Friday, August 06, 2004

ROAD TO OBLIVION – starring Gary Bettman

Road To Morocco
Back in the forties and fifties Paramount Studios came up with a series of movies called The Road to ... (series).

There were about six or seven and they never seemed to end. They starred Bing Crosby as the romantic singer, Bob Hope as the madcap comic and Dorothy Lamour as uh, well Dorothy Lamour. Bob Hope never got the girl (Dorothy), but always got the laughs mostly at his expense. They performed a series of gaffes that took about an hour and a half, but usually cleaned it all up in the last fifteen minutes.

But now we have the finale, the piece de resistance, The Road to Oblivion (NHL STYLE). Gary Bettman, the Commissar of the NHL has this great idea that the league should negotiate salaries with the players, basically eliminating the GM. Not a bad idea if you are a Ranger fan. They will structure the players by salary on all the teams and this will create parity and save the league. From what --  boredom?

Back in 1994 after the Rangers won the Cup the NHL was approaching the NBA in parity. The NHL by virtue of the New York exposure given to Ranger stars had the league on an all time high. Then the players struck and hockey returned to its original status challenging bowling for 10th place in the ratings.

This stoppage will be more disastrous for the league. This one would put hockey in minor leagues for years to come. At the end of Road to Morocco and what seemed like a happy ending with Bing, Bob, Dotty and a young starlet, Hope walks into a powder room (dynamite) thinking it a fresh-up room. He lights up a cigarette with the expected results. They are last seen in New York Harbor on a raft and in tatters. That sounds like the NHL with Gary Bettman playing the part of the powder room.

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