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SATHER SAYS NHL MUST LOOK IN THE MIRROR, NOT TO GOVT. HELP
Published May 8, 1998
Oilers President Glen Sather said that small-market Canadian teams can survive, but success will mean "convincing the rest of the NHL's owners, both in Canada and the United States, that they are on a self-destructive course," according to David Shoalts of the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL. Sather said that he doesn't expect to receive any public assistance, but that teams need to control salaries: "The market is created by us. If we decide not to pay Sergei Fedorov $36-million, that changes the market." But he added that the market won't change since owners will spend whatever it takes to win, so small-market clubs, "instead of bitching and moaning about salaries," are going to have to target new revenue. Sather said one "key" area is TV, where the Oilers are bringing all production in-house and looking at PPV telecasts as a "major growth area." Sather added that he would like to see more revenue sharing and said the six Canadian clubs "would be a hell of a lot better off if we could keep the 'Hockey Night in Canada' revenue," instead of the current Canadian Assistance Plan. Sather, on fellow owners: "Everybody, because they want to chase the Stanley Cup, can rationalize what they pay these players. Owners start to fall in love with their stars" (GLOBE & MAIL, 5/8).