SBD/Issue 100/Franchises

Franchise Notes's Jesse Rogers noted Blackhawks Chair Rocky Wirtz Thursday during an appearance on ESPN Radio 1000 Chicago "held court on a myriad of topics from the trade deadline to his business strategies," and his "honesty as an owner is refreshing." Wirtz said that he "wasn't thrilled with the league scheduling regarding the recently completed eight-game, near coast-to-coast road trip." Wirtz: "You would think with computerized scheduling you could find another way to do that." He also addressed NHL participation in the Olympics and said, "From an ownership standpoint, in the middle of the season, we just as soon skip it. It doesn’t add any more to our sport" (, 2/4).

Paulson Holds First Official
Staff Meeting For Timbers
AND AWAY WE GO: MLS Portland Owner Merritt Paulson met with 50 PGE Park employees Thursday in the "first official staff meeting" for the Timbers, set to join MLS in '11. Paulson said, "This is bigger than the Pacific Northwest being the hub of soccer in North America. This is about soccer finally taking hold in the country." He added, "Don’t get me wrong; there’s a lot of work to do on and off the field. But we’ve hit that tipping point" (, 2/4).

TIME TO MOVE ON? The PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE editorial staff in an open letter to Pirates Owner Bob Nutting wrote, "When you took over the Pirates, you talked about your commitment to win. It hasn't happened and, even with the latest clutch of young prospects, it's unlikely that 2010 will be a winning season." Change for the franchise "could come sooner if you were open to the reported offer" by Penguins co-Owners Ron Burkle and Mario Lemieux. The editorial: "That's why you shouldn't dismiss an offer by the Penguins' co-owners out of hand. With their management smarts, superior finances and record of success, they could build this team into not only a sure winner but also one with staying power" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 2/4).

CAN'T YOU STAY A WHILE? NFL Network's Marshall Faulk, who played for the Rams from '99-'06, said he wishes co-Owners Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez would "keep the team." But Faulk added, "They understand that they’re not St. Louis people. And they want to be in LA where they have their families and lives. And it requires in situations like this, especially in cities like St. Louis, the owner has to live there. You have to be there, You just can’t visit. And they know that" (, 2/4).

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