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              The Red Wings matched the Hurricanes' $38M, six-year
         contract offer to Sergei Fedorov yesterday, "just hours
         after arbitrator John Sands deemed the ... offer sheet was
         valid," according to Cynthia Lambert of the DETROIT NEWS. 
         The NHL had contested a bonus clause which could pay Fedorov
         an additional $12M, on top of the $16M he will earn this
         season, if the team he signed with advances to the
         conference finals (DETROIT NEWS, 2/27).
              NEW ECONOMICS? Fedorov's agent, Mike Barnett, said the
         Hurricanes offer could alter future free agent offers: "In
         the big picture, an expansion team can throw a monumental
         signing bonus at somebody over a long term.  They add a
         clause that says if they achieve certain postseason success,
         the bonus is brought to an immediate payment" (USA TODAY,
         2/27).  ESPN's Bob Ley called Fedorov's deal a $38M "poison
         pill that might very well change the way an entire sport
         does business."  ESPN's Al Morganti: "It sets a precedent
         for front-loading for future free agents" (ESPN, 2/26).  In
         Montreal, Red Fisher writes that the Hurricanes and Red
         Wings "effectively have put yet another massive facelift on
         the hockey market. ... How high are payrolls in almost all
         of the NHL cities likely to go?" (MONTREAL GAZETTE, 2/27).  

    Print | Tags: Carolina Hurricanes, Detroit Red Wings, ESPN, Franchises, NHL, Walt Disney

              Steve Schram, the Celtics' Vice Chair for five years,
         "will leave the organization to pursue private business
         interests" with a SC- and GA-based real estate development
         company, according to Peter May of the BOSTON GLOBE.  May
         adds that Schram, who will retain his 4.4% stake in the
         team, will not be replaced (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/27).

    Print | Tags: Boston Celtics, Franchises

              HOCKEY: The HOCKEY NEWS named the IHL Chicago Wolves'
         logo as the No. 1 logo in minor league pro hockey. Rounding
         out the top five: No. 2, AHL Albany River Rats; No. 3, IHL
         Manitoba Moose; No. 4, AHL Rochester Americans; and No. 5,
         ECHL Johnstown Chiefs (HOCKEY NEWS, 2/27 issue). 
              NOTES: After missing two deadlines, Marlins President
         Don Smiley informed Owner Wayne Huizenga that he expects to
         meet the $150M asking price for the team.  Smiley "confirmed
         Huizenga is under the impression the deal will get done"
         (MIAMI HERALD, 2/27)....The Brewers are on pace to surpass a
         club record for season-tickets sales, set in the '93 season
         with 8,994.  Brewers VP/Ticket Sales Bob Voight said that
         the club's move to the NL "has been a much-needed shot in
         the arm" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL, 2/26).

    Print | Tags: AHL, ECHL, Miami Marlins, Franchises, Kansas City Chiefs, Milwaukee Brewers

              In Philadelphia, Jayson Stark calls Will Smith and D.J.
         Jazzy Jeff wearing Phillies jerseys at the Grammy's on CBS
         on Wednesday a "dramatic development," adding, "Literally
         millions of people around the world witnessed this Phillies
         fashion show."  Phillies Promotions Manager John Brazer:
         "We've given away a bunch of jerseys over the years ...
         hoping this might happen. ... Now this -- and we had nothing
         to do with it.  It gives me hope, though.  I'll be giving
         away those jerseys to everyone now" (PHILA. INQUIRER, 2/27).
              NEW KID IN TOWN: Phillies President Dave Montgomery is
         profiled by Rich Hofmann in the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS. 
         Hofmann, comparing Montgomery to former team President Bill
         Giles: "[H]e parts with newsworthy information about the
         club reluctantly.  He doesn't do timetables, and he doesn't
         do trial balloons.  In that way alone, he is the anti-Giles"
         (Rich Hofmann, PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 2/27).  

    Print | Tags: CBS, Franchises, Philadelphia Phillies, Viacom

              Family Golf Centers, a public company which Avalanche 
         RW Claude Lemieux has a business stake in, is expected to
         announce soon an exclusive deal for the Avalanche's
         permanent practice home, starting next season, according to
         Adrian Dater of the DENVER POST.  The center will have two
         rinks, both available to the Avs, a nine-hole golf course,
         restaurants and other entertainment options.  Lemieux: "We
         have eight such facilities in use right now, and plan to
         have 20 by the end of the year" (DENVER POST, 2/27).  
              WHILE IN DENVER: Ascent Entertainment CEO Charlie Lyons
         said yesterday that the Nuggets are not for sale, but the
         POST's Mike Monroe asks, "Why would Lyons not want to rid
         himself, and Ascent, of a team that has become the NBA's
         worst? ... Somehow, Lyons still believes he can fix things,
         for his team and for his company.  Pro basketball fans in
         Denver appear to have no choice but to hope he is right"
         (DENVER POST, 2/27).  In Philadelphia, Gwen Florio writes
         the Nuggets situation is "[s]o bad that there are empty
         seats at courtside.  So bad that a scalper hawked second-row
         seats for $20 apiece -- and got no takers" (INQUIRER, 2/27).

    Print | Tags: Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, Franchises, NBA

              New York Sports Ventures (NYSV), headed by Steven
         Gluckstern and Howard Milstein, formally announced its $195M
         purchase of the Islanders yesterday at Nassau Coliseum,
         according to John Valenti of NEWSDAY.  Milstein: "Today we
         make a personal pledge to our fans to create a first-rate
         experience, both on the ice and throughout the Coliseum." 
         With that, the Isles announced the implementation of "Fan
         Forum," forums before six home games in March and April that
         will allow fans to talk directly to the new owners about the
         team.  There are also plans to return to the original blue,
         orange and white jerseys with the original logo full time,
         "perhaps as soon as next season."  The team also announced a
         staff "shake-up," including the dismissal of two "long-time
         members of the communications staff," VP/Communications
         Patrick Calabria and Dir of Special Events Maureen Brady. 
         Team sources said that neither dismissal "was a reflection
         of performance and that the positions have been eliminated." 
         However, NYSV President David Seldin said that his wife,
         Judy, will be responsible for managing future community
         relations programs, a position similar to the one she held
         with the NFL Jaguars (NEWSDAY, 2/27).  Two season-ticket
         sales account execs were also dismissed (N.Y. POST, 2/27).  

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Islanders, NFL
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