In Seattle, Geoff Baker cites sources as saying that there have been negotiations between the NHL and potential ownership groups in Seattle "about the cost of expansion fees." The league and local officials "could be prepared to make some type of announcement shortly after the Olympic Games in Sochi conclude -- at a time the NHL hopes nationwide interest in its sport will be at a high point" (SEATTLE TIMES, 2/14).
EXPLAINING THE NAME GAME: AFL Portland Thunder Owner Terry Emmert said of the organization's name-the-team promotion, "The contest was legit. We never said that the name that gets the most votes wins." Emmert said that the contest "never promised to be a fan vote, only that if someone made a 'suggestion' that the team used they'd be rewarded with a pair of season tickets." Emmert: "I never looked at what ranking (Thunder) had. Growlers, Platypus and Sasquatch were all high up there with numbers. But I can't introduce the 'Platypus Dancers,' come on. I didn't want to have any kind of name like the Portland Fighters, either" (Portland OREGONIAN, 2/14).
NATS EYE SPRING TRAINING SITES: In West Palm Beach, Joe Capozzi reports former U.S. Congressman Mark Foley is "going to bat" for the Nationals as the team "looks for a potential new spring training home in Palm Beach County." Foley and Nationals Principal Owner Mark Lerner on Thursday met with County Commissioner Hal Valeche and Audrey Wolf, the county’s facilities director, "about the team’s interest in the area" (PALM BEACH POST, 2/14).