Saturday, January 27, 2007

Jim Reeves is a Very Smart Man...

Jim Reeves, of the Dallas Fort-Worth Telegram says the NHL needs to do something different. Here are a few blips from his article…

But you think fans at the AAC, and those watching at home on television (all three of them), wouldn't have perked up if one of the league's young studs, Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin, had actually played this game as if did mean something? If they came out firing on all cylinders, popping people under the chin, plastering somebody against the boards? Sure, some of the graybeards on the ice would have looked at them as if they were crazy. But at least it would have been different. At least it might have grabbed some attention.

Do something, Bettman, don't just sit there and play Commissioner Pollyanna while your league slowly withers and dies because it's too stubborn to change.

On the 11 teams that voted down the balanced schedule - Bettman is supposed to be the commissioner for the entire league, not just 11 provincial thinking owners concerned with only their own interests. He needs to act in the best interests of the league, not just a few teams.

Bettman consistently brushes off questions about the league's problems -- its nonexistent TV ratings, declining drop counts (actual fans) in arenas, the year-long lockout, the arena situation in Pittsburgh, teams that have maximized their revenues with new arenas -- with bromides and platitudes, as if the new, stream-lined uniforms that were introduced Wednesday night provide the answer to everything.

This is a great game, a game of skill, speed, violence and passion (though only the first two were on display in the All-Star Game). With all that going for it, it's a shame that it might simply fade away for lack of leadership.

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