SBD/Issue 35/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Writer Says NHL's Disregard
For Gretzky Evident In Court
In Phoenix, Paola Boivin writes it is clear the NHL has "done a shoddy job of reaching out and communicating" with Coyotes Managing Partner Wayne Gretzky, and his "track record as an ambassador of the game demands better." The NHL's "disregard for Gretzky was evident Monday in bankruptcy court," where the league's agreement to purchase the Coyotes "did not address restitution for Gretzky." Gretzky has until this Friday to "file an objection to the purchase agreement" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 10/30).

MISTAKE ON THE LAKE: In Cleveland, Mary Kay Cabot reported former Browns GM Phil Savage's criticism of the team earlier this week "could be in breach of his Browns contract." Savage, fired in December after four seasons, said that the Browns' current leadership has seemingly "dismantled what Savage was trying to build." But Cabot noted Savage's contract with the team runs through '12, and such agreements typically "contain language prohibiting former employees from making disparaging remarks about the team while they're still getting paid" (, 10/28).

DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH:'s Jon Heyman reported Padres CEO & Vice Chair Jeff Moorad and D'Backs Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick are "in a dispute." Kendrick apparently is "upset that Moorad kept secret from him for months his talks to buy the Padres, and also that Moorad has set what he sees as a high price for his D'Backs shares" (, 10/29).

RED EYES: In Cincinnati, Paul Daugherty wrote MLB's economy is "out of whack and inspires no hope for half the teams it claims as members." The Reds next season are expected to spend less than their $74M payroll for '09, which "got them 78 wins." Five of the top nine payroll clubs made this season's playoffs, while just "one of the bottom nine made it." There is "no sound financial reason" for the Reds to spend $80M, or $85M. Reds Owner Bob Castellini suggested that a $100M payroll for the team "was possible, if the Reds could draw between 2.5 million and 3 million fans, something they've done" only four times since '78 (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 10/29).

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