All of Bettman's hawks attend the meetings. Jacobs is Bettman's enforcer along with Batterman. Leopold. Leonsis. Edwards.
JEREMY JACOBS, Boston
The Chairman of the NHL's Board of Governors, Jacobs is a hawk in the truest form. Jacobs bought the Bruins in 1975 for $10 million. Today Forbes magazine values the team at $325 million, with revenues of $125 million that ranks Boston sixth among NHL teams. Jacobs makes healthy profits from his Bruins. He just wishes them bigger. Having him on the negotiating committee is like having the ghost of James Norris on board. "He represents everything that's wrong with the owners," said a source.
MURRAY EDWARDS, Calgary
Departed Flames owner Harley Hotchkiss had a huge hand in the last lockout, and Edwards has assumed his seat on Bettman's negotiating committee (alongside Jacobs, Ted Leonsis and Craig Leipold). With relatively new owners in Vancouver, Edmonton and Winnipeg, Edwards speaks on behalf of the Western Canadian franchises. He is known as a tough businessman who will go hard after a better deal if he thinks one is there to be had. The Flames make all kinds of money, so you can count Edwards in as league man who'll stand in support of all those U.S. owners whose expansion checks he has cashed. As well, the more favourable the CBA, the more the Flames are worth. With a new rink in Calgary on the burner, a higher franchise value wouldn't hurt with the bank.
CRAIG LEIPOLD, Minnesota
The Wild owner is a major Bettman ally, after Bettman made possible Leipold's move from owning the perennial money-losing Nashville Predators, to Minneapolis, a traditional, northern hockey town. The Wild once sold out 409 straight games, but now have slipped to 16th in overall attendance. Then Leipold found out what it costs to put your team back on the map: identical $98 million deals to Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Now Leipold is a staunch supporter of rollbacks. The Wild are suddenly one of the NHL's highest spenders, and the revenues in Minny don't back that up.