SBD/January 31, 2013/Franchises

Plattner Moves To Forefront Of Sharks Ownership, Buys Out Compton, Sclavos

Plattner now will serve as the Sharks' NHL BOG representative
Sharks Majority Owner Hasso Plattner yesterday purchased shares of the team's parent company formerly held by investors Kevin Compton and Stratton Sclavos. Plattner, a member of the Sharks ownership group since Sharks Sports & Entertainment purchased the team from its original owner, the late George Gund III, in Feb. '02, has been the club's majority owner since '10. Plattner will serve as the Sharks NHL BOG rep, while Sharks GM Doug Wilson and Exec VP & General Counsel John Tortora will remain Alternate Governors (Sharks). In San Jose, David Pollak notes Plattner previously operated in a "secondary role" while Compton and Sclavos "served as the ownership group's executive committee." Plattner said that the two men "approached him about selling their shares last year, and he agreed to buy them." No financial terms were disclosed, and Plattner "declined to say what percentage of the team he now owns." He said that the current management structure "would remain in place," with Wilson responsible for hockey operations and Exec VP Malcolm Bordelon "in charge of the business side." Plattner added that there would be "no radical changes and the team would continue to operate without" a COO. But instead of Compton and Sclavos serving as the exec committee "working with" the team's six exec VPs, a new board will be "put in place to serve in that same capacity." Plattner yesterday "assured fans ... that the team's priorities remain the same." He also "met with players before they took the ice for a morning practice at HP Pavilion." Sharks coach Todd McLellan said that because Plattner "has been part of the ownership group, there was never a 'now what?' moment" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 1/31).

FREE CREDIT SCORE REPORT: CSNBAYAREA.com's Kevin Kurz noted Plattner also wants to make sure the Sharks, who "claimed a loss" of $15M last season, have "a sustainable business model." He has "no fantasies of turning a major profit, though." Plattner said, "The financial situation is not better this year than last. On the other hand, I said this to the employees, don't worry. My credit line is good enough, if you look it up." He added, "That doesn't mean we spend money foolishly." Kurz noted the Sharks have "routinely spent near the salary cap ceiling for many years now, and Plattner doesn't expect that to change." He said, "We are in a solid financial situation. You can look me up, so I can guarantee this financial situation. But, that doesn't mean that we don't work hard to have a normal business." Plattner added, "You cannot make money with a hockey team." He continued somewhat jokingly, "You cannot make money with a hotel, either, and you cannot make money with a golf club. I have all three of them" (CSNBAYAREA.com, 1/30).
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