Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 11/16/13 at 04:37 AM ET
George here on the late shift.
The Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek sat down with Gary Bettman a week ago Thursday in New York, and he used what I can only describe as a delightful chat with Chairman Mao as his weekly notebook. It appears that the Chairman is just as prickly in person as he is when engaging in press conferences and conference calls, as this exchange about Bettman's power to eliminate fighting from the game sans approval from the Board of Governors illustrates:
Bettman: I can ban smoking in this office and I can make that unilateral decision. I don’t make the [game’s] rules. I don’t have unilateral decision-making authority and there are people on both sides of the discussion that are very well dug in on their positions. That’s a discussion, as with all elements of the game, that we’ll continue to have internally and the game will continue to evolve.
Duhatschek: Do you a personal opinion about it?
Duhatschek: Would you care to share it?
Bettman: No. And it’s probably not what anybody thinks or has been speculated. There are people here that know, but anyone who has speculated doesn’t know.
The chat covers player safety, expansion, the CBA, broadcasting rights and the NHL's digital presence, and it isn't exactly revelatory, but it's...an intriguing read.
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