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SBD/28/Leagues Governing Bodies
BETTMAN AND CO. SET TO DISCUSS FUTURE OF NHL IN CANADA
Published April 28, 1998
The "opening faceoff in the battle over the future of the NHL in Canada takes place today" in Ottawa, according to Mark Miller of the CALGARY SUN. An "all-star team of ownership and league officials" are expected to make presentations to the House of Commons' subcommittee on the study of sport in Canada. NHL Board Chair and Flames co- Owner Harley Hotchkiss will "anchor the presentation group," which includes NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and other team execs. The subcommittee is to report to the House of Commons this fall with a "definitive" study on the financial impact of sports. Miller writes the "main concern that prompted the committee is the tenuous existence of three of six Canadian NHL teams -- Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa." Bettman "created a storm of controversy earlier this month by suggesting that government may have a role to play in subsidizing those franchises through tax breaks" (CALGARY SUN, 4/28). But Bettman told Red Fisher in Montreal, "I wasn't asking for tax breaks ... and I won't be asking for anything in Ottawa. All I had in mind was to lay out the problems Canadian teams are facing. That's what we'll be doing in Ottawa. We're not asking for anything, but we do want them to understand what's going on" (GAZETTE, 4/28).