Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/24/12 at 07:49 AM ET
from Bruce Dowbiggin at the Globe and Mail,
While he doesn’t score goals or drop in front of shots, Bettman is one of the five most recognized names in the business. Presumably it’s his kisser that sponsors and broadcasters conjure up when they think of the NHL. But he’s also the face of three owner-generated lockout in 18 years. And you’re going to get him to sell fans and business people on accepting the Vegemite sandwich of a reduced season and compressed schedule?
We’re not the only ones who’ve noticed. Bill Simmons of Grantland calls him NBA commissioner “David Stern’s mole with direct orders to turn hockey into a second-class sport.” Simmons goes on: “At this point, Bettman would lose any election to any human being with even rudimentary hockey connections unless it was the actor who played Wolf “The Dentist” Stansson in D2: The Mighty Ducks .”
As much as we might like Bettman (come on, somebody out there likes him ) how do you say that it’s business as usual when he and Don Fehr get done back-diving and forward averaging the business?
Let us give you an analogy. There’s a bus company in our town that had a tragic crash a few years ago. People died. Such was the desire of the bus company to put the tragedy behind them that they changed the name of their company! And they got rid of the driver.
The NHL can’t change its name, but it can change the driver of its bus after it went it into the ditch yet again. Maybe one of the networks will hire Bettman as an analyst on their infinitesimal panels, the way they do the defrocked coaches and GMs. “I must say I really like their active sticks, Mr. Duthie...”
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