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THE SIDELINES : Will Buy North Stars, Keep Team in Minnesota, Pair Says

<i> From Times Wire Services</i>

Former Hartford Whalers minority owner Howard Baldwin and former Budget Rent-A-Car official Morris Belzberg have struck a deal to buy the Minnesota North Stars from Gordon and George Gund, Baldwin said today.

“We will be announcing a deal today, subject to league approval at the (NHL) Board of Governors meeting in Chicago” on April 8, Baldwin said in a telephone interview from his Los Angeles home. “I wouldn’t want to comment on the numbers. I don’t think that would be appropriate. There’s a lot of speculation.”

Much of the speculation revolves around the Gunds and their desire for an NHL expansion franchise in the San Francisco area. The Gunds have said they wouldn’t sell the North Stars unless they got a team--preferably by 1991-92, a year earlier than the league had planned to expand.

There have been reports that the North Stars would share their roster with the Gund’s expansion team.

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“As far as I’m concerned, what I’m getting is the Minnesota North Stars,” Baldwin said. “That’s the only thing that affects me.”

Baldwin said he would definitely keep the North Stars in Minnesota.

Gordon Gund was in his New Jersey office but did not immediately return a phone call. George Gund could not be reached for comment.


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