Green Assumes 2 Top Positions of North Stars

From Associated Press

Norman Green today took over as president and chief executive officer of the Minnesota North Stars after the resignation of Howard Baldwin president of the National Hockey League club.

"Last night, Howard Baldwin announced his resignation as president," Green said in a statement today. "I am sorry to see a man of Howard's talent no longer available to our team and wish him the best of luck in his new endeavors. We are grateful for his efforts in keeping the North Stars in Minnesota."

Green had confirmed Tuesday night that Baldwin was unhappy with Green's high-profile involvement in running the organization.

Baldwin couldn't be reached for comment. But he told KSTP-TV of the Twin Cities that "it was just a question of two people with strong personalities and sets of ideals. The front office is simply too small for all of us. I guess I'm the one to go."

And he told the Star Tribune: "It is tough on me. I put a lot of time in this deal. I hope people recognize it. Whatever happens happens. Some things don't work out."

It was Baldwin who played the biggest role in keeping Gordon and George Gund from moving the franchise to California. He teamed with retired rental car executive Morris Belzberg to buy the team for $31.5 million in a deal approved May 9 by the NHL Board of Governors.

When it became apparent that Baldwin and Belzberg would have difficulty closing the deal, they approached Green, an 18% owner of the Calgary Flames. Green insisted on gaining 51% of the North Stars, and Baldwin and Belzberg agreed to split the other 49%.

It was unknown whether Baldwin, who helped found the Hartford Whalers in 1972 and spearheaded the 1979 NHL-WHA merger, would retain his approximately $7.6-million investment.

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