SBD/Issue 121/Franchises

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  • Sundquist Out As Broncos GM After 16 Years With Franchise

    Sundquist Out As Broncos GM
    Broncos GM Ted Sundquist is no longer with the team, effective immediately. Broncos Dir of Player Personnel Jim Goodman and Assistant GM Jeff Goodman both will have more prominent roles in football operations while COO Joe Ellis will assist on operational and football-related administrative issues (Broncos). In Denver, Mike Klis writes the timing of the announcement, in between NFL free agency and the draft, "leaves little doubt [coach Mike] Shanahan and Sundquist had reached irreconcilable differences." Sundquist, who had been with the Broncos for 10 years in the college scouting department before spending the previous six as GM, said, "I loved the organization. I started from the bottom and worked my way up. I feel like I've done a good job over the time I've been a [GM]." Klis notes after the '07 season, Shanahan promoted Jeff Goodman to Assistant GM, a "move that in hindsight was a hint Sundquist's job security may have been tenuous" (DENVER POST, 3/13).

    REAX: In Denver, Lee Rasizer writes it "appears a disconnect between Shanahan and Sundquist became untenable from the side that mattered most." Sundquist "had wide-ranging power but still lacked final authority." Rasizer notes Sundquist "orchestrated a slew of moves in recent years" including the acquisition of CBs Champ Bailey and Dre Bly and QB Jay Cutler, "while working hard to improve the club's salary-cap health." Sundquist was "well-respected in the agent and player-evaluation communities, serving on the [BOD] of National Football Scouting" (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 3/13). Also in Denver, Mark Kiszla writes "it was a crummy way to say goodbye to a loyal man. But he had to go." Shanahan required a "scapegoat for yet another disappointing football season. ... Their long uneasy relationship crumbled under the weight of defeat." Kiszla: "A [GM] should be able to shape a football team as he envisions. Sundquist filled orders like a stock clerk. It was a thankless task doomed to failure" (DENVER POST, 3/13).

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  • Franchise Notes

    In Cleveland, Bud Shaw writes Browns Owner Randy Lerner "expects to sign" GM Phil Savage to a contract extension, a "much better idea than when he considered firing Savage" at the end of the '05 season, Savage's first with the team. Savage's "recent work in trades and free agency showed that even though he made his reputation via the draft, he's flexible enough to see the value in getting more immediate help -- even if he overpaid for some of it." Shaw: "Compared to the narrow focus of the Butch Davis-Pete Garcia regime when it came to evaluating and accumulating talent, ... Savage's dexterity in the draft and free agency looks like a David Copperfield magic show" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 3/13).

    FLYIN' HIGH: Flyers VP/Business Operations Shawn Tilger yesterday said ticket prices for the '08-09 season "are going up about $5 per seat." The Flyers also are introducing an Ice Row ticket plan where fans can sit in the first row along the ice for $175. The "formidable price" purchases various amenities, "including a $25 concessions credit." Those seats currently go for $73 for season-ticket holders and Tilger said that the team "will relocate current ticket holders of those seats within the lower bowl." Tilger: "We don't like to raise ticket prices. But with the cost of business going up in operating expenses, travel, etc. we have to in order to remain competitive" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 3/13).

    STUDYING ABROAD: The Penguins will play Finland's SM-Liiga club Jokerit in an exhibition game October 2 at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland. Tickets to the game will go on sale April 1. The Penguins also are scheduled to play the Senators in a two-game series in Stockholm, Sweden, to open the season as part of NHL Premiere 2008 (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 3/13). ESPN's Tony Kornheiser, on the Penguins opening next season in Sweden: "That's the sport that should have the European division. That's where great players come from'' ("PTI,'' ESPN, 3/12).

    WHITECAPS: The USL Vancouver Whitecaps ticket sales for a May 13 exhibition game against the MLS Galaxy have "hit the 23,000 mark" and some upper-deck tickets "will now be made available in addition to the remaining seats in the lower bowl." The best-selling tickets have been the most expensive, $65 and $85 seats (EDMONTON SUN, 3/13).

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