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NHL TRIES TO GET ITS MESSAGE OUT ON TEAM HELP IN CANADA
Published April 30, 1998
After appearing with other NHL execs before a House of Commons subcommittee on Tuesday, Flames Chair Harley Hotchkiss said he felt the group's presentation on the state the game in Canada "was pretty well received by the members of the commission," according to George Johnson of the CALGARY SUN. But Hotchkiss adds that "some of the media people, in my opinion, totally misread our intentions." Hotchkiss: "They regarded it as nothing more than a quick tax grab. I don't think that's right and I don't think that's fair. That's just a shallow viewpoint. We wanted to present some of the problems we as an industry face. I think the members of the commission listened to and understood our dilemma." One potential source of money for teams could be a lottery prize bond (CALGARY SUN, 4/30). A TOUGH SELL WITH MEDIA: In Ottawa, Earl McRae dismisses the contention made by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and team execs who compared pro hockey to the Canadian lumber, agriculture and gas exploration industries, writing those are "economically 'essential.' Hockey is not. It's a diversional entertainment, nothing more" (OTTAWA SUN, 4/30). In Calgary, Mark Miller writes that the NHL "needs to first look in the mirror for solutions" before receiving government aid. Miller: "The truth is that the NHL is run by a board of governors largely indifferent to the fate of Canada's small-market franchises. ... The haves of the NHL will continue to exploit the have-nots with irresponsible free-agent signings and the players association will stand idly by and let it all happen, because, their mandate is to get as much as they can" (Mark Miller, CALGARY SUN, 4/30).