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Original Issue

Windfall For Teams Up North Strong Canadian Dollar

As of Sunday the Canadian dollar was worth 77.07 cents U.S., its
highest rate of exchange in 10 years. In fact, since January the
value of the loonie has risen roughly 21%. That uptick is a huge
bonus for the league's six Canadian teams, which get almost all
their revenue in Canadian currency but have to pay players (by
far a team's biggest expense) in U.S. dollars.

Take the Maple Leafs, for example: At November 2002 exchange
rates the club's $54 million U.S. payroll last season was
equivalent to $84 million Canadian. This season their U.S.
payroll rose to $62 million, but at the current exchange rate it
converts to about $81 million Canadian. As the March trading
deadline gets closer, Canadian teams may find room in their
budgets to acquire players for the stretch run.