DENVER CO - FEBRUARY 14: (L-R) Assistant coach Steve Konowalchuk head coach Joe Sacco and assistant coach Sylvain Lefebvre of the Colorado Avalanche stand behind the players on the bench and in front of the on looking fans as the Avalanche were defeated by the Calgary Flames 9-1 at the Pepsi Center on February 14 2011 in Denver Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
This article highlights the good and bad that have happen since Bettman came into the NHL.
In his new book, The Instigator: How Gary Bettman Remade the League and Changed the Game Forever, author Jonathon Gatehouse surprises by casting Bettman in a strikingly different light. The book chips away at the commissioner’s cartoonish image and argues that Bettman has gotten a bad rap. Gatehouse, a Maclean’s national correspondent who has followed the commissioner’s career from the beginning, argues that Bettman has engineered a stunning turnaround of a league that was, until he got his hands on it, a dysfunctional, money-losing mess.
As an American who didn’t grow up playing the game, Bettman has made an easy target—right from his first day on the job, Feb. 1, 1993. The Toronto Star headline read: "Bettman’s NHL era begins: ‘Everything is under review.’" In the following article, Bettman talked about changes he might want to make, singling out fighting, the two-line pass, and icing rules as areas of concern. He also talked about the need to make hockey action easier for non-fans to follow on TV.
This is an interesting story. The Sudbury Wolves (OHL) were in Russia representing Canada recently. The funny thing is that not all these guys are Canadian!
The Wolves were the first representatives from the Canadian Hockey League in this tournament, which was now in its second year of competition. The tournament is so unknown to North Americans that even the Wolves didn't fully comprehend their team's meaning to it.
"We just showed up as the Sudbury Wolves," Cull explained. "We realized halfway through this tournament we weren't the Sudbury Wolves anymore. We were the Canadian representative."
The call from Marc Bergevin came out of the blue.
Sylvain Lefebvre was at home near Sherbrooke in mid-June when he heard from his boss at the time, Colorado Avalanche general manager Greg Sherman.
"He just told me to expect the call and stay home by the phone," Lefebvre recounted this week.
"Every player who's going to miss time is in a different boat," Souray said. "There's young guys that want to prove themselves. There's guys that are coming off good seasons that want to continue to enjoy a little bit more success and keep things going. There's guys who probably are looking forward to probably putting last year behind him and getting on the ice this year and getting to it.
"Everybody has different reasons and different motivation for playing."