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SBD/January 24, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Gary Bettman "Grateful" For NHL's Early-Season TV, Attendance Numbers
Published January 24, 2013
ICING ON THE CAKE: The AP's Dan Gelston wrote there is a "good deal to be found in the NHL," as teams continue to offer "slashed prices and freebies" to fans as a thank you for sticking by the sport through the lockout. Penguins C Sidney Crosby said, "I think it's great to see that we're still getting the turnout that we're getting." Gelston: "Maybe it helped the league said it was sorry." The NHL bought full-page ads in about 40 newspapers across the U.S. and Canada "thanking fans for their patience and apologizing for the lost games" (AP, 1/23). In Illinois, Mike Imrem writes the lockout was "supposed to turn off fans for good this time." Those watching "at home, many of them casual hockey fans at best, were the ones expected to forget about this game." But those in the media were "wrong in projecting gloom and doom for the NHL." The lockout was "a positive for the league as it tries to gain ground on the NFL, MLB and NBA" (Illinois DAILY HERALD, 1/24).
THE KID IS ALRIGHT: Many Maple Leafs players last night before their game against the Penguins said that Crosby's presence during CBA negotiations "was a significant factor in getting a deal done." Leafs RW Joffrey Lupul said, "When you have the face of your sport working hard, trying to get something done, I think everybody notices. It meant a lot to all of us." In Pittsburgh, Josh Yohe notes no NHLer has "publicly questioned Crosby, even though he aligned himself with an owner." Rather, Crosby's work "seems to have inspired many." Leafs LW James Van Riemsdyk: "I think you can honestly say that what he did was appreciated by everyone" (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 1/24).