Kukla's Korner

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Bettman Star Rising

from the London Free Press,
National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman's had been falling faster than George W. Bush's popularity. It was Bettman who locked out the players. It was he, a non-hockey guy recruited from the National Basketball Association, who had taken the NHL to the precipice of an abyss too frightening to contemplate. He was seen as the neatly groomed little fellow whose carefully crafted lawyerly words seemed at odds with the gravity of the longest and most passionate labour stoppage in professional sports history. The league appeared intransigent, the players the aggrieved parties. "He's gonna kill the game" was a familiar comment from fans. Flash forward 15 months and the role reversals of the disputants has been breath-taking. Bettman -- dare we say it -- is now wearing the white hat. The black hat sits on the shelf. Nobody is around to don it since Players' Association chief Bob Goodenow was ousted by his membership. Bettman, the guy who seemingly put the game on a death-watch, is looking almost heroic. A workable salary model and exciting rules changes have brought the game storming back with no discernable villain anymore.

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com