The National Hockey League Board of Governors will reconvene today in New York to determine what to do about the Colorado Rockies.
The league is expected to consider buying the team from Peter Gilbert and placing it in the New Jersey Meadowlands as an expansion franchise.
In December, Gilbert asked the league to move his club, which reportedly lost $4 million last season, into the Meadowlands. But all 21 NHL teams must approve such a transfer, and the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers opposed it.
Expansion needs only a three-quarters vote. The league had originally planned to expand to the Meadowlands and Seattle in 1983.
John A. Ziegler Jr., president of the NHL, could not be reached for comment, but a league spokesman said that this option would be considered. "It is not really expansion, in the technical sense, but it could be a way around the situation," he said.
Late last week, George Steinbrenner, principal owner of the New York Yankees baseball team, talked to Gilbert about buying the club.
Until then, John J. McMullen, board chairman of the Astros baseball team, had been the most likely buyer. He lives in New Jersey and heads a group eager to bring hockey to the Meadowlands.
Neither Steinbrenner nor McMullen was available for comment yesterday. But a wire-service report, quoting unnamed sources, said that Steinbrenner's interest had waned because he felt the reported $30 million price too high.
Although Steinbrenner's name was not mentioned formally at last week's session, his interest is believed to have caused at least two teams to resist approval of the sale to McMullen's group.