Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/18/06 at 01:38 PM ET
via Sports Business Journal (paid sub.),
When Florida Panthers Chief Operating Officer Michael Yormark visited New York for a Rangers game earlier this season, he called NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and asked if he could spare a few minutes to meet with Yormark and one of the Panthers’ sponsors. Bettman cleared 20 minutes out of the day for the meeting to sit down with the sponsor and discuss the league.
“There are not many commissioners who would do that,” Yormark said. “I found it absolutely remarkable.”
“He’s got a strong, healthy league he’s leading right now,” said Jeremy Jacobs, owner of the Boston Bruins. “We owe him a real debt of gratitude for working through it.”
Sustaining current interest and increasing the popularity of the sport remain Bettman’s biggest challenges. He’s already addressed it in part with steps to improve the quality of the product on the ice, but the league’s future on TV will be critical to propelling long-term growth.
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