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SABRES STAY NEUTRAL ON HAMILTON BID

The Sabres officially have no opinion on a bid by Hamilton, Ont., to obtain an expansion franchise, according to team president Doug Moss.

"It's completely up to the league," Moss said. "It's a league matter and the Sabres have no opinion on it. It's completely up to Mr. Bettman and the league and I know they will do the right thing."

Led by publishing interests that control the Hamilton Spectator newspaper, the city of Hamilton is expected to approve an application for an NHL expansion franchise. The paper offered to put up the non-refundable $100,000 filing fee in hopes the league might grant the city a franchise. The league has announced it is taking expansion applications, but has yet to announce that it would expand or provide a list of possible expansion sites.

It is unlikely the league would want another team in Canada, especially in the Toronto/Buffalo corridor. That market is thought to be saturated with hockey and the league is known to be looking for a larger presence in the United States.

League spokesman Arthur Pincus said he was aware of the Hamilton bid, but said the league had not yet received the application. Pincus also said the league would have no comment on the application other than to acknowledge it when it arrives.
-- JIM KELLEY

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