Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/10/12 at 06:49 AM ET
from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette via the Calgary Herald,
At this point, Bettman and the owners look like a high-powered scoring machine being ground into the ice by Jacques Lemaire’s New Jersey Devils. They’re frustrated because they’re trapped in the neutral zone and even if they can somehow get past Bobby Holik and Scott Stevens, there’s Martin Brodeur (in the person of Fehr himself) waiting to make the save.
Hence the hissy fit. Hence the visible frustration, the walkout, all the rest of it. Bettman is losing because Fehr doesn’t lose his head — so the commissioner is making an ass of himself and a laughingstock of the league. He’s threatening to take down another entire season, when the NHL going into this lockout had already lost more games to labour disruptions than the three other major North American leagues combined.
The commissioner has destroyed all the momentum that the league had built up, undermined all the good accomplished by chief operating officer John Collins, all for an unnecessary lockout that has already cost the NHL more than it can ever hope to gain in return.
It’s a game Bettman can’t win, because Fehr is at least his equal. Fehr has the players behind him as solidly as Bettman has the owners in his pocket. All the NHL’s divide-and-conquer tactics, the tricks that worked so well against Bob Goodenow during the 2004-05 lockout, have failed.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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