Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/22/05 at 09:25 AM ET
For the most part, it was difficult to discern whether the four unsmiling lawyers in dark suits were announcing the death of the NHL or the rebirth. My goodness, that was one sombre press conference yesterday. Grim Reaper TV. Called by the NHL Players' Association to announce, from its collective knees, that it had agreed in overwhelming numbers to rubber-stamp a stunning, concession-laden deal it swore never to accept 11 months ago, it turned into an effort by league commissioner Gary Bettman not to gloat too obviously and by Bob Goodenow to earnestly present the players' position as something other than total capitulation and renunciation of all for which they once stood. They were moments bereft of triumph and celebration. The best the two sides could muster was to weakly promise that their days of being at each other's throats were over. Goodenow repeatedly called Bettman "Gary," dropping his sarcastic pet nickname of "the owner's commissioner." Bettman, blasted once by Goodenow as a man who simply doesn't understand hockey, praised the members of the union as "the greatest athletes in the world," just like 700 Bruce Jenners. It was all rather muted and awkward, with Bettman and Goodenow managing nothing more than a forced handshake for the traditional photo op. It was the first we'd seen of Goodenow for months. He had nothing to smile about, having negotiated the players into a new, capped economic system that will define the industry for the next quarter-century. Yes, there is the possibility for more player movement through liberalized free agency. And yes, the least talented member of the fraternity is now eligible for compensation of nearly a half-million American dollars per season, a figure that will keep the flow of Euro-talent coming. And yes, not a single job was lost. Not even Goodenow's.
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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.
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