JETS DEAL REPORTEDLY LONG-TERM; NAME CHANGE IN WORKS?
The effort by local groups to keep the Jets in Winnipeg is
"not for one-year, but for long-term," according to a source
close to negotiations cited by Douglas & Samyn in this morning's
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS. A plan expected to be released today will
call for a new 16,000-seat arena and "also add a host of new
local owners to the group." The new ownership group will
reportedly pay current owners Barry and Marvin Shenkarow, Randy
Moffat and Harvey Secter C$32M for 42% control of the club.
Provincial and local governments will continue to control 36%;
the Shenkarows, Moffat and Secter will hold 22%. A news
conference today is expected to announce details (WINNIPEG FREE
REGIONAL APPEAL? When the team was seemingly headed south a
few weeks ago, the Jets officially retired their name and logo
following the final game of the season at Winnipeg Arena. Tim
Campbell of the WINNIPEG FREE PRESS reports that nobody is
certain what the team will be called next year, but "speculation
is the team will be called the Manitoba Jets" (WINNIPEG FREE
BETTMAN'S HAPPY, RIGHT? NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told
the WINNIPEG FREE PRESS yesterday that the effort to keep the
Jets in Winnipeg is "extraordinary and heartening." Bettman
denied reports that neither he nor the league wanted the team to
stay. Bettman: "We haven't said it, we haven't felt it and we
don't believe it. We're happy for the Jets and the fans of
Winnipeg if it all works out" (Don Campbell, WINNIPEG FREE PRESS,
DON'T CRY FOR MINNESOTA: Bettman, on the Land of 10,000
Lakes: "We're delighted there was an interest in having the NHL
return to Minneapolis but long-term, we can satisfy that in other
ways" (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 5/23).
NORDS PUT ON HOLD: The sale of the Nordiques is on hold --
"at least for now." A Radio-Canada report last night said team
President Marcel Aubut and Quebec Premier Jacques Parizeau will
meet today "in a last-ditch attempt to keep the franchise."
Discussions will reportedly center on the government offer that
Aubut rejected last week (CP/TORONTO SUN, 5/23).