LOS ANGELES -- The National Hockey League Board of Governors Tuesday unanimously approved the sale of the stock of the Colorado Rockies to Peter Gilbert of Buffalo, N.Y., who has pledged not to move the club.
'Gilbert has made a commitment to the people of Denver to keep the Rockies in Denver and to make them one of the better NHL franchises,' said John Ziegler, president of the NHL.
Gilbert, a cable television magnate who helped develop the Buffalo Sabres' cable TV network and assisted in the pioneering the league's cable TV network, purchased the Rockies from New Jersey trucking magnate Arthur Imperatore for an estimated $7 million.
In their afternoon session, the Governors also unanimously adopted a rule change which calls for the dressing of a third eligible goaltender if the two goalies, who dressed originally for the game, are both injured. The emergency goaltender will be allowed a two-minute warmup, something not presently allowed the second goalie when replaces a starter.
Since the rule change was passed unanimously, it will become effective immediately.
Earlier, the executive council of the NHL Association and the League owners decided at a joint meeting Tuesday to postpone until June 30 the notification by the Players Association of determination of the collective bargaining agreement.
Ziegler said, 'We will meet again between June 3 and 10 in Las Vegas (Nev.) and go over the matter of compensation and free agency once more. Actually, the players did not put a proposal on the table other than to tell us they wanted total free agency.'
The present contract expires at the conclusion of the 1983-84 season but the players have the right to terminate it at the end of the 1981-82 season if they notify the owners.
Alan Eagleson, the executive director of the Players Association, said, 'The owners are at 10, the players at zero. We are saying we want complete free agency and will not accept the present system because it doesn't work ... the general managers have made sure the present system doesn't work.
'I'm sure we will work this out for the benefit of the game and I have pointed out to the players that the only system that really works is baseball which has almost absolute free agency after six years. Both baseball and football, however, have owners whose profit structure exceeds the loss factor of several of the NHL clubs.
'We don't want to win the battle and lose the war by having three teams fold, but the present system has to change.'