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Volume 24 No. 155

Leagues and Governing Bodies

The NHL is not going to "Europe to start next season" because it is "too rushed, they won’t get the right markets and they won’t make" money on games there, according to Glenn Healy of the CBC. Healy said, "The focus will be on the World Cup and then to take that World Cup momentum and the following year go to Europe. But here's the caveat: Maybe not go to Europe in September, go to Europe maybe in February, go to Europe in December, go to Europe during the week and bring your sponsors with you and make it a week party and try to grow that market off of a rebound of a World Cup" ("HNIC," CBC, 10/19).

BACK OFF: In L.A., Helene Elliott notes the NHL yesterday handed down penalties to two players for rules infractions that caused head injuries. Elliott writes, "The NHL's crackdown on blows to the head has been pronounced, and that's commendable." NHL VP/Player Safety & Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan "made the right calls" yesterday. But Elliott asks, "When will players respect each other enough to develop restraint in situations when they can pull back without hurting their teams?" (L.A. TIMES, 10/22).

Peddie said his whole career was
based on marketing
Former MLSE President & CEO Richard Peddie's book "Dream Job" was released today, and Peddie offered an excerpt of the book in a special to the GLOBE & MAIL. He writes, "I really like [NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman]. He was always good to me. He was always approachable, always returned my calls and was always willing to hear my ideas and give me advice." But Peddie adds he and Bettman "did not always see eye to eye." Peddie: "I was always pushing for more financial transparency. What gives Gary some of his power is the lack of transparency. I was a pit bull on numbers. My whole career was based on marketing, but I got good on finances. I’d ask deputy commissioner Bill Daly, 'What are we making as a league?' I never got an answer to that question. I would say at meetings, 'I, as CEO of the Leafs, must provide full financial disclosure to our shareholders. Why doesn't the league do the same?'" Peddie writes the NBA "offers a useful lesson in the value of transparency." When NBA Commissioner David Stern "came out and told the owners, fans, media" and the NBPA that the league was losing almost $300M a year, it "quantified the financial challenge facing the negotiating parties and helped get a deal that will make the NBA's financial future more secure." The NHL is "a healthy league on the ice," and the "revenue picture is solid." But "any talk of more revenue sharing makes sense only if the league collectively makes money." Peddie writes he and Bettman also "disagreed about was the size of the league." Peddie: "A lot of good people are trying to make the Southern U.S. clubs succeed, but I simply don't think that some of them will ever make it" (GLOBE & MAIL, 10/19).