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REVENUE-SHARING ON AGENDA WHEN NHL BOARD MEETS TOMORROW
Published December 13, 1995
NHL owners "will again discuss revenue-sharing to help small-market teams" at the Board of Governors meeting tomorrow and Friday in Palm Beach. According to Terry Egan in Dallas, the issue "just might be the saving factor for several teams." Mentioned: Edmonton, Calgary, Buffalo, Ottawa, Tampa. Egan adds, "In the past, the wealthy teams have shown little concern for the financial straits of small-market teams. ... [But] if there is no effective revenue-sharing to help the remaining small markets -- and soon -- just follow the trail of money to find out where these teams relocate" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 12/13). EXPANSION ON HOLD? Also on the agenda is expansion, but no announcement is expected that the league is accepting applications. More likely are determining the NHL's "thoughts on where (Cleveland, Portland, Atlanta are still hot), when and how much." Egan notes NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman's involvement in the Stars' sale was in part to assure that franchise prices remain around $85M, so the league can charge at least that for future expansion teams (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 12/13). In Philadelphia, Les Bowen writes, "Don't expect league execs to be in an expansive mood." Small-market problems and questions on the "talent pool" make previous predictions of expansion to 28 teams by the end of '96 less likely (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 12/13). But ESPN's Al Morganti quotes one Board member who says Bettman is "always in an expansion mode" -- meaning he would listen to any city's offer (ESPNET SportsZone).