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SBD/December 17, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Bettman Receiving Praise From Columnists For Putting NHL On Steady Course
Published December 17, 2013
TITANIC ISSUE: Former NHLer Morris Titanic is among the group of players suing the league, and in Buffalo, John Vogl noted the timing and inclusion of players like Titanic have "led some to deem the lawsuit a money grab." But Titanic said, "From my observation, the guys that are saying negative things about it are the guys that are invested in the game. They’re either in broadcasting or working for a team or they’re trying to work for a team. ... Only playing 19 games for Buffalo didn’t much matter. You’re playing somewhere. Whether things happened while you were in Buffalo, in the American League, junior, who knows?" While the suit "does seek monetary damages, the retired players also are seeking an NHL-funded monitoring program that would test them for brain disorders and provide treatment." Titanic: "The one thing I guess you can say is positive about it is it certainly has put player safety and head injuries into the limelight. If it helps me, if it helps past players that might need some help, especially as they start to get older and find some stuff out, then that’s a good thing" (BUFFALO NEWS, 12/15).
FIGHTIN' WORDS: Bruins LW Shawn Thornton was suspended 15 games for his fight with Penguins D Brooks Orpik, and in Boston, Stephen Harris noted the length of Thornton’s suspension was "surprising for many, with most onlookers anticipating a ban of 10-12 games." Bruins President Cam Neely: "Higher than I expected and higher than I think is warranted" (BOSTON HERALD, 12/15). Meanwhile, NESN's Dale Arnold was asked if the NHL is in a better spot as far as player safety in light of all of the recent suspensions throughout the league. He said, "Absolutely not and it's the players' fault. ... The players have a lack of respect for their fellow players. It bugs the heck out of me." NESN's Barry Pederson, on more suspensions coming down to NHL players for illegal hits: "It starts to feel a little bit like the NFL football where when you start to read the rules, it looks like a lawyer drew them up and there's a lot of gray areas now" ("The Instigators," NESN, 12/13).