PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Howard Baldwin and Morris Belzberg, the new Pittsburgh Penguins' owners who've already acquired the nickname of the Killer B's, promised again yesterday they won't dismantle the Stanley Cup champions.
But they wouldn't promise there won't be changes, particularly to an ever-escalating payroll that clearly threatens their ability to ever make a profit in Pittsburgh.
"We're coming in with a great deal of enthusiasm and we're anxious to prove ourselves as owners," Baldwin said, one day after the NHL Board of Governors finally approved the deal after initially rejecting it Nov. 6.
Baldwin said Penguins' fans needn't worry that Mario Lemieux or Paul Coffey will be sold to help finance the $65 million deal, which relies heavily on borrowed money and former owner Edward J. DeBartolo's pledge to underwrite a portion of any losses.
"If we do something stupid like that, the fans ought to lynch us. We're not fools," Baldwin said. "Everything that's happened until now is history. We're starting with a clean slate. Judge us on what we do. Judge us by our actions."
Asked what he will tell the Penguins' players, some of whom played for him when he was the Hartford Whalers' managing general partner, Baldwin said:
"Play hockey. Win games. And do everything in your power to do what you did last year."