Kukla's Korner

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The Leaders Must be Held Accountable

from ESPN and Scott Burnside,
Talk about an exercise in suspension of disbelief. Bob Goodenow and Gary Bettman, architects of the most devastating labor stoppage in pro sports history, sitting shoulder to shoulder, insisting that, heck yes, they're prepared to become partners in a new NHL. As if it would be any other way. The two, appearing at a joint news conference for the first time since the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002, practically killed each other with kindness Thursday as they came together to announce the ratification of a new collective bargaining agreement by the players. Please. Thank you. I agree. You're quite right. No, you first. I insist. As for the fact the two have been at each other's throats in boardrooms and across bargaining tables for more than a decade? Completely blown out of proportion, they insisted -- a media fairy tale. "I think there's been too much made about a fragmented relationship. It tends, I suppose, to make for interesting reading and telling," Bettman told reporters during a news conference that was broadcast live nationally in hockey-starved Canada. "But Bob and I have always had a professional relationship. On a personal level we've never had a problem dealing with each other. And I don't suspect there'll be any change in that. "I have no doubt that labor and management can work together for the benefit of the game and the fans in an unprecedented way," Bettman added. "I agree totally," Goodenow chimed in, and it was a wonder he didn't throw his arm over Bettman's shoulder to make the point. "I think anyone who suggests that there's a problem and an inability for us to work together don't really know the level to which, as Gary alluded to, that we have had discussions in the past," Goodenow said. "I think you would all be very surprised at the level of the topics we discuss when we get together." The only thing missing was a rendition of Kumbaya.

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

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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