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Volume 24 No. 114
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     In a two-part series in the TORONTO STAR, Randy Starkman
examines the "Americanization" and marketing of the NHL from a
Canadian perspective.  In Part I, Starkman questions what
Americans will do with Canada's pastime.  In the Sun Belt, for
example, "Americans haven't just embraced the game of hockey;
they've taken control."  According to Starkman, "the biggest
potential force for change has just arrived on the scene":  U.S.
network TV.  Panthers President Bill Torrey:  "It's like the
pendulum has swung too far.  We're never satisfied.  On one hand,
we couldn't understand why the game wasn't nationwide in the
States.  Now that it has a chance to be that, we want to pull it
back and we don't want it to grow" (TORONTO STAR, 4/8).  Part II
looks at the NHL's marketing and what it is doing for the game.
Citing the increase in TV exposure and attempts to make the game
more fan-friendly, Flyers GM Bobby Clarke is "concerned about the
influence being exerted by marketing and TV types and the amount
of clout they could wield in the future.   Starkman also cites
the emergence of in-line skating as a large factor popularizing
hockey in the U.S.  But, most league execs argue that the
"Americanization" should be accepted.  Torrey:  "It's like when
your own children grow up.  Sooner or later, they're going to go
away on their own.  You've got to let this thing go" (TORONTO
STAR, 4/9).
     FROM "TRUTH & RUMORS":  In Toronto, William Houston
speculates that Atlanta and Denver will receive NHL expansion
teams in a league vote this summer.  Ted Turner's TBS would own
the Atlanta franchise and Nuggets owner Comsat the Denver
franchise (Toronto GLOBE AND MAIL, 4/10).