEWS, 6/19).  ESPN's
Nick Bakay satirically compared Nashville and New Jersey.  A
sampling:  "Definition of icing:  Nashville, the gooey stuff on
top of a moon pie; New Jersey -- a hit by the Gambino crime
family" ("Sunday SportsDay," 6/18).  Mike Lupica: "It sure sounds
like [Devils Owner] John McMullen is ready to go to Nashville.
It's an unbelievable sweetheart deal" ("Sports Reporters," ESPN,
6/18).  In today's N.Y. POST, Larry Brooks writes that it is time
for NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to tell McMullen "that the
league will not support a franchise relocation if it takes
breaking a lease to get the deed done" (N.Y. POST, 6/19).
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