SBD/Issue 41/Franchises

NHL Franchise Notes: NHL CBA Clarifies Rangers Dilemma

Cherepanov (2nd from r) Listed As
"Defected Player" Prior To Death
In N.Y., Larry Brooks reported the NHL CBA "almost certainly will have to be amended in order for the Rangers to be awarded the compensatory pick they are seeking for the loss" of '06 draft pick RW Alexei Cherepanov, who last month died after collapsing during a game while playing in Russia's Continental Hockey League (KHL). Currently, Article 8.3 (b) in the CBA "leaves no doubt that compensatory picks are meant as protection for teams whose unsigned first-round selections are eligible to either go back into the draft or become free agents." But Cherepanov before his death was "listed as a 'defected player' on NHL roster status reports," and arbitrator Richard Bloch last week "upheld the NHL's implementation of 'defected player' status." As a result, "regardless of the circumstance, an unsigned Cherepanov's rights would have belonged to the Rangers beyond this season and into the foreseeable future" (N.Y. POST, 11/9).

DUCK HUNTING: In Boston, Kevin Paul Dupont wrote depending on what happens to the Bruins this season, the team "could be a player" for Ducks Exec VP & GM Brian Burke this offseason. Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli's contract expires at the end of next season, and the role of Bruins President has been "vacant since Harry Sinden was booted off the job" in '06. Dupont wrote there would be "plenty of room for Burke" with the Bruins, as long as Owner Jeremy Jacobs was "willing to pay the freight." Another "likely bidder for Burke" will be the Blackhawks. The Maple Leafs and Senators also "might be enticed" (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/9).

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BAILOUT FALLOUT: In St. Louis, David Nicklaus noted the rules for the Blues' "Fan Bailout Plan," which includes naming its remaining Saturday games as "Fannie and Freddie Mortgage Saturdays," do not say whether the team "got permission" from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to use the companies' names. If they did not, "Fannie's and Freddie's lawyers might not be happy about this particular bailout" (STLTODAY.com, 11/10).

NOTES: The Flyers have four players from Finland, the most in the NHL, and the Finnish Ambassador to the U.S. Pekka Lintu said that the Finnish Embassy for the Stars-Flyers game on November 24 will recognize the team. Flyers President & COO Peter Luukko, who has Finnish ancestors, will host Lintu and five of his guests in his suite at the Wachovia Center and introduce them to the Flyers' Finnish players before the game (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 11/9)....The AP's Nancy Armour wrote under the header, "Blackhawks Become A Vibrant Brand Again," and noted a year after the team's season-ticket base "dwindled to 3,400, it is a franchise-record 14,000." Each of the team's home games at the United Center this season has been a sellout (AP, 11/8).

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