Blackhawks Confidential

NHL, Gary Bettman Archives

Blame DirecTV, Bettman for Hawks game blackout


I turned on the ignition and flipped on the radio last night right after the Calgary Flames scored their first goal.

Thirty seconds later, before I was out of my work parking lot, the Blackhawks were down 3-0.

I turned into my driveway and the Hawks trailed 5-0.  John Wiedemann and Troy Murray were nearly speechless.  Murray commented on how he has never seen such a terrible Hawks' performance in his career as their broadcaster.

Well, I thought, at least I don't have the option of viewing the carnage thanks to my DirecTV subscription.  No Blackhawks game for me tonight.  What am I really missing anyway?

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Fighting and fussing remains in fashion year-round in the NHL

fights.jpgFighting has not gone out of fashion in the NHL. To the contrary, there are nothing but clenched fists, bad blood and haymakers flying all around the place.
Although it's still technically summer as Labor Day looms, nothing gets you more prepared for another NHL season than some reckless head-butting and unquenchable hatred.
Some Canadian regions haven't been this close to firing on the U. S. since the war of 1812 when the British Empire was in charge and still smoking about that road loss to America in the Revolutionary War.
Read the comment sections of fans about the NHL opposing a move to Hamilton, Ontario, and there are charges in Canada that the league is trying to keep hockey strictly in the U. S. and away from the evil (define as unprofitable and obscure) influences of Canada.
I would ask these Canadians, of course, if they could pick out Hamilton on a map any more than they could Saskatoon (another forlorn burg hungering for NHL games).
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Another reported 12-year contract muddies the NHL ice

roberto-luongo.jpgComforting to us old folk to see that some things never change, such as the constantly careening National Hockey League. This lurching, swerving, myopic monster wields the same amount of potent power as a castrated bull and always has as it bounces off various fences in search of breaking loose and running free.
It's a collection of too many self-centered, self-determining and sometimes self-destructive owners who answer to no one for their actions, least of all commissioner Gary Bettman, who's been riding nothing more than a hobby horse from Day 1 and has the imitation saddle sores to show for it.
Bill Wirtz would be happy to see nothing has really changed since his departure. Wirtz once had John Ziegler tucked neatly in his vest pocket, and when Ziegler was forced out from the palace, a miffed Wirtz successfully plotted behind the scenes with brethren to unthrone Gil Stein within one year in the same way that medieval power was often abruptly transferred.
Heads rolled through a swift strike of the sword and the word "Jew" was sometimes crassly bandied about in derogatory, disgusting fashion. But that's another story for a different road, entwined eternally nonetheless as it is in today's latest news.
I resort to a Cliff Notes version of history before veering into the latest sneering retort to NHL authority. Even before the league has seen fit to deliver a definitive verdict about the validity of Marian Hossa's 12-year, $62.8 million deal with the Blackhawks, along comes the intrepid Vancouver Canucks with an apparent contract extension for goaltender Roberto Luongo that is reported to be 12 years, $64 million.
Whether he warrants such commitment is a seperate argument, but the boldness of such a move bears analyzing.
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