Boots's buddies on the BOG
"Anschutz and Leipold are on Gary's executive committee," says one high-ranking NHL source. "These are guys who are at the power centre of the league, close to Gary, and supposed to be his best allies. And here they were lending Del Biaggio money, and not telling Gary, at a time when they were supposed to be reviewing his offer to become an owner.No surprises there, given what we've seen unfold the past few weeks.
You wonder, however, just how this revelation was made at the board of governors' meeting last week. Were Phil Anschutz and Craig Leipold in the room, flanking Bettman as he spoke sheepishly of their backdoor wheeling and dealing with Bankrupt Boots?
The tally is staggering frankly. There's a lawsuit with the Rangers, Ducks owner Henry Samueli hit with a $12-million SEC fine and suspended by the NHL, the Del Biaggio debacle, a ridiculous situation unfolding in Tampa Bay, the Maple Leafs making multiple plays for personnel under contract to other teams ... the list goes on and on.
And what a lot of it comes down to is an incredible lack of respect for the NHL and its commissioner, who's being shunted aside while the (mostly) moneyed men go about their business (often shadily).
If Bettman truly didn't know about Leipold and Anschutz's dealings, what does that say of his "power centre?" Has he any power at all?
Paul Kelly's going to have his way with this bunch.