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IS THE NHL FRONT OFFICE'S COMMITMENT TO THE GAME, OR TO FOX?
Published May 24, 1995
There is more criticism this morning for the NHL league office from Canada, this time concerning the decision to have the Canucks and Blackhawks play back-to-back games in each city this weekend in order to accommodate Fox's need for a Sunday game. In Vancouver, Archie McDonald writes, "The Fox's tail is wagging the NHL's dog here." While the other major sports have made "significant concessions" to TV, "they didn't grovel the way the NHL seems to be now" (VANCOUVER SUN, 5/24). In Toronto, Gare Joyce writes, "The Stanley Cup is supposed to be a showcase for the best hockey the NHL can offer. But even the elite teams and the exemplary players can't perform at a high level given the demands of consecutive games not 18 hours apart further complicated by travel across a couple of time zones." Joyce writes that, out of respect for the integrity of the game and the players' well-being, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman "should have stood up to Fox and told the network two games with travel in less than 18 hours was not only unreasonable but impossible" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/24).