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Flyers Reportedly To Be Bruins' Opponent
For NHL Winter Classic At Fenway Park
GOING FOR SECONDS: Boston METRO's Jeff Howe reports though final details are "still being worked out regarding the timing of the game," a second hockey game taking place at Fenway Park next year will "feature the Boston College men's hockey team." A source said that Boston Univ. is "talking with Fenway Sports Group about the possibility of playing at Fenway" (Boston METRO, 6/24). An NHL source indicated that a BC-BU game "might not be on the same day as the Bruins-Flyers tilt, but later in the season" (DELAWARE COUNTY TIMES, 6/24).
Gretzky May Soon Earn Less
Than His Current $8M Salary
BID DETAILS: In Hamilton, Ken Peters reports Balsillie "wants to see the details of the Reinsdorf bid," and "more particularly, whether there is a lease pact with the City of Glendale and conditions attached that would permit Reinsdorf to relocate from Phoenix after a set time period." Balsillie spokesperson Bill Walker: "Is there any relocation aspect to Mr. Reinsdorf's bid? If there is, will that be made clear to the judge. And, in that sense, is it no different than a relocation bid?" (HAMILTON SPECTATOR, 6/24). Also in Hamilton, Steve Milton writes, "Forgive the cynicism here, but this Reinsdorf rescue has a fishy echo." Nobody "in their right financial mind will chain themselves to an irrevocable deal to stay in Glendale for another couple of decades," so there will be "some kind of escape plan behind this bid that will let the NHL regain control of the desert from what, so far, has been Balsillie's schedule." One can "hardly blame the league for wanting to control its decisions, just as you can't blame Balsillie for trying to put those decisions into court, where the NHL, with its sometimes questionable reasoning, doesn't have the steering wheel" (HAMILTON SPECTATOR, 6/24).
PHOENIX RISING: Maple Leafs President & GM Brian Burke yesterday said that he "believes the Coyotes should remain in the desert and be given an opportunity to succeed rather than moving to Hamilton or whatever locale NHL commissioner Gary Bettman may give his blessing." Burke: "For every situation like Phoenix, you have to look at Washington and Pittsburgh. Three years ago, they were saying Pittsburgh was in bankruptcy and would have to move. They were saying Washington was a graveyard. Chicago was empty, Boston was empty and now they are completely sold out" (TORONTO SUN, 6/24).
Barrie Will Not Give Up Right
To Sign Off On Transactions
POWER STRUGGLE: ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun cited a source as saying that Lawton will be the "point man for all hockey matters" going forward. The source indicated that during yesterday's meeting it was "agreed that Lawton would handle all contact with player agents and GMs -- in other words, all signings and trades" (ESPN.com, 6/23). The GLOBE & MAIL's Tim Wharnsby cites a source as predicting that Koules will "preserve as the Lightning owner" while Barrie will "fade from the scene as the summer goes on." However, a different source indicated that if Barrie assumes control of the franchise, he "has interest in hiring" former Molson Coors CEO Dan O'Neill to "help him run" the franchise (GLOBE & MAIL, 6/24).
Buffalo Danger Signs Include Low Team Value,
Low Population, Nearby Hockey Competition
PLENTY OF WORK TO DO: In Philadelphia, John Gonzalez writes the 76ers have "hit the metaphorical reset button on a franchise that desperately needs a fresh start." But the franchise still has "some kinks to work out, and they still have some fans to woo -- relaunch or no relaunch." The "new/old uniforms will certainly look better," but clothes "don't make the man" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 6/24).
Rays President Silverman
Critical Of Rays Fans
LAYAWAY PLAN: The JACKSONVILLE BUSINESS JOURNAL's Kimberly Morrison notes with season-ticket sales "off to a rough start," the Jaguars are "revving up marketing efforts and repackaging tickets to add value and affordability." About 15,000 season-ticket holders did not renew this year, "more than doubling the nonrenewal rate of prior years." Jaguars Senior VP/Stadium Operations & CFO Bill Prescott said that the team is "well off the 43,000 season tickets it had sold at this time last year for the approximately 67,000 uncovered seats at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium." The team this week announced a new 12-month layaway program for '10 season tickets in addition to the previously established five-month layaway program. The program will "allow fans to set their own payment schedule and debit the amount automatically from their bank account for a 1.9[%] transaction fee and no interest" (JACKSONVILLE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/19 issue).
EXTRA CREDIT: In London, Paul Kelso reported EPL club Liverpool Managing Dir Christian Purslow "will open talks with" RBS over refinancing Liverpool co-Owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks' US$579M loan in the "coming days, with a view to securing a new deal before the July 24 deadline." It is "expected that RBS will ask Gillett and Hicks to provide additonal security on top" of the US$306M in personal guarantees and cash they provided in January '08 (TELEGRAPH.co.uk, 6/23).
SHIPPING OUT: A source yesterday said that FedEx Founder & CEO Frederick Smith is "not interested" in buying a majority share of the Rams. A report Friday claimed that Smith was on "the short list of people whose names are circulating as potential bidders" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 6/24).