NHL BOG Chair Jeremy Jacobs Dishes On Expansion In Quebec, Sitting Out Olympics
Bruins Owner and NHL BOG Chair Jeremy Jacobs weighed in on several league issues at last week's Bruins Media Day, and as "one of the most powerful men in the world of professional hockey," his comments are "worth a listen," according Steve Conroy of the BOSTON HERALD. On the topic of Quebec City looking to be involved in NHL expansion, Jacobs said, "Quebec’s a great market and it has been for many years. But really when I think about it, I don’t see expansion going into the East.” Jacobs added that the league is "not in any current discussions with any prospective expansion group." He also "defended the league's decision to sit" out the '18 PyeongChang Games. Jacobs: "Look, none of us like to close down the league in the middle of February. It made no sense. My one question to the Olympic Committee at the time was, ‘Why’s basketball in the summer and we’re not?’" Jacobs added, "from a business standpoint it doesn’t make sense. And I think going into Korea where the time difference is so substantial and the only chances of seeing it on replay sometime the next day takes a lot of the incentive out of it." But in '22, the Games will be "held in China, and the time difference and league shutdown issues could well be overridden by the business opportunities that the league’s participation could present in the world’s most populous nation." Both the NHL and the Bruins have been "cultivating business relationships in the exploding China market." Jacobs: "It may well be taken into consideration. We are obviously making an attempt to familiarize a huge country with our sport. It could be very important. We do have Chinese interests that have shown a liking to our business and we’d like to have that" (BOSTON HERALD, 10/8).
GETTING LEVERAGE: In N.Y., Larry Brooks wrote if NHL teams are "not going to exercise leverage the one time they own it when dealing with an established player -- and that is, on the contract following entry level -- then what is the point of having it?" There has been some "effort to suggest that signing players" to multiyear extensions that eliminate arbitration years and "might buy out a handful of unrestricted free agency seasons is ultimately cost effective." Brooks: "I am sure in certain cases that is true. ... But someone please explain what numbers Jack Eichel could possibly put up in Buffalo over the next four seasons that would turn the eight-year, $80 million extension he was granted ... into a cost-saver?" (N.Y. POST, 10/8).
KEEP MOVING FORWARD: ESPNW's Marisa Ingemi noted the NHL is "giving a real assist to women's hockey," as the NWHL Riveters announced Thursday that they would "rebrand and partner with" the Devils. This "might be a sign of things to come." With player salaries being "cut in half last season, having support from a team with backing like the Devils also allows the NWHL to breathe a bit." Two other teams -- the Buffalo Beauts and Boston Pride -- are in NHL markets, and NWHL Commissioner Dani Rylan said that a "lot of the talks with the NHL also involve potential expansion markets" (ESPNW.com, 10/7).