Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/23/05 at 01:39 PM ET
The court is 94-feet long but basketball might as well have been confined to the paint during the Wilt Chamberlain era. A 180-degree turn was all it took to stretch the game and refuel national interest. The three-point line was instituted, changing the entire landscape of the NBA and validating the risky decision to implement the trifecta. Gary Bettman, who worked with NBA commissioner David Stern as assistant general counsel in 1981, must have been paying attention. With its collective bargaining agreement in turmoil and a deteriorating fan base, the once-proud National Hockey League tiptoed along the brink of death this past year. But Bettman, now the NHL commissioner, has made a handful of radical changes that will either return the league to prominence or make it the XHL.
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