Kukla's Korner

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Simmons ponders those curious owners, governors and their commissioner

Must we tread upon this ground again? Perhaps we must. The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons ponders the walking, talking reality show that is the Maple Leafs' hockey operations department, the players' lack of negotiating leverage once they start missing paychecks, and yes, Jimmy Devellano's comments, but he offers a different perspective owner seeking leverageof their own, Devellano's quips and one supposedly misunderstood owners' commissioner in a particularly noteworthy trio of paragraphs:

The second wealthiest owner in the NHL, Phillip Anschutz, has his Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings up for sale. Meanwhile, the wealthiest NHL owner in Canada, Darryl Katz, is asking for more handouts to have an arena built for him in Edmonton...

Now that the Detroit Red Wings have been fined for Jimmy Devellano’s comments about NHL owners being “ranch owners” and players being “cattle” understand this: This is how most owners view players in all of pro sport. And the Gary Bettman fine was sent out rapidly to shut up Devellano and those like him who spread this view, which may well be shared by Bettman...

Leadership is clearly part of Bettman’s mandate as NHL commissioner, and from the business end he has mostly succeeded in his role. Where he has failed miserably is with advancing the game and the league itself. The damage done from every fight between players and owners may not translate to season tickets or television ratings, but what it has done is take the homespun nature of the NHL to remove it forever. This was a league different than the others, with players more accessible, with teams in touch with their communities. That’s going, if it’s not completely gone already.

Continued with observations regarding many sports...

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com