Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/19/05 at 02:28 PM ET
The careers of famous fighters rarely end gracefully. Whether it’s Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Riddick Bowe or Kathie Lee Gifford, the story almost always ends the same: an underestimated opponent, an overblown sense of self, and a close-up view of the canvas. The man who once was arguably the NHL’s most prodigious punchers now knows the feeling. His name is Bob Goodenow, his job is NHLPA leader – and after the players’ loud-and-clear “no mas” put an end to the lockout, he ought to start packing his parachute. Because after so many years of unstoppable pushing, Goodenow has been shoved back hard, and is all but fated to fade ¬into “bolivion”, as Tyson so aptly put it. A decade ago, boxing’s “eye of the tiger” had its legal equal in Goodenow, who used to be the NHLPA’s Luke Skywalker to Alan Eagleson’s Darth Vader. Goodenow didn’t nibble at and blow in owners’ ears, as Eagleson became infamous for. He bit ‘em off like Tyson did, spit ‘em out, used ‘em as hacky sacks, strung ‘em together and wore ‘em as a necklace. He wanted reparations for the NHL’s owner-on-player crimes of the past, as repellent as they were legion, and he got them.
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