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SBD/March 11, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Gary Bettman Quietly Negotiated Five-Year Extension With NHL BOG In November
Published March 11, 2011
PERFECT STORM: In Toronto, Damien Cox wrote this week has been a "perfect storm" for Bettman. The NHL's "two areas of greatest vulnerability, the two issues that attract the most public scrutiny and open the league to charges of being structurally unsound and run by outlaws, have been played out in some of North America's largest media centres this week." In one corner, the league-owned Coyotes are "quite possibly headed to Winnipeg," while in the other, "you have the violence issue, which this week was played out in an entirely different, nearly unprecedented fashion" when Canadiens LW Max Pacioretty was seriously injured by a hit from Bruins D Zdeno Chara. The overall impression for the league is "instability and mayhem." Bettman "has weathered such events time and time again," and this "won't bring him down." But it is "remarkable that at a time when the other North American leagues should be attracting gobs of negative publicity over their impending labour troubles and potential stoppages in competition, it's the NHL that's getting all the bad ink and being widely described as a league in turmoil" (THESTAR.com, 3/10). The GLOBE & MAIL's Stephen Brunt writes, "A question arises naturally as one of the worst weeks in National Hockey League history draws to a close. So just who is in charge here?" Brunt: "This must be Gary Bettman's time. ... He's the only person with the power to say that what came before was wrong, and what happens from here on must be right" (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/11).