SBD/Issue 129/Franchises

NHL Franchise Notes: Predators Minority Partner Hires Attorney

Predators minority partner Herb Fritch Friday said that he has hired Nashville-based attorney Bob Tuke "because the complexities of ownership are much greater than when he first joined" the team in '07. Fritch added that the "financial stakes and additional guarantees placed on owners have risen," and the stock market's "decline has made his original $15[M] investment in the Predators a larger portion of his assets." Fritch: "I really don't like the notion that I feel like I've got to get to the point of having an attorney look things over for me. I've asked Bob to just be involved in all the different things between the bank agreements and the bankruptcy dealings with [former Predators investor William "Boots" Del Biaggio]. It's gotten more complex than I envisioned" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 3/21).

Bruins Exec Says Team Has
Renewed 95% Of Season Tickets
COMING BACK FOR MORE: Bruins Exec VP Charlie Jacobs said that "some 95[%] of the 2008-09 Bruin season ticket-holders have renewed for next season and the club has written accounts for an added 3,000 seats next season" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/22).

FUTURE OUTLOOK: In Buffalo, Bucky Gleason noted during the NHL GM meetings earlier this month it "became clear that the sorry economy could actually benefit teams such as" the Sabres, as the $56.7M salary cap will "likely stay the same next year or decrease to the $55[M] range." With the Sabres "a tad over" $50M this year, the team "actually is better prepared for the future than most teams" (BUFFALO NEWS, 3/22). But in Boston, Kevin Paul Dupont wrote for the Sabres, who are currently 10th in the Eastern Conference, missing the playoffs for a second season in a row in a "struggling Buffalo economy" could "really mean a dent in their 2009-10 box office." Dupont, referring to RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie, wrote all of this "would be added bad news for any entrepreneur -- someone with, say, a background in technology gadgetry -- dreaming of bringing another NHL team to southern Ontario" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/22).

LIFE ON THE ROAD: The Vancouver PROVINCE noted the Canucks' schedule for the '09-10 season will be impacted by the '10 Vancouver Games men's and women's hockey tournaments being played at GM Place from February 13-28, as the team will be "forced to vacate" the arena from January 28-March 6. Canucks VP/Hockey Operations & Assistant GM Laurence Gilman: "The league almost had to do our schedule in advance of the 29 other teams. We have issues and we want our schedule to be as efficient as possible given the extensive travel we're going to have" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 3/22). 

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