SBD/May 13, 2013/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross said that he has “received no inquiries to sell the team and has ‘no interest in selling.’” In Miami, Barry Jackson noted Ross’ comments come “amid the disappointment of the stadium setback” with the Florida legislature failing to vote on public funds to defray the cost of Sun Life Stadium renovations. But a source said that if Ross “changes his mind, a group led by Panthers minority owner Jordan Zimmerman, who owns one of the nation’s largest ad agencies, remains very interested” (MIAMIHERALD.com, 5/12).

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE: In Phoenix, Sarah McLellan wrote the Coyotes’ ownership “instability didn’t prevent” the team from re-signing RW Shane Doan, but it “could very well sever the team’s relationship” with G Mike Smith. Negotiations between “Smith’s camp and the Coyotes have been hampered by the uncertainty as Smith wants to know where he’ll be playing long-term.” Coach Dave Tippett said, “I think it affects the group more in the fact of players you want to sign. Maybe they’re here that you want to sign longer-term, and you can’t get signed so they’re wondering where their future is.” Coyotes GM Don Maloney said, “I think from an organization, we’re in a great place to continue to push this group forward and build this franchise. But we have to have something come to some sort of resolution on ownership” (AZCENTRAL.com, 5/10).

NO CHANGING OF THE GUARD: Wild GM Chuck Fletcher on Saturday confirmed that coach Mike Yeo “will return for a third season” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/12). In Minneapolis, Chip Scoggins noted indications are that Wild Owner Craig Leipold “intends to retain” both Fletcher and Yeo. But the “knee-jerk response by frustrated fans in times like this is for the owner to clean house and fire everybody.” Frustration and disappointment are “understandable, even healthy.” However, the Wild “needs to see if this blueprint can work and another change in leadership would start the cycle over again” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/11).

DECISION LOOMING: The NATIONAL POST’s Bruce Arthur cites a source as saying that Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment President & CEO Tim Leiweke is “leaning toward replacing” Raptors President & GM Bryan Colangelo, and that a decision “could be announced as soon as” today. Sources said that MLSE board reps for Owners Rogers Communications and Bell Media have “ceded the decision to Leiweke” (NATIONAL POST, 5/13).
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