Don't blame Bettman
There's been a ton of good (and bad) copy coming out of Dallas, with a legion of NHL beat guys all cranking out the copy to justify the expense for their various publications, but one of the best pieces I read over the past few days came from a guy who didn't make the trip to Texas.
In his column from today, Globe Sports' Stephen Brunt (who's taking a breather from his NFL playoff coverage) stands up just a little for commissioner Gary Bettman by pointing the finger at the men behind the curtain, the ones who have been increasingly in the picture as various quizzical decisions continue to come out of these intermittent BOG meetings. Here's Brunt:
During the same all-star week in which the league's marketing machine has been working overtime to cast Sidney Crosby as hockey's Michael Jordan, the governors opted against a schedule that would put him in every NHL rink at least once a year.It's an interesting read, and it really gets to what's at the heart of all of the NHL's problems: $.
And Bettman couldn't change their minds. As he acknowledged this week, he is not a caster of lightning bolts from on high. He works at the pleasure of his employers, the club owners, and when push comes to shove, they call the shots.
Choosing against having to make a few more interconference road trips may be the equivalent of counting pennies in a league with a $2-billion bottom line, but that's the situation this plucky little league finds itself in.
And, all the while, the bigwigs are looking to Kansas City as their saviour.