SBD/Issue 64/Franchises

Franchise Notes's Pierre LeBrun cited a source as indicating that East Resources President & CEO Terry Pegula "continues to show serious interest in buying" the Sabres. There is "nothing imminent," but the source said that something "could possibly be in place by the end of this season" (, 12/11).

JUST NEED AN OWNER: In Boston, Kevin Paul Dupont cited a source as saying that the sale of the Stars "would have concluded a month ago to Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi, but for Commissioner Gary Bettman insisting the selling price ($175 million?) was too low." Gaglardi "subsequently bowed out of the process" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/12). In Dallas, Mike Heika writes after the Stars' recent road games against the Blue Jackets, Hurricanes, Lightning and Panthers drew 10,932, 15,382, 13,277 and 11,580 fans, respectively, it is "difficult to imagine how this league is making money and will actually try to push the salary cap up next season." The Canadian cities and "ports like Boston, Chicago and Washington are carrying the struggling markets," and what is "positive for the Stars is that Chicago was in this same dilemma five years ago." The Capitals, Kings and Blues "also were struggling to draw crowds and now regularly get sellouts" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 12/12).

LINING UP A HEAVY HITTER: In N.Y., Brian Costello noted the contingent the MLB Rangers sent last Thursday to visit free agent P Cliff Lee in Arkansas "included billionaire co-owner Ray Davis," the retired co-CEO of Energy Transfer Partners. Davis was "one of the two big spenders behind the purchase of the Rangers this summer." Rangers Owner Chuck Greenberg: "We thought any room Ray is in is a stronger room" (N.Y. POST, 12/11).

TIME FOR PATIENCE: In N.Y., Mitch Lawrence writes the 6-18 Nets have "actually been worse than the 30-win team we expected." However, NBA officials who know Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov "from his old Moscow basketball team, CSKA, say he'll display patience as long as he sees signs of a turnaround." Lawrence wrote "if anything, Prokhorov has misspent his rubles," and the Nets "have been getting next to nothing on their return" from the four free agents they signed this offseason (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/12). Meanwhile, Prokhorov Friday "issued a response" to Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban calling him "a p---y." Prokhorov: "I think Mark has it wrong. I don't like cats" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/11).

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