Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsFixme

IHL Has Discouraging Word for NHL

October 06, 1994|HELENE ELLIOTT

Locked-out NHL players who want to pass the time by playing in the minor leagues might find doors closed to them again.

International Hockey League officials are cautioning their clubs against signing NHL players, fearing those contracts would inflate the league's modest salary scale and damage its relationship with the NHL. Tim Bryant, the IHL's vice president for communications, said there's probably no legal barrier to keep NHL players out, but he doesn't foresee an influx if the lockout drags on.

"We're not counting on it, and we're not necessarily encouraging it," Bryant said. "We have an average payroll of $1.1 million for our teams and an NHL player would not come particularly cheap. Also, it sends a bad message to full-time IHL players and messes up our competitive balance.

"We're not interested in benefiting from (the NHL's) misfortune. We're certainly getting some additional attention now, but we're not interested in getting it by default."

Of the IHL's 17 members, 10 are affiliated with NHL organizations. The 50-year-old league is enjoying a boom, having added teams in Denver and St. Paul this season. It also added teams in Chicago and Detroit, competing head to head with the NHL.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|