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NHL's Bettman Favors World Cup Of Hockey Over Olympics, But Int'l Hockey Execs Disagree
Published November 12, 2013
DROPPING THE GLOVES: The CP's Stephen Whyno noted NHL GMs today will "discuss potential changes to fighting rules" during their annual meeting. Bettman, referencing a fight instigated by Flyers G Ray Emery, said, "I think the level of dialogue gets sparked by an occasional incident, and an incident of this nature when you look at everything else that is going on in the season was really a small pebble relative to a beach full of sand, which is seeing an incredibly entertaining season. I think sometimes an incident, as rare as it might be, tends to get focused on disproportionately." Bettman called fighting "a 'thermostat' in hockey that helps cool things down when tensions run high." He expects "a 'general discussion' but does not think any rule changes will come about just yet" (CP, 11/11). In Boston, Kevin Paul Dupont wrote the NHL "bends over backward to retain fighting" because the league "clearly lacks faith in its game's ability to be mainstream." Rather than "just get to the right answer, the NHL dithers away by adding layers of rightness, displaying both a lack of faith in its game's marketability and, most of all, a void in vision and leadership." Fighting is "obviously a safety issue," and is, "without a doubt, a marketing issue." The NHL's main competition -- the NFL, NBA and MLB -- all "survive quite well without it" (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/10).