Breaking Sports

Friday, March 04, 2005

nhl- Bettman Feeling Heat

from the torontosun, The gap between the Maple Leafs and the National Hockey League has grown wider, less trusting and more emotional. At issue isn't just the philosophical conflict between commissioner Gary Bettman and Leafs board chairman Larry Tanenbaum, but the contentious relationship between a hockey club that wants a deal done yesterday and a league bent on protecting its weaker franchises.
The Toronto Sun has learned that Tanenbaum read from a prepared statement at the owners-only portion of Tuesday's board of governors meeting in New York, strongly stating the position of the Leafs and urging that a deal with the players must be accomplished. Immediately afterward, he became a target of verbal abuse from his fellow owners, numerous sources at the meeting have confirmed.
One source referred to the shouting down of Tanenbaum as "pretty ugly."
Another called it "nasty business."
When asked to confirm that he received significant backlash from fellow governors after reading his statement, Tanenbaum first said: "I did not receive any type of backlash. I deny that."
But he quickly went on to say: "The meeting was confidential from the point of view of 30 owners. We made comments and others made comments. Those comments will remain confidential. I'm not going to speak about what went on.
"That's the commissioner's job if he chooses to. The commissioner can characterize it any way he wants."