Monday, December 19, 2011

Gary Bettman's Monday morning reading list

We imagine like any executive, Gary Bettman arrives at the office in New York, grabs a cup of coffee and begins to look over his day planner, checks his email and such and tries to gauge the events of the weekend in the NHL.

The firing of a coach in Montreal, the remarkable welcome to the returning Teemu Selanne to Winnipeg, a few ugly hits during the weekend's games and hey what's that with the blue flag tag on it, oh, a note, er ok, treatise from Ken Dryden.

The former star of Les Canadiens, renowned author, one time Liberal Member of the Canadian Parliament (and one time candidate for that party's leadership), NHL executive, television broadcaster,  Provincial youth commissioner in Ontario and of course a long time and astute hockey observer, has cobbled together some thoughts for the Commissioner to go over (hey hey has a few days off over Christmas for some in depth reading after all) as to the current troublesome items of the NHL.

Like any good author (and Dryden is well beyond good) he offers up praise and criticism through his four page position paper on the state of the game, the majority of which deals with the ever increasing number of head shots and the impact that those hits have had on the game and the peril that they are putting the game into.

As always when it's a Dryden penned item, there is no short cut, no Coles or Cliff's notes here, you need to read the entire tract to fully understand the passion and the concise examination of the issue and how to resolve it, suggestions that  carry the weight of a thoughtful observer who has many times in the past put his finger on the issues of the game.

As Dryden points out Bettman has a legal mind, trained in that profession and one imagines more than capable of digesting the various approaches to an argument, seeking to find the useful from the diversions.

In the Dryden article (which you can read courtesy of the Globe and Mail's website here) there is much of the useful and very little if any of the diversions, a read well worth making and if you're the leader of a professional hockey league in North America, some ideas worth taking heed to.

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