Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/22/05 at 08:21 AM ET
Gary Bettman and Bob Goodenow marched to the front of a ballroom at a Toronto hotel, allowed themselves a couple of tight smiles in their first public appearance together in more than two years and pledged to work together to rebuild the National Hockey League. Given the antagonistic relationship between Bettman, the NHL commissioner, and Goodenow, the executive director of the NHL Players' Association, plus the infighting over the dates of the ratification votes and subsequent press conferences, many NHL insiders are skeptical of their chances for success. "I think there's been too much made about a fragmented relationship," Bettman said. "It tends to make for, I suppose, interesting reading. But Bob and I have always had a professional relationship on a personal level. We've never had a problem dealing with each other. "While we've had different views in the past about what this business and this game needed, we're really now part of a partnership. I have no doubt labour and management can work together." Goodenow then quickly chimed in. "I agree totally."
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