JETS, NORDS PLAY WAITING GAME; NEW OWNERSHIP IN L.A.?
As negotiations on the Jets sale continue, MN Gov. Arne
Carlson yesterday released the first details of a plan to buy the
team, saying the state will spend no more than $15M. Because it
is "widely assumed" that MN will not get the Jets without state
support, Carlson's announcement indicated an agreement in
principle between Jets Owner Barry Shenkarow and a buyer -- most
likely healthcare entrepreneur Richard Burke -- "is close."
Carlson said that Shenkarow should agree to a tentative purchase
offer Friday if MN lawmakers are to have enough time to act.
Wolves Owner Glen Taylor: "It's a matter of an owner who's
trying to get the best price. As long as he thinks there's more
than one party, why would he settle if he thinks he can get a
better deal" (AP/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 5/12). Carlson accused NHL
Commissioner Gary Bettman of trying to boost the price for the
Jets to a minimum of $70M, and declared that he is not prepared
to "do the deal at all costs." NHL VP of PR Arthur Pincus: "We
don't know what the governor is talking about." The Nederlander
family is "apparently out of the bidding" (McGrath & Weiner,
Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/12). MUSICAL FRANCHISES UPDATE:
Winnipeg media mogul Izzy Asper "appears to be involved in last-
ditch attempts" to save the Jets (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS,
5/12)....Quebec Premier Jacques Parizeau agreed to a request by
the Nordiques to delay a decision on the team's future. Co-Owner
Marcel Aubut and other shareholders continue negotiations on the
government's offer to keep the team from moving (TORONTO STAR,
5/12)....Also in Toronto, Bob McKenzie suggests that the current
ownership of the Kings will change. According to McKenzie, there
is a "big-money group (no name yet, although it's said to have
railroad ties)" negotiating to buy the team. McKenzie also
mentions Penguins Owner Howard Baldwin and Rangers GM Neil Smith
as names that "keep popping up" as potential owners (TORONTO
STAR, 5/12)....The Nashville Metro Council is set to vote next
Tuesday on Mayor Phil Bredesen's financial package to lure the
Devils. The TENNESSEAN's lead editorial yesterday: "There's a
term for what Mayor Phil Bredesen is trying to accomplish ...
It's called progress" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 5/10).