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SBD/June 25, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Stanley Cup Final Wins Raves, Helping Redeem Post-Lockout Season
Published June 25, 2013
TOP OF ITS GAME: YAHOO SPORTS' Nicholas Cotsonika notes NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman walked onto the ice after the game "and the boos began." But Bettman then "handed the silver chalice" to Blackhawks C Jonathan Toews and "disappeared." The "boos turned to cheers," and "this is why the NHL prospers despite itself." Cotsonika: "This is why the owners and players could get away with fighting about money, shutting down their league, shortening the schedule. This is why they returned to packed houses and high TV ratings and all that hockey-related revenue. Because despite the business and the BS, there is nothing like the NHL at its best" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 6/25). Meanwhile, SPORTSNET.ca’s Chris Johnston writes the handshake between Toews and Bettman was “almost too perfect.” All of the “hate and hurt and bad feelings that enveloped the NHL a few months ago was long gone by the time the Stanley Cup was presented” last night. Johnston writes of Toews, “It wasn’t all that long ago when he would never dream of doing such a thing.” Johnston: “In fact, none of the game’s top players was more outspoken than Toews during [the lockout] -- and much of his criticism was directed right at Bettman” (SPORTSNET.ca, 6/25).
SOCHI ALMOST SET: The GLOBE & MAIL's David Shoalts reports NHL players are "expected to play" at the '14 Sochi Games. It is "not official yet, so none of the principals are commenting for the record, as the deal between" the NHL, NHLPA, IOC and the IIHF is "now in the hands of the lawyers." They are "hashing out the details, which might produce a snag, but there are hopes a formal agreement can be produced within two weeks." The "major hurdle was cleared a while ago, when the IOC was convinced by the NHL and NHLPA to open its massive wallet and pay the lion’s share of the costs of shutting the North American league down for two weeks and bringing the players to Russia." This includes the "most expensive item -- insurance on the NHL players’ contracts in case of injury -- but also a host of other issues of equal importance to management as well as the players" (GLOBE & MAIL, 6/25).