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The Bettman Book

from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,

The release of Jonathon Gatehouse’s new book, The Instigator: How Gary Bettman Remade the League and Changed the Game Forever(Penguin), could perhaps only be better timed if it had hit shelves on the day of the NHL commissioner’s retirement.

No figure is more central to the frustrating tale of the NHL’s current lockout or the league’s remarkable rebound from the last lockout eight years ago, when an entire season was scrapped.

We caught up with Gatehouse, a senior correspondent for Maclean’smagazine, to find out what he learned about Bettman and gather his thoughts on how the current NHL impasse will play out.

You write about the 1994 lockout, when Wayne Gretzky called out Bettman as the one man to blame and Mathieu Schneider wore a "Bettman Sucks" sticker on his helmet. Why do so many players focus their anger and frustration on Bettman when they know he's just doing the owners' bidding?

It’s pretty simple: he’s the guy on the other side of the table, and they’re heartily sick of him. They get to see all those character traits that the fans despise, up close and personal. In the book, I’ve got a section about the heated relationship between Marty McSorley, when he was on the NHLPA bargaining committee during the ’94 lockout, and Bettman. To this day, McSorley still gets worked up when he talks about it—the perceived disdain and arrogance.

more and the book can be purchased at Amazon.com (affiliate link and hardcover only) if you are interested.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Paul's avatar

If you are interested in this topic, Jeff Z. Klein of Slap Shot also interviews the author.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 10/01/12 at 03:51 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Very interesting interview. Looks like this will be a book to get (through Paul’s Amazon link, of course).

Looking for some positives in this environment of crap we’re currency in, it is good to know the NHL really has remade its’ marketing strategy, and is finally embracing its’ relatively small, but passionate, fan base and its’ northern roots. That’s a good sign the days of glow pucks and other related idiocies are gone for good.

Make no mistake about it, we’re in the middle of a massive paradigm shift in the NHL right now. But maybe, just maybe, when the dust settles we will actually have a stronger and more vibrant league, focused on the fans that love the game, and not Joe Casualfan in Alabama who has attended one game in his life, and watched a period of a game on TV only because it was on in a house he was at.

But the reminder of three lockouts in 18 years…gawd, that almost seems surreal.

Only the NHL.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 10/01/12 at 04:13 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

in this environment of crap we’re currency in

“currency” = currently  

...Freudian slip

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 10/01/12 at 04:14 PM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

To this day, McSorley still gets worked up when he talks about it—the perceived disdain and arrogance.

per·ceive (pr-sv)
tr.v. per·ceived, per·ceiv·ing, per·ceives
1. To become aware of directly through any of the senses, especially sight or hearing.

McSorley is spot on regarding this man. As are the rest of us that feel the same way.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!! In ‘13?


Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 10/01/12 at 06:39 PM ET

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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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