Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/14/07 at 11:00 AM ET
from Elizabeth Merrill at ESPN,
They chugged Labatt Blue and shared man hugs at Happy Hour just down from 66 Mario Lemieux Place on Tuesday night because the planets aligned and the politicians agreed and hockey was staying in Pittsburgh.
Lemieux was nowhere to be found.
He slipped out of a press conference a mile across town, shielded in a herd of dark power suits, away from the handshakes and backslaps. The job was done, Lemieux saved hockey in Pittsburgh a third time, and the quiet Canadian who has somehow become the face of a blue-collar American city was tired.
“In the deal business, there’s a term that people sometimes call ‘deal fatigue,’” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said. “I think the process was wearing on him.”
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