Adam Helfant yesterday said that he is stepping down as ATP Exec Chair & President at the end of this year "on good terms." Helfant: "Negotiations are negotiations, but my relationship with the board is perfectly fine, perfectly professional." He refused to discuss specifics about why he is leaving the ATP, saying, "The job has been challenging but, in that regard, it is no different to other jobs at the top level of sports business. I'm used to dealing with complex challenges so it certainly hasn't been anything I couldn't or didn't handle. I'm really proud of what we've accomplished in my three years with the ATP." Helfant added, "I just decided when my contract is up at the end of this year (and) it will be the right time to move on. I don't know where I go from here. I haven't spent much time thinking about it" (GUARDIAN, 6/15).
STREET PARTY? IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said that he would "like to add a street race in Houston" to next year's Izod IndyCar Series schedule. Bernard said that he "eventually would like to expand the 17-race slate to 22-24 races with an emphasis on larger markets that maximize exposure." He wants to "keep a 50-50 balance between ovals and road/street courses but said dropping races remained a possibility" (USA TODAY, 6/15).
HITS JUST KEEP ON COMING: In Phoenix, Mark Faller wrote the violence in the Canucks-Bruins Stanley Cup Final and in the playoffs overall is an "uncomfortable coda to an NHL season that wrestled with serious injury all year." Canucks LW Mason Raymond and Bruins RW Nathan Horton both "have been hurt badly enough to be knocked out of the series, or worse." There has been a "lot of hand-wringing over changing the NHL rules to address hits to the head, and protecting players from blindside shots." Faller noted people's "hearts are in the right place, but I'm not sure any rules change would have protected" Raymond or Horton (AZCENTRAL.com, 6/14).
GOING IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS: In Rochester, Jeff DiVeronica noted nearly five years after MLS Commissioner Don Garber indicated the league would like to add a franchise in the city, MLS "has added a half-dozen cities not named 'Rochester' and is thriving." Asked about Rochester's prospect of landing a team, MLS Exec VP/Communications Dan Courtemanche said, "(MLS) respects the rich soccer tradition in Rochester and western New York, but Rochester is not currently under consideration for a future MLS expansion team. It has been a few years since any active discussions took place" (ROCHESTER DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE, 6/12).