Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 115

Franchises

     Nuggets-owner Comsat has offered $75M to buy the Nordiques
and move them to Denver, according to a report in Saturday's
TORONTO SUN.  The team would reportedly play in the new
arena/studio complex planned for the Nuggets that will open in
'97 (Al Strachan, TORONTO SUN, 2/18).  Comsat President Charlie
Lyons denied the offer in Sunday's ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, but
"conceded there's a chance an NHL team could move to Denver."
Lyons: "We're not going to get riled up every time someone writes
a speculative article or someone passes a rumor around.  The
likely scenario is going to be expansion." One "NHL Insider" says
Nordiques' Co-owner Marcel Aubut "could be bluffing" for a new
arena in Quebec. Possible obstacles:  The NHL's "desire to avoid
uprooting franchises, especially in Canada"; Quebec's Olympic bid
could bring a new arena;  NHL owners' desire to grant Denver an
expansion team (Clay Latimer, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 2/19).  In
Boston, Kevin Paul Dupont writes that a move would rid the league
"of one of its small-market headaches and perhaps its most
cantankerous and belligerent owner. ... Comsat could be the Ted
Turner-like broadcast partner/visionary the league needs" (BOSTON
GLOBE, 2/20).  Last week, the ARIZONA REPUBLIC reported that
Phoenix could be a possible site for the Nordiques (Toronto GLOBE
& MAIL, 2/17).
     NHL TARGETS?  Sunday's ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS quotes one NHL
insider as saying the NHL wants to expand "by six more cities by
the year 2000."  Possibilities: Denver, Phoenix, Atlanta,
Houston, Portland and Minneapolis (Clay Latimer, ROCKY MOUNTAIN
NEWS, 2/20)  In the Twin Cities, Charley Walters reports there is
a second local group interested in buying an NHL team for the
Target Center other than T-Wolves owner Glen Taylor (SAINT PAUL
PIONEER-PRESS, 2/19).

      Robert Caporale, an attorney for Penguins owner Howard
Baldwin, met with the Pirates' investment bank Thursday,
representing Baldwin as one of four prospective buyers of the
club.  The other three groups, who also met with Wertheim
Schroder were not identified.  Caporale said the talks were
"general in nature," and did not deal with team finances.  Last
year, the Pirates owners rejected a $83M bid for the team from
Baldwin, citing a belief that he did not have enough cash to own
and operate the team.  Jeff Moffie, a Cleveland investment
manager who last week withdrew a reportedly $90M offer for the
team, was not invited to the meetings.  Wertheim Schroder CEO
James Harmon says the $85.15M bid from Adelphia Communications
Chair John Rigas "remained very much alive."  Harmon added that
even if Rigas fails to buy the team, he believes the Pirates will
stay in Pittsburgh:  "That might change, but I think (the chance
of the team moving) has been exaggerated by the media" (Steve
Halvonik, PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 2/17).  Steelers President Dan
Rooney said his family would consider buying the Pirates again if
it meant "only as a last resort" to keep them from moving
(AP/ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 2/19).