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SBD/March 8, 2013/People and Pop Culture
SI Profiles NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Whose Job Is "More Complex Than Most"
Published March 8, 2013
BORDER GUARD: Canada is "simultaneously the rock of Bettman's game and the pebble in his shoe." Bettman has "saved at least a couple of scuffling Canadian franchises." He also has "swung the truncheon, relocating two others to American cities." Former Maple Leafs President & GM BRIAN BURKE said, "His image in Canada is so unfair." Farber notes Bettman "gave the country its coveted seventh team" when he relocated the Thrashers to Winnipeg. He "developed the Canadian Assistance Plan," spanning from '95-04. On the macroeconomic scale, "rewards for his Canadian support have been significant." But the "backslapping" for Bettman "has been minimal." The question is what has Bettman "done to alienate fans?" Is it something "as concrete as lockouts or is it something as intangible as his mien or manner?" Former Nordiques co-Owner & President MARCEL AUBUT said, "There's a little bit of arrogance in him that sometimes doesn't help, but people who know him understand he has a big heart" (SI, 3/11 issue).