Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/22/05 at 08:17 AM ET
His title says he's still the executive director of the National Hockey League Players' Association and his employers, at least some of them, say he is still their boss, their leader. Clearly, he is not. Bob Goodenow is now a $2.5-million (U.S.) a year custodian, a caretaker for an organization that used to wield its power the way the Broad Street Bullies used to wield theirs. In their halcyon days, NHL players had the owners on the run. They pushed; the owners turtled. They demanded; the bosses delivered. Those days are now as much a part of NHL history as Don Cherry's coaching career. So, too, is the Great War of 2004. The public and backroom fighting that prolonged the NHL's 301-day lockout took its toll on both sides and most importantly, the game. This is no longer a time for feuding. It's a time for mending. The question is: Can Goodenow the fighter live in a time of reconciliation and partnership? Can the man who would have kept the battle raging at least another six months be useful, or useless?
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