Former coach Gary Green is a member of one of several groups considering making a bid to purchase the Washington Capitals, possibly as early as this week, according to National Hockey League sources.
Green, the sixth coach in the team's eight-year history, was fired after the team lost 11 straight games and 12 of its first 13 at the start of the 1981-82 season. Green, 28, has since concentrated on running hockey camps and clinics for the Can Am group, a Canadian company of which he is a major shareholder.
It could not be determined if other Can Am investors are involved with Green in a possible attempt to purchase the Capitals.
Reached by telephone Sunday in Canada, Green would say only, "I haven't been in touch with Abe (Pollin, the Capitals' owner) at all. I haven't spoken to him."
Green added that he still believes "a franchise in Washington can make it (in the NHL), and it would be a shame to see the team leave the area." He declined further comment.
There also has been talk around the league about a group in St. Louis that may be interested in the Capitals. But the members of that group could not be determined.
Pollin could not be reached for comment Sunday.
Last week, for the first time, Capitals officials began talking about the possibility of the team's being sold and moved. Recent reports that the Capitals might fold or be sold had been fueled by the fact that no season ticketholders have been asked to renew, nor have any new sales been pushed.
Pollin confirmed that he was actively seeking investors two weeks ago, stating at that time, "My first preference is to keep the team at Capital Centre."
At last week's NHL board of governors meeting, Peter O'Malley, the team's legal counsel and alternate governor, said that the team was continuing business as if it would be in operation next season, but was not taking ticket money because Pollin did not want to mislead anybody.
"Abe's not going to take a ticket unless he can be sure of what's happening," he said.
O'Malley indicated that the economics of the situation may force Pollin to consider other alternatives, although he would prefer keeping the team here.
"After putting a great personal fortune into it (the Capitals), he has made a policy decision that he can't go it alone anymore," O'Malley said.
The Capitals lost about $3 million last season, and close to $20 million during their eight years of existence.
Pollin has never given any hint of his asking price for the team, which has never reached the NHL playoffs. It is believed the Capitals would sell for between $6 and $9 million. The Detroit Red Wings, when sold recently, went for approximately $5 million, the Colorado Rockies for $8.8 million.
Officially, the NHL is not doing anything about Washington's plight at this time because, league President John Ziegler said last week, "There are no proposals regarding the Capitals before the board."
The league can call a meeting on the subject with 48 hours notice, and, according to one governor who did not want to be identified, a "Washington committee" will likely be appointed shortly, to study the situation and make recommendations to the league.