Post by JETStender on Dec 28, 2008 23:57:13 GMT -5
Aug 30 1973
No Merger: Campbell
TORONTO (CP) — A special committee of the NHL will recommend that lite league rewrite a bylaw to provide for drafting 18-year-olds.
President Clarence Campbell said Wednesday the committee. which met privately, also "reiterated its determination" that the NHL won't merge with the World Hockey Association or take part in a common player draft.
He said the six-man committee will reconvene after the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) meets with the WHA in Toronto on Friday. Sept. 7.
He added the committee s "other recommendations" will be influenced by the results of the WHA-CAHA meeting.
The WHA has been signing so-called under-age juniors, a pratice that has enraged the NHL because it doesn't draft juniors until they graduate from junior hockey at 20.
Earlier, Campbell said talk of merger was the product of juniors' agents who created the fear that players under 20 wouldn't have a chance at getting big contracts if a merger took place.
"This is nonsense." he said. The WHA and CAHA will meet to try to reach agreement on the drafting of juniors
Under a contract between the NHL. and CAHA, which expired at the end of June, the league paid for the juniors it drafted and has pumped $7 million in junior hockey in the last five years.
T h e WHA, however, has never had an agreement with the CAHA and doesn't pay when it signs a junior— a situation which the CAHA finds untenable. The WHA also signs any player, regardless of age, who will sign a pro contract.
It started the current problem when the Areos signed Mark and Marty Howe, two Toronto Marlboro jr's and continued with various other signings including Tom Edur of the Marlies, Dennis Sobchuk of the Regina Pats and Jacques Locus of the Quebec Ramparts.
Today, Toronto Toros will announce the signing of 18 year-old Wayne Dillon of the Marlboro's
The NHL has said that since 1967, when it signed an agreement only to sign only graduating players, junior hockey has flourished.
The six-man committee Is made up of Campbell, Walter Bush, president of Minnesota North Stars, general managers Emile Francis of New York Rangers. Tommy Ivan of Chicago Black Hawks, Sam Pollak of the Montreal Canadians and an assist GM of the Detroit Red Wings.
BOSTON (UPI) - The World Hockey Association, laughing at predictions made a year ago that it wouldn't last, is talking about expansion now.
Gary Davidson, president of the league, told a luncheon here Monday that the WHA expects to name expansion cities within the next few weeks.
Davidson, here to present the WHA's first World Cup Trophy to the champion New England Whalers, took advantage of the occasion to chide the established National Hockey League.
"Clarence Campbell (NHL commissioner) said the NHL would put us out of business in two years," Davidson said "I didn't realize at the time that they were already offering a merger "
Davidson said his league would be stronger this season because we'd had a chance to play together for a full year and because we have 35 more players on our rosters with NHL experience "
He also defended the WHA's decision to sign amateur players who have not yet reached their 20th birthdays — notably the sons of Gordie Howe — but indicated that this practice might come to an end.
"Clarence Campbell is right." Davidson said. "We are at war, and the key to winning a war is winning the early skirmishes and getting the top personnel.
"For us to observe an NHL rule that you can't sign a player until he is 20 would be ridiculous," Davidson said But he added that the WHA has reached "An agreement in principle" with the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association on a program That will restrict us to some extent to who we can sign when.
On expansion, Davidson said the WHA is "negotiating with groups in Indianapolis, Denver and Phoenix. We expect to have some announcements on who will get the franchises within the next two or three weeks " "We already have Cincinnati coming into the league next year and it s likely we'll add two of the other three cities at the same time That will give us a l5-team league and we'll play with three five-team divisions "
Howard L. Baldwin, president of the Whalers, general manager Jack Kelley and captain Teddy Green accepted the World Cup Trophy from Davidson. Kelley also received the Coach of the Year award and center Terry Caffery took the rookie of the Year award.
BOSTON — Downstairs, seven floors below us, there is a man from Syracuse, N.Y.,' who has just given Bobby Hull a gift he's never received a briefcase. On the front are' the initials R.M.H. and inside the flap Is written World Hockey Association.
This is a gift from Bob Sanbourn, a season-ticket holder to Buffalo Sabre games and a man who has met Hull so often he can almost count him as one of his fan "friends".
Wednesday Sanbourn made certain he was in Boston, made certain he had tickets to last night's game, and made certain he knew exactly where the Jets were staying.
To be absolutely sure of the hotel, he went so far as, to call the Jets' office in Winnipeg and "asked 'Rosemary" who said the team was staying at the Sonesta in Cambridge. . .
The team had just finished its customary pre-game meal — mostly steaks — arid always five or six-hours before the game. They eat privately, maybe in a secluded dining hall in the hotel, then rush iip to their rooms for an afternoon's nap. '
Hull is usually the last out, not only because of his enormous appetite. He's always last . . . last out of the dressing room, last off the plane, last off the bus, last to pick up his key.
Sanbourn is a man of about 40, pale, modestly dressed and religious enough to wear a tiny cross on the lapel of his suit. He has about 10 large hockey books, each costing $14.95, in brilliant color.
He is waiting for Hull to finish his pre-game meal, and then he wants him to spare a couple of minutes to autograph an action picture in each book. "He's the most patient man I know," said Sanbourn. Instead of two minutes, Hull sat down for 10, 'thumbed through the books and chatted, then found a picture he liked.and signed it: "To a great guy . . . " and so on.
The picture shows him watching a goal enter the Montreal net with his shadow, Rejean Houle, gasping a toothless gasp behind him. Sanbourn bears' no malice toward the WHA, probably because it's Hull's league. Sanbourn isn't alone. A ot of people changed their minds about the WHA theday Hull signed with the Jets. '
"The WHA is. like the telephone . :..."it's1 here to stay," said Sanbourn. "The NHL can refuse to believe it exists but they are only hurting themselves." ' He didn't explain how the NHL, with its full houses, is Hurting itself by refusing to recognize the WHA, with its half-empty buildings; or how the one-year-old Atlanta Flames have sold 13,000 season tickets and the one year- old Winnipeg Jets only 2,872.
Time didn't permit and Mr. Sanbourn probably would have trouble understanding how the Jets are still approaching the most critical chapter in their short history. Would he understand me if I told him how two Canadian television networks beam two NHL games ejery week into every Winnipeg home, refusing^tp recognize that the Jets even exist in Winnipeg while imploring1 viewers to*believe how vastily improved Atlanta is?
Think how inexorably damaged the Oakland A's would be if all we saw were National League games, refusing to recognize the American League or any of its teams.
There!,are two versions of how the great merger of the established NFL and upstart AFL happened in the last 'decade.
One story tells of a sinister plot on the part of the AFL to go but and sign all the1 starting quarterbacks of NFL teams no matter what the cost. And how nine were signed, including" John .Brpdie, when the/NFL owners suddenly reversed their position and decided to merge, terms of which naturally included their own quarterbacks staying put.
The second story is better-known. Its version tells of how the AFL landed a; big television contract with NBC to serve-as a rival to the NFL and",CBS. Then the leagues allowed the networks to-do the fighting. Each network-and each league claimed a superior product. Finally the networks agreed to stop fighting. Their chattels, the leagues, soon followed.
The trends of hockey's cold war are not so clear at this point. In Winnipeg, the question can honestly be asked: How genuine is Winnipeg's interest in the Jets? How many of those 280,000 fans last year Were curiosity seekers, one-timers?
How many of those fans were the Gary and Lynn Rigwoods, the Fred Bofgers, the Blair and Gary McLeans or the Jack McKeags who kept returning and returning until it became .noticeable that these people went far beyond the realm of casual, interest. To them, the Jets were as much theirs as Benny Hatskin's. I wish I could share Bob Sanbourn's optimism that Winnipeg, the Jets and the 11 other WHA are winning this cold war. I need more proof than I've seen so far.
Last Edit: Dec 29, 2008 0:17:56 GMT -5 by JETStender
A Baltimore businessman spent last weekend in Winnipeg watching two WHA games . . . Hatskin was trying to convince the guy that Jersey Knights would be a wise and profitable investment in days to come . . . Hatskin is also trying to interest a San Diego man, Peter Graham, in purchasing the Knights . . . Graham is actually a Canadian, from Vancouver, who owns the only hockey arena In San Diego and bleeds the Gulls of the Western Hockey League with choking rental rates . . . Why is Ben doing all this work? . It's another of his duties as chairman of the board of trustees . . . Of course, there will be people who insist he's really trying to sell the Jets, not the Knights, but that's been discussed before . . . It says here that if the Jets are sold In the next three years they will be sold to Winnipeg people . . . What's this about a WHA trainer allegedly embezzling 560,000 from his club a year ago? . . . The NHL Is apparently bracing itself for anti-trust decisions, forecast for the spring... It might mean as much as $500,000 a team — NHL that is — if the WHA's suit is upheld . . . Is it reasonable to assume merger talk would then again begin, especially if the WHA held an ace -— like a successful suit?
Bitter Feud Among Pro Hockey Loops to End Within Few Days
New York Times News Service And Associated Press New York
The bitter 18-month-long feud between the National Hockey League and its rival World Hockey Association will end within a few days.
The powerful NHL will agree to virtually every demand by the WHA eight weeks before the warring league are scheduled to begin a court fight that both sides believe would have been costly and long.
The major areas of agreement between the leagues, according to a reliable source: -At least 15 exhibition games will be staged between NHL and WHA teams next September. -The WHA will drop its antitrust actions against the NHL and will receive about $1.5 million to cover its legal costs up to now. — Each league will recognize the other's contracts. — At some future time, there will be discussion on interleague play, as well as a postseason championship for the Stanley Cup.
"It takes a great load off everybody's mind and gets rid of a pile of expenses," said the source.
The agreement comes at a time when many observers believed that the WHA was on shaky ground. It was established in 1972 and received a big-league image when it lured the great Bobby Hull from Chicago for a $1 million bonus. But every club in the league, now in its second season, has lost money.
Last Saturday, lawyers for both leagues met in Washington to discuss terms for mutual recognition. The WHA 's governors then agreed to drop the new league's lawsuits if the NHL would go along with its demands.
The source pointed out that when the NHL formally agreed, it would not signal the beginning of merger negotiations or a common draft. "That's impossible under the present law," he said. "There will be no merger between the leagues."
As a result of the establishment of the WHA, hockey salaries of NHL players jumped to $44,000 a man in 1972-73 from about $26,000 in 1971-72. The WHA gave the outline of its plan to the NHL, and it included an end to all litigation between the leagues. The WHA would recoup from the NHL more than'a million dollars it spent for legal fees in bringing more than $450 million in lawsuits against the NHL.
Under the plan, the WHA would be assured of a place in the big time, and even get some NHL co-operation. It did not call for any merger, although there was some concern that it might happen. Now, the pressure is on NHL owners to accept the plan, or at least some for of it, or do battle in the courts. Don Regan, general counsel and secretary of the WHA, said NHL and WHA lawyers were aiming for an out-of-court settlement in time to meet a Friday, court deadline.
In a telephone interview Monday from Los Angeles, Regan said the deadline was set late last December by Judge Leon Higginbotham of the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia. All the pending lawsuits between the league — about a dozen — were transferred to Philadelphia from various areas. Judge Higginbotham, in earlier rulings, threw out the reserves clause as it existed in old NHL contracts, allowing the WHA to recruit NHL talent. If an ont-of-court settlement is not possible, Judge .Higginbotham is prepared to call a trial March 18.
"There was no talk of a common draft or league merger because antitrust action by the NHL Players' Association would certainly follow," the Sun said. But in Chicago, Alan Eagleson, executive director of the Players' Association, did not see it that way.
"This is another step towards a merger which we are committed to fight." Campbell said he thinks Eagleson "would have a pretty weak case."
NHL solves one problem — gets rid of Charles Finley
MONTREAL (AP) — The National Hockey League has removed a thorn from its side, but it cost $6.5 million and it still has a weak sister on its hands.
The league said Monday it has bought the California Golden Seals' franchise from Charles 0. Finley, an owner not admired by other NHL owners or his players.
Clarence Campbell, NHL president, said Finley has signed an offer to sell the Seals. "I don't want to knock him," said Campbell, "but there was one previous deal on which he reneged, "So we didn't want to take any chances. We made him sign the document." "I don't think a new owner here would make everybody skate faster, but I think it would boost morale and give us hope for the future," said Joey Johnston, a Golden Seals' player.
The league will operate the franchise until it can find an owner and more than likely - will keep the club in Oakland, despite a lack of fan interest. The reason: The original president of the Seals, Barry von Gerbig, wanted to move the franchise, but the NHL said no: Von Gerbig filed a multimillion- dollar lawsuit against the league charging restraint of trade.
Observers say if the NHL allowed a shift now Von Gerbig might win his case. Fred Glover, coach and general manager of the Seals, had no comment on the sale. He is expected to lose one, or perhaps both, of his jobs when the club changes hands.
The seals are last in the West Division. Their record is 9-28-5 and they are averaging less than 5,000 fans a game, by far the worst mark in the league.- Campbell said the new owners should be "people with local orientation —someone who can respond to local opinion."
Hunter Foresees Agreement As In Major League Baseball
By JOHN SHORT EDMONTON (CP) — General manager Bill Hunter of Edmonton Oilers said Tuesday an arrangement between the World Hockey Association and the National Hockey League, similar to that between the American and National baseball leagues, is likely when litigation between the hockey groups is finally settled. Hunter, a WHA trustee, attended meetings with lawyers from both leagues in Washington during the weekend at which NHL lawyers agreed to present to their governors a WHA proposal for settlement of the 18-month-old war.
"Merger is perhaps not the answer," said Hunter, aware that the NHL Players' Association would object, strongly and that full merger could violate current United States laws.
"I foresee an arrangement similar to that in professional baseball, which has a common commissioner and separate presidents for the major leagues."
Hunter said there is little reason to believe NHL owners will turn down ihe package hammered out in Washington. The owners are under a court deadline to settle their differences. The NHL must vote by Friday in order to comply with instructions to an out of court settlement.60 days before March 18, the date formally set for hearings of lawsuits involving the two leagues.
Hunter said there have been no recent meetings between owners in the two leagues, but lawyers on both sides arc confident the WHA package will be accepted.
It includes an end to all litigation between the leagues. The WHA would recoup from the NHL about $1.4 million already spent in legal fees to bring lawsuits totalling more $50 million against the established league.
"The total suit is S480 million," said Hunter, "but 1 don't think there is a case in history find an out-of-court settlement I where anybody got everything he asked for in a case of this type."
Major areas of agreement included: —At l e a s t 15 exhibition games between NHL and WHA teams next September; —Recognition of each other's league contracts and permission for inter-league trading of players waived out of their league.
Hunter refused to name the date by which the WHA will end raiding forays for NHL players in defiance of the existing reserve clause in contracts.
The NHL now is attempting to convince the players' association to accept an option clause, but the players have balked so far. "We have agreed to honor NHL contracts after a certain date," Hunter said. "That does not mean we approve of the option or reserve clauses. "We will never have an opition or reserve clause in our league's contracts."
In the WHA, a player who does not agree to terms after a contract expires may sign with any other club. Compensation may be established by the league.
Alan Eagleson, executive director of the NHL Players' Association, said his organization would not agree to play exhibitions or an all-star game; involving rival leagues, but Hunter said the problem can be worked out.
" They'll want money to: play," Hunter said. " That's no problem. Our, players are paid now for exhibition games."
Hunter also said it may be established in future that a common draft, rather than violnting anti-trust legislation, could be a good thing.
"I think the fans want it," he said. "They're tired of legal warfare and public disputes over money. "I think that if it (a common draft or full merger) is good for the game, the fans will demand it."
Hunter said approval of the proposal would constitute a clear-cut victory for the WHA, but warned that there probably is little room for negotiation if NHL owners vote against it.
LOS ANGELES (CP) - Dennis Murphy, president of the World Hockey Association, said Tuesday lawyers representing the National Hockey League and the WHA have presented to United States District Court Judge A. Leon Higginbotham in Philidelphia a proposed settlement of anti-trust litigation b e t w e e n the two leagues.
The proposed settlement is subject to final approval of the NHL's board of governors and the WHA's board of trustees. Ben Hatskin of Winnipeg, owner of the WHA Winnipeg Jets and chairman of the WHA's board of trustees, said he is pleased with the proposed legal settlement.
"We feel the settlement will bring stability to the hockey world," said Hatskin.
WHA counsel Stephen C. Druinmy said both parties have been ordered by Judge Higginbotham to return to court Jan. 25 to either confirm the settlement, reached at a meeting of league lawyers in Washington last weekend, or make final preparations for trial, set for March 18.
No Joke Ed, Ben Would Buy Arena (This is the first sign of arena lease problems, arena expansion)
By KEYN DAVIS Free Press Staff Writer
If it's for sale, the people who own Winnipeg Jets would like to purchase Winnipeg Arena from the city.
"Yes, we've offered to buy this building," said Ben Hatskin, president of the Jets. "We would make it the showplace for hockey in North America."
But the building's not for sale .... at least as far as Ed Kotowich is concerned. Kolowich is an elected councilor from St. Boniface who chairs the Winnipeg Enterprises Corporation, landlords of the Arena-Stadium complex only a "punt" away from Polo Park.
"I thought the offer was made in jest," said Kotowich. "Saul Simkin made the remark that 'since we're always squabbling with you people, maybe we should buy it off you.' " Simkin is a major shareholder in Sports Centrepoint Enterprises Inc., the company which owns the Jets of the World Hockey Association.
"If I had been thinking, I should have answered: 'Since the Jets are having such a difficult time making ends meet, maybe the city should buy the club,' " said Kotowich. Hatskin said buying the Arena was merely a thought, but one that could be pursued beyond the next meeting of the club and city on the subject of a lease, next Tuesday.
"We're prepared to sign a lease for two or three years," Hatskin continued. "In other words, we are here to stay if we can make an agreement."
Kotowich believes the Enterprises' approach toward the Jets "should" change. "It's my belief we've never" had a tenant like the Jets in the Arena before," he said. "I'm not criticizing former boards who set the precedent of spending $30,000 a year on Arena improvements. Today that's the cost of a paint job. "They didn't have a good tenant like the Jets in their days. Now is the lime, 1 believe, for us to spend some money on them . . . especially if they're interested in a long-term lease."
Kotowich indicated that as much as $100,000 might be available to improve the Arena. Immediate improvements which crossed his mind were padded seals — "the reds, if nothing else." Hatskin, meanwhile, contemplated what his group would do if the Arena was theirs — or, as in other cilies in the WHA, namely Chicago, Houston and Indianapolis, arrangements where year-round leases to run the arenas have been worked out.
In each case, the owners of the h o c k e y clubs have guaranteed the bonds of constructing new buildings while they operated the facility on a year-round basis. The Jets, according (o H a t s k i n , would raise Ihe Arena roof, inslall a deck lo raise, the sealing capacity to at least 14,000, pad every seat iu the building and consider measures to install cocktail lounges and restaurants.
"We would keep it busy," promised Hatskin. "We would go out and find the best rock shows, circuses, roller derbies and so on. It would be a busy place."
Replied Kotowich: "This selling business . . . it's just a lark."
Last Edit: Dec 29, 2008 2:08:33 GMT -5 by JETStender
Ever since its inception in 1971 the World Hockey Association hits been pockmarked with rumors about its survival in the classic battle with the established National Hockey League.
NHL President Clarence Campbell once predicted that the WHA never would get oft the g r o u n d . Now NHL bosses are predicting the WHA's demise "next season". Meanwhile the new league looks to the future under an optimistic banner carried by president Dennis Murphy.
In a stimulating interview,Murphy was asked several h a r d questions about the WHA. He laughed about the survival issue, replying that that question had 'been since the day we started."
W h a t about a potential merger with the NHL? "The merger," Murphy admitted, "is something we're striving for. It's not a question of an ultimate goal. Good economics is going to prevail. Looking at it from a business-like basis, it's something that has to happen." Murphy is a hard-nosed businessman who realizes that the NHL will do anything possible to disrupt his league. "I'm sure that next season the NHL is going to take some of our players." said Murphy, "just like we'-re going to take some of theirs.
Attendance in some WHA cities has been less than overwhelming but if Murphy is concerned about the problem he certainly doesn't betray any worries. "Our attendance is 20 per cent ahead of last year," he insisted. "I think we're making great strides. We've only been in business for two years. Considering that, our attendance has been fantastic. We couldn't ask for more.'
Murphy, who also helped found the American Basketball Association, agrees that the WHA has made mistakes in its two years of existence. "The biggest mistake of all," he went on, "was in N e w York. We had the poorest dates at Madison Square Garden and paid the highest rents imaginable. It was just too much. We had to move to another location where we didn't have these obstacles. "But there arc going to be facilities built in and around New York and when that happens, we'll go back there. For now we don't want to play second fiddle to the Rangers and Islanders."
Both the Bobby Hull and Gordie Howe c o n t r a c t s proved to be very advantageous to the WHA but also caused a drain on the league t r e a s u r y . One wonders whether the league can afford more such high-priced talents. Murphy says it can. "We h a v e very strong owners," he asserted. "They understand that in order to make money they have to spend money. Most businesses take anywhere from three to five years to break even. Since this is a business and we're only on our second year, we're giving ourselves time."
Critics wonder whether the WHA ever will fill its rinks as successfully as the NHL d o e s with sellouts everywhere but in Oakland, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh. "It took the NHL nearly 20 y e a r s to do that," said Murphy. "On the basis of a time plan we're way ahead of schedule. The only area where we could help ourselves a bit is to improve our TV package. We're going to work hard for more exposure."
The WHA's biggest nemesis is Old Man Rumor who continually talks about potential disaster for the league. What does Murphy think about that? "I think the biggest rumormonger of all is the NHL."
NEW YORK IAP) - The National Hockey League Players' Association said Monday it would not agree to a preseason exhibition series with the World Hockey Association because the players feel it would be a first step towards a merger.
Alan Eagleson, executive director of the NHLPA, said the players have been kept in the dark on the terms of the proposed settlement between the two leagues, which would resolve out-of-court the more than $5 million in anti-trust lawsuits brought by the two-year-old WHA against the NHL. Eagleson and the NHLPA executive board met with four NHL governors here to reconsider the exhibition series w h i c h the NHLPA first rejected two weeks ago in Chicago.
The NHL players were represented by Phil Esposito of the Boston Bruins, Syl Apps of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Pit Martin of the Chicago Black Hawks. The NHL governors were William Jennings of the New York Rangers, Bruce Norris of the Detroit Red Wings, William Wirtz of Chicago and Charles Mulcahy of Boston. Eagleson said the NHLPA indicated to the owners that the players "were not prepared to adjust from our position on the exhibition games."
Lawyers for the WHA and NHL were due to appear in the Philadelphia courtroom of Federal Judge A. Leon Higginbctham later this week to give a progress report on their negotiations. Esposito, said the players felt the owners were "making a lot of fuss" over 15 exhibition games. "There must be something more to it than that," he said.
"Until we, the players, find out exactly what it is. we're not agreeing to anything at this time because we don't know what is going on. And that's the truth." Eagleson said he had not seen any of the NHL or WHA proposals. "That is what disturbs us. We haven't seen anything and we haven't heard anything, except what we heard in the media and press releases."
The NHL owners and the WHA lawyers have refused to give the players' association a copy of the proposed settlement, Eagleson said. "And that's why the players' opinion, as suggested by Esposito, is: 'Look, if it's so secret there must be something in it more than these exhibition games, so to blazes with the exhibition games."
Post by JETStender on Dec 29, 2008 14:59:29 GMT -5
WFP Feb 20 1974
TRUCE SECURED; MERGER NEXT?
Pro Leagues Hiss And Make Up
Philadelphia (AP) The 57-year-old National Hockey League and the two-year old World Hockey Association settled their $50-million case out of court Tuesday, but the older league said there was no merger agreement in sight. "It would be wholly misleading to describe the settlement of this legal dispute as a merger," NHL president Clarence Campbell said Tuesday after both leagues signed the agreement before U.S. District Court Judge Leon A. Higginbotham.
"No such arrangement is contemplated," Campbell added. Despite Campbell's firm negative stand on the possibilities of a merger, the agreement seemed to point in that direction the two leagues agree to respect each other's player contracts, compete in a limited number of exhibition games and drop all court claims and counter claims. They also promised future negotiations for more exhibitions and possibly inter-league games.
Under the agreement, the WHA will be reimbursed by the NHL for legal expenses of $1.75 million. The money is to be paid before Aug. 1, 1974, plus interest at the prime rate prevailing Jan. 15, 1074, through the dale of payment. In still another gain by the fledgling WHA, the NHL agreed not to oppose use of NHL arenas by the WHA teams. The consent decree signed by Judge Higginbotham said specifically that on or before Jan. 1, 1975, committees of owners from both leagues would negotiate in good faith for scheduling of other exhibitions or inler-league games, including an all-star game.
The decree noted that the former New York franchise of the WHA — now New Jersey Knights, based in Cherry Hill, N.J. — had refused to enter into the agreement. The WHA thus promised to reimburse the NHL in the event it incurs any liability in litigation with the former New York club.
One of the important concessions in the long negotiations for peace in professional hockey was agreement by the WHA Toronto Toros not to make an issue of the unavailability of Maple Leaf Gardens, home of the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs.
The NHL board of governors had balked several times in signing the agreement, but Campbell said some modifications had resolved the opposition. He did not elaborate.
The decree calls for 15 exhibition games prior to the 1974-75 regular season. In a move to circumvent expected opposition from the NHLPA to the exhibitions, the NHL agreed to pay $150,000 into the players ' pension fund. The NHL, also agreed not to interfere with any negotiations between the NHL and WHA player associations for the purpose of encouraging the exhibitions. It was agreed that if any oF the exhibition games were not played during the next training season they would carry over into future seasons. The NHL, however, said it would pay $10,000 to the WHA for every game not played prior to the 1974-75 season because NHL players refused to participate or because of NHL team default.
The decree said that the dates, arenas and financial arrangements for these exhibitions would be negotiated between opposing teams. If the t e a m s cannot reach agreement, ownership committees would try to resolve matters. If that fails, an arbitrator would be called, and if agreement cannot be reached on the third party, the court would make the selection.
The NHL also agreed not to interfere with the opportunity of WHA teams to do business with minor league clubs, including those controlled or affiliated wiLh the NHL.
A man who quite frankly admits that merger is on his mind, Ben Hatskin, president of Winnipeg Jets and chairman of the World Hockey Association's board of trustees, says Tuesday's settlement "broke the ice" In the cold war between the N a t i o n a l Hockey League and the upstart WHA.
"If we're going to be playing exhibition games with them, going out on the same rink in public, I'd say the ice is broken," said Hatskin, at home in Winnipeg. H a t s k i n said he was pleased a settlement had at last been signed by both leagues.
Speaking for the WHA, he said: "We got what we wanted. The terms of the settlement are e x a c t l y what we asked for." In conjunction with the announced settlement, the WHA is also able to collect Its own $2.5 million bond, p o s t e d in November of 1972, in the event the league lost its suit against the NHL. The WHA borrowed most of the, $2.5 million from banks.
Regarding the possibility NHL teams might refuse to play exhibition games next fall — if players balk - Hatskin seemed satisfied that a $10,000 penalty for each game would be imposed every year until the games are played. "I know for a fact the N H L owners want the games to be played," said Hatskin. "If the players refuse to play for five years, it would cost them $50,000 and they would still have to play the game." What comes after the exhibitions? "We'll think of something," grinned Hatskin.
LOS ANGELES (CP) - Dennis Murphy, president of the World Hockey Association, said Tuesday the settlement agreement reached in Philadelphia between the National Hockey League and the WHA is a major step to the co-existence of the two leagues.
"It had been our position from the beginning that we can co-exist with the NHL, and that both leagues can maintain their individuality," Murphy said. "It is the belief of all WHA clubs that one of the major consequences of this settlement will be a peaceful co-existence.
"The lines of communication between the two leagues will serve to promote the interest of professional hockey," he added. "Elimination of what was a perpetual reserve clause, without having to go to trial represents a total victory over what we started. "This is step one for total coexistence."
The settlement, approved Tuesday by US court Judge Higginbotham calls for 15 pre-season games involving NHL and WHA clubs, settlement of $1.75 million plus interest from Jan. 15 in legal fees for the WHA, recognition of players contracts, and establishment of owner committees representing each league.
The WHA will be represented by Ben Hatskin of Winnipeg.
TORONTO (CP) — Alan Eagleson executive-director of the National Hockey League Players' Association, says the association remains opposed to an NHL-World Hockey Association exhibition schedule announced Tuesday.
The 15-game schedule was announced in Philadelphia part of an NHL-WHA agreement which saw the two major leagues resolve most of their differences.
The players' association had served notice before the NHL-WHA agreement was signed in a Philadelphia court that it opposed the agreement because the association felt it was a first step towards a merger.
"The position of the players' association is unchanged," Eagleson said after learning the two leagues had reached agreement. "The players will not participate in any exhibition games between the two leagues until we receive written assurance that there will be no merger."
The agreement announced in Philadelphia specified that the NHL, would pay $150,000 into the player pension fund as an inducement to the players to participate in the exhibition games. Eagleson said such an inducement would not move the players. "It's not the money, it's the principle that matters," said Eagleson.
The players' association is concerned that the two league may he on the way to a merger which would destroy th players' salary bargaining postilion. Eagleson said the association's lawyers now are considering whether to launch an anti-trust suit against the two leagues.
MONTREAL (CP) — Eleven of the current 10 National Hocey League clubs will take part in 15 pre-season exhibition games with World Hockey Association teams in accordance with the agreement reached between the two leagues in Philadelphia Tuesday.
Pittsburgh Penguins, California Golden Seals, Atlanta Flames, and St. Louis Blues will meet WHA opposition twice ,while Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs' Vancouver Canucks, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota North Stars, and New York Islanders will each participate in one inter-league contest.
The NHL, in announcing the tentative schedule, supplied no date for the games and in two cases said the venue still had not been fixed. Following is the proposed schedule;
Philadelphia (NHL) vs. New England Whalers (WHA)-site to be determined. Pittsburgh (NHL) vs. Cleveland Crusader (WHA) at Pittsburgh Pittsburgh (NHL) vs. Cleveland (WHA) at Cleveland Toronto (NHL) vs. Phoenix (new WHA entry) at Phoenix California (NHL) vs. Vancouver Blazers (WHA) at Oakland Vancouver (NHL) vs. Edmonton Oilers (WHA) at Edmonton Atlanta (NHL) vs. Winnipeg Jets (WHA) at Winnipeg New York .Rangers (NHL) vs. Quebec Les Nordiques (WHA) at Quebec City St. Louis (NHL) vs Houston Aeros (WHA) Houston Detroit (NHL) vs. Indianapolis (new WHA entry) at Indianapolis St. Louis (NHL) vs. Chicago Cougars (WHA) at Milwaukee Minnesota (NHL) vs. Toronto Toros (WHA) at New Haven Atlanta (NHL) vs. Los Angeles Sharks (WHA) at Greensboro, N.C. New York Islanders (NHL) vs. St. Paul Fighting Saints (WHA) at Cincinnati California (NHL) vs. Jersey Knights (WHA)-site to be determined
Post by JETStender on Dec 29, 2008 15:41:10 GMT -5
Apr 13 1974
DETROIT — The World Hockey Association's Los Angeles Sharks will change their name to Michigan Stags and make their debut as Detroit's second pro hockey team next season. But the WHA will field a team in southern California next season. It may not be in Los Angeles. It could be a new team or one of the established teams in the league. Two possibles currently being mentioned are the Jersey Knights or Winnipeg Jets.
Post by JETStender on Dec 29, 2008 15:45:20 GMT -5
May 4 1974
Benny and the Jets
Winnipeg Jets' president Ben Hatskin and playing-coach Bobby Hull raise the arms of Ulf Nilsson, left, and Anders Hedberg, right, after the two members of the Swedish National team signed two-year contracts with the World Hockey Association team Friday. Both players chose the Jets rather than the National Hockey League so they could continue playing together.
Jets sign two Swedes to two-year contracts
WINNIPEG (CP) — Winnipeg Jets Friday announced the signing of two members of Sweden's national team and dub president Ben Hatskin said there may be more Europeans joining the World Hockey Association club before next season.
Hatskin told a news conference forwards Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson, both 23 years of age, agreed to two-year contracts. "I think we pulled one of those big coups again," Hatskin said in reference to the signing two years ago of Bobby Hull, "and I expect to sign another two in the near future."
Terms of the contract were not announced but it is believed both players received six-figure deals in their no-cut contracts. "There's not a player you sign today without the no-cut," Hatskin said.
Hedberg and Nilsson are the first two of what is expected to be a rash of European players to join the WHA and National Hockey League this summer. "The trend in hockey is like the trend in the cattle business: bring in exotic types." Jets' coach Hull said, "So North American teams are bringing in European players to add color.
"Then also, people say why don't we play like the Russians or the Swedes. Well, we can't play like them so we have to bring in guys who can — the Europeans themselves. "I don't want them to change and I don't think they'll have to. And if we can get a couple more of the Swedes maybe we can put them out together and they can all play the way they play best."
Both players have been wooed by NHL clubs but decided on Winnipeg for two reasons, neither of which was money. Hedberg said Billy Robinson, Jets' director of player personnel opened the door when he was in Sweden by "treating us very fairly." "But we are friends and we like playing together. We came here together to play together . . . that's the main reason. We had two opportunities and I think we've taken the best one coming to Winnipeg."
Hedberg was the most valuable player in Sweden this season and one of the highest scorers in the recent world championships. The 5-foot-10,181-pound centre-man or left-winger is rated Sweden's best hockey player. Nilsson is a 5-foot-ll, 176-pound centre or right-winger. Hatskin said the Jets are "much better off to get these players than unproven juniors."
DETROIT — The World Hockey Association's Los Angeles Sharks will change their name to Michigan Stags and make their debut as Detroit's second pro hockey team next season. But the WHA will field a team in southern California next season. It may not be in Los Angeles. It could be a new team or one of the established teams in the league. Two possibles currently being mentioned are the Jersey Knights or Winnipeg Jets.
Whoa, did I read that right, the Jets were mentioned as a possible team to relocate?
Post by JETStender on Dec 29, 2008 16:17:30 GMT -5
Sifton Hockey Deal
VANCOUVER (Special) - Prairie sportswoman June Sifton has acquired 25 per cent of the Vancouver Blazers hockey team in a $750,000 deal with Neonex interests controlled by Jim Pattison.
Mrs. Sifton, widow of the late John Sifton, of the FP Publications newspaper chain concluded the deal with Mr Pattison Wednesday after the Pacific National Exhibition approved some technical changes in the World Hockey Association team's Vancouver Colosseum lease.
Mr. Pattison acquired the ailing former Philadelphia franchise in May 1973 as a personal holding for a reported $1.9 million. Following a successful season ticket sale the team became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Neonex, a public company of which Mr. Pattison is board chairman and chief executive officer.
The $750,000 paid by Mrs. Sifton — who lives in Calgary and maintains a large farm outside Winnipeg - indicates that Neonex has escalated the value of the hockey club to $3 million after one year of operation.
Mr. Pattison said $3 million is the going price for a WHA franchise. On the basis of recent transactions, the Vancouver NHL franchise is valued in the neighborhood of $13 mlillion.
Negotiations for the purchase began after a chance meeting of Mrs. Sifton and Mr. Pattison in Winnipeg where. Mr. Patison has substantial business interests, including a radio station.
For her money, Mrs. Sifton receives a limited partnership the Blazers hockey team Neonex will continue to operate the team. Vancouver Blazer Hockey Team Ltd. has been reorganized as a partnership which is owned 75 percent by Neonex.
Mrs. Sifton made the approach to he allowed to purchase a portion of the team Mr. Pattison refused. She recieved her offer to purchase 50 percent. The 25 per cent share was decided on at a Nconex directors meeting in Toronto. Mrs. Sifton told the Vancouver Sun her interest in acquiring a hockey team was aroused after public speculation that she was buying the financially-troubled Winnipeg Jets, another WHA franchise. "I wasn't, (interested in the Jets) but it started me thinking about it."
Asked why she didn't buy the Winnipeg team, she said: "Tin Winnipeg sports situation seems to require community ownership in order to ensure success. That was the experience with the Blue Bombers and it seems that the public rallying around the Jets with a public subscription of shares. "If wanted to be a significant investor in a major sport situation and- it's quite apparent that Vancouver fills that bill as far as hockey is concerned."
Mr. Pattison said no part of the team was for sale when Mrs Sifton first approach him. After turning down he initial approach, Mr. Patlison said he reconsidered the matter overnight and came to the conclusion that "this partner could make a contribution to the team."
He contacted Mrs. Siflon and negotiations were carried out in Winnipeg during the last three weeks. Mrs. Sifton flew to Vancouver Tuesday to conclude the final details. "We recognize a significant change in attitudes as far a women's involvement in sport is concerned," Mr. Pattison said. "A woman's viewpoint important."
Mr. Pattison said that as far as he can determine, Mrs. Sifton, the mother of three boys and a girl, races horses throughout North America under the colors Stoneacrcs Ranch in Manitoba.
Post by JETStender on Dec 29, 2008 16:36:55 GMT -5
JUNE 13. 1974
Denver And Seattle Next Stops For NHL
By AL McNElL MONTREAL (CP) — The National Hockey League announced Wednesday that Denver and Seattle have been granted conditional franchises in the league, with the two new entries scheduled to begin play in the 1976-77 season.
Clarence Campbell, NHL president, made the announcement minutes before the league went into its expansion draft to stock Kansas City Scouts and Washington Capitals, two teams scheduled to join the league for the coming season.
The decision to add two new members was taken at a morning meeting of the league's board of governors. The governors had been faced—under their long-range expansion plans—to select two of three bids that faced them.
The other city bidding to join the league was San Diego, but a recent decision by that city to lease its Municipal-owned arena to the rival World Hockey Association entry, all but torpedoed any chance the California city might have had.
Cost of each new franchise was $6 million, with a down, payment of an estimated $185,000 required from each city with its conditional acceptance. It was learned that a further payment of $750,000 must be made by each of the new members by the time their teams are ready to operate.
The granting of the franchiscs was also contingent on both successful bidders having buildings that meet NHL requirements. Seattle , Denver and San Diego were all members of the Western Hockey League in past seasons. And the selection of the first two for NHL membership plus the loss of arena space by the latter, forced drastic action on the minor league.
Both Ivan Mullenix, the Denver representative, along with Vincent Abbey of Seattle, operated WHL teams in their respective cities. Seattle,' Denver, Salt Lake City and Phoenix will leave the WHL to join the Central Hockey League for the coming season. This decision followed a meeting by the WHL directors where it was decided to suspend WHL operations for the 1974-75 season. The Portland franchise, operated by the WHL, becomes inactive, while San Diego remains in limbo.
Mullenix, 37, is a St. Louis apartment developer.' He became president of the WHL Denver Spurs after purchasing the team late in 1972. The'NHL franchise in Denver will be held by Denver Sports Inc., of which Mullenix is the chief stockholder."
I have always wanted to own a major league sports team," Mullenix, a graduate of the Universily of Iowa, said. "Today my dream came true".
The Denver team will play in a 16,000-seat municipal arena which is now under construction. Abbey, a Seattle lawyer, has a long hockey history. He and his brother-in-law—Dr. Eldred Barnes of Hillesborough, Calif., are principal shareholders the WHL Seattle Totems. Abbey has been connected with that club for some 15 years.
Abbey said the Seattle Centre Coliseum, owned by the city and used by the Totems, will seating capacity of 14,750 "sometime this year" and likely will have the same number of seats for its NHL debut. He said that, with a long-term lease in hand from the city, the Seattle rink will "have the roof if led off" within the next four years to increase seating capacity in the building to 21,000 and make it the biggest arena in the NHL.
The building also houses Seattle Supersonics of the National Basketball 'Association. Normally the NHL requires a minimum 16,000 seats of all new teams.
Campbell, while taking nothing away from the successful Seattle and Denver bids, said San Diego had been a victim of circumstances.
"The San Diego building had been declared to the NHL, but that declaration was not honored," Campbell said. "I do not how the consequence of that, but I want to say in the strongest terms that San Diego was a first-class applicant. "It( San Diego) is a quality hockey city," he added.
Campbell said it still was too early to determine which division the two new clubs will join.' When Seattle and Denver join the NHL it will become a balanced 20-team, four-division entity in 1976.
With the addition of Washington and Kansas City for the coming season, the league will operate with four divisions, but on an unbalanced basis existing between the four groupings.
Post by JETStender on Dec 29, 2008 17:22:40 GMT -5
Nov 20 1974
Unnamed official spills WHA secrets
TORONTO (CP) The franchise of Vancouver Blazers of the World Hockey Association is likely to be shifted to Calgary next year, columnist Go Jets Go Beddoes says in today's Globe and Mail. Beddoes quotes an unnamed WHA club official as saying "there'll be some drastic changes in the WHA as soon as next year."
'The official also said there has been some discussion of the Canadian teams breaking away from the WHA and setting up their own all-Canadian league, with the hope that the three Canadian teams in the NHL would eventually join them.
Beddoes reports the official said the Vancouver team will be shifted to Calgary if owner Jim Pattison "can find somebody to unload the Blazers on in Calgary." The official says that the five teams in the Canadian Division are much healthier financially than the nine United States entries.
Most clubs have operating budgets of $2-million and some won't take in $1- million in gate receipts this winter , the official told Beddoes. Michigan Stags, who moved to Detroit from Los Angeles at the end of last season, may be headed for Baltimore, says the unnamed official.
The official says gate receipts in San Diego and Phoenix aren't any higher than they were when those cities were in the Western Hockey League and crowds have been disappointing in Indianapolis.
"What could happen, some of us hope, is that there'll be enough nationalism in Canada to eventually force an all - Canadian league," Beddoes quotes the official as saying. "Wouldn't it be a hell of a thing to have teams like the (Montreal) Canadians and (Toronto Maple) Leafs rolling into Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton
"Some of think Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg , Quebec, Canadians, (Vancouver ) Canucks and maybe two Toronto teams (the NHL Leafs and WHA Toros) would be a great setup. We could interlock some games with t h e Americans and naturally participate for the Stanley Cup." Beddoes reports the official told him.
Post by JETStender on Dec 29, 2008 18:16:46 GMT -5
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 1974
A soon-lo-be-extinct hockey club may be making its last visit anywhere tonight at 8 when Michigan Stags arrive at the Arena about 6:30 p.m.
But, as any student of human nature knows, the darkest days can also bring out the best in men..Call it an instinct for survival.
The Stags, as most people realize, are close to becoming the first World Hockey Association team to collapse in mid-season. It could happen anytime . . . anywhere. Why?
There are reasons for the reasons, of course, but the first and foremost is the pitifully poor support the team has received in downtown Detroit, where only the bravest venture at night. "Why do you suppose the biggest crowd we ever had in Los Angeles was at a game played in the morning?" commented Ben Hatskin, the man from Winnipeg who sits as chairman of the VVHA's board oi trustees.
"Los Angeles, don't forgnt, is:a pretty nice city. But where the Sharks played, it was considered a rundown area and people stayed away, especially at night. "Cobo Hall In Detroit is a great building but it's right downtown and how many people go downtown in Detroit at night?"
For that matter, not many people go downtown in Detroit during the day. Like many American cities, the action is scattered all over. The cities have been decentralized. Stores as big as Eaton's and The Bay in downtown Cleveland are virtually empty. Ride an escalator to a floor and you may well be the only one on board. In Chicago, some businesses lock their doors during the day. A guard, probably an cx-Rcar, peers through the door, judges you on the spot and then decides to open the door or leave it shut.
If you happen to have a parcel in your hands, he asks you to lea.ve it with him. It's a lot like being arrested by the store. The man carries a gun. Another reason for the Stags' expected "death" is the reluctance of other WHA owners to underwrite the Stags' cost oi operations until an owner is found. .. Polled recently, each team explained its situation financially and virtually every one concluded that it could not, and would not, participate in any joint efforl to keep a dying team above ground.
Last year, for example, the Jets surrendered some of their revenues to help New Jersey Knights operate. The Jets, now owned by the people who patronize them at the gate, neither have the funds to spare nor the desire to keep a franchise alive so far away.
Good authorities have informed The Free Press that Chicago Cougars will be relocated in Baltimore early in 1975, possibly as soon as the first week in January. The Stags? Well, San Francisco has been investigated but the hang-up is dates. Buildings can be found but suitable dates for the heavy obligations of a league schedule are understandably hard to find.
The WHA is expanding again next season . . . to 15 teams with an entry in Cincinnati, blessed with substantial owners, an arena being built and, already, 15 players, including one of the best prospects in a decade Dennis Sobchuk. To prevent further dilution of talent, there Is a general temptation to let the Stags call it quits and arrange the relocation of players in a draft, allowing the learnt, with the worst records the earliest choices. Naturally, the Jets — though they may be accuse' of being vultures — see certain Stags who could hell them become a belter hockey club at a cost within limitations.
But that's in thn future, the bleak future as far a: the Stags are concerned. Every team experiences lows. This team's low i lower tlinn most . . . hut maybe, just maybe, it'll livi and survive as a team that remembers the days whe: times were tough.
kenas10: Go Jets Go! Here we are 7 years later starting the Conference Finals against the Las Vegas Knights! I'm still a season ticket holder, have been since day 1. I was KennyS and was on the forum the whole time!! Blast reading all of this. Go Jets Go!
May 11, 2018 19:46:11 GMT -5