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DEVILS EXECS MEET WITH NJ OFFICIALS; NASHVILLE REACTS
Published June 30, 1995
Devils Owner John McMullen and President Lou Lamoriello met with NJSEA officials and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman yesterday in a "heavily guarded meeting" at McMullen's Secaucus, NJ office, according to this morning's Bergen RECORD. After emerging from the meetings, both sides said they would meet again, but had little else to say (Fitzgerald, Hirsch & Dottino, Bergen RECORD, 6/30). WANTED: A TEAM -- ANY TEAM: Gaylord Entertainment President Dick Evans, who is heading Nashville's push to land an NHL franchise, said yesterday "a Devils move to Tennessee in time for next season looks unlikely because the team is tied up in court," according to this morning's RECORD. Evans, in his first news conference before national press, said the possibility of a lawsuit made things "unpredictable." The RECORD reports that Evans said "the intense publicity about Nashville's courtship of the Devils could position the city to win an NHL expansion franchise in 1997" (Bergen RECORD, 6/30). Evans said that Gaylord may not want full ownership of an NHL team: "Clearly, we are going to have to take the lead. But do we want to own 100 percent of it? Not necessarily" (TENNESSEAN, 6/30). A HOLE IN THE CASE? The Devils, who claim their lease extension was violated by actions taken by the NJSEA during the lockout, reportedly met with Target Center GM Dana Warg in October '93, according to Larry Brooks of the N.Y. POST. Brooks reports that Warg was invited to the Meadowlands for a meeting shortly after the North Stars left for Dallas. But "once informed the team had an enforceable lease through 2002," Warg ended talks with the Devils (N.Y. POST, 6/30). SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY? Evans expressed "bitterness toward New Jersey" during his press conference, and had the the following exchange with a RECORD reporter: "Why don't you go back to New Jersey? I'm tired of the Grand Ole Opry taking all these shots. ... Why the hell would anyone ever want to go to New Jersey? It's a hellhole. I lived in New York for 10 years and I fought to keep from going through the tunnel to that hellhole" (Bergen RECORD, 6/30). For more on the NHL's appeal in Nashville,.