SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—Far east on Bell Road, barely a slap shot from the cooling shadows of the McDowell Mountains, hockey’s most compelling vortex gathers at center ice.
The suits might think they have all the power as they huddled this week around grand oak tables in some office in Woodbridge, N.J. It is there that members of the controlling class ordered in from five-star restaurants as they searched for ways to avoid self-impalement on a wood stick that hasn’t been shaved.
With each passing day, these would-be power brokers inch closer to committing a gory spectacle. The NHL’s latest stab at bleeding out came Thursday, after federal mediators (hardly shockingly) failed to produce a labor agreement. There appears to be one final push at saving the season, a radical proposal by commissioner Gary Bettman to shove executives far back into the closet and let players and owners have at it.
Not often are lawyers banished from the courtroom, but that’s not to say it’s not a brilliant idea. So please, do heave Bettman, Bill Daly and Donald Fehr out the first-floor window or make them scrub the silver with the help, and bring in some intelligent beings who have no desire to stall or kill the clock.