Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/05/06 at 11:02 AM ET
Can a relaunched NHL suffer a sophomore jinx? Not likely, you'd think. Too much diversification in the portfolio, the on-ice possibilities too rich to be brought low by some off-ice hiccup or other. Certainly, Year 1 of the New NHL was such a smash success -- goal scoring up, attendance up, fighting majors cut nearly in half, shootouts a boffo artistic success (hey, there Marek Malik!), Stanley Cup final a seven-game thriller -- that even the industry grouches had little to mutter darkly about. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, on the other hand, was about as giddy as his Type A personality permits on the eve of the league's 89th regular season.continued
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