By Dick Beddoes – Globe and Mail Reporter
NEW YORK – Governors of the National Hockey League, groggy from two days of having their ears bent by 13 applicants from eight locations, will decide today whether any new franchises will be awarded at this time.
There are indications that two territories, Baltimore and San Francisco-Oakland will be granted admission immediately.
David Molson, president of the Montreal Canadiens said, “I’ll be disappointed if we don’t announce two and I’d like to see us choose all six.”
Expansion from six to 12 teams is projected toward two six-team divisions in time for the 1967-68 season.
Stafford Smythe, speaking for the Toronto Maple Leafs, supported Molson’s stance. “San Francisco and Baltimore are both dealing from strength since each city has only one applicant. The Baltimore people particularly are the sort we like for partners.”
The Baltimore applicants are Zanyl Krieger and Jake Embry, 90 percent owners of the Baltimore Clippers in the American Hockey League. Krieger, a lawyer, is a majority stockholder in Baltimore Orioles of the American Baseball League, and once shared ownership of the Baltimore Colts of the National Football League.
“How can they resist our bid?” Embry demanded yesterday.
At least one influential voice in the NHL conclaves can resist intruders and wishes expansion had never been contemplated. Jim Norris, burly co-owner of Chicago Black Hawks in grumbling.
“We can’t make a nickel by expanding,” Norris said. “So the new guys cough up $2,000,000 for a franchise and players. How much will we see of that after taxes?”
Norris knocked down the notion that a golden stream of television dollars will be diverted into the governor’s pockets. “The Hawks already get $200,000 for televising 35 away games, and how much more can we expect?”
Toronto and Montreal among present NHL teams expect and receive TV revenue that makes old King Midas resemble a piker panhandling for dimes. The Leafs anticipate $9,000,000 from their electronic package in the next six years.
NHL President Clarence Campbell cautioned: “The expansion formula is not based on a TV contract, but naturally we hope something can be worked out in that area.”