The contempt spilling out of Rocky Wirtz’s mouth with every word he uttered at that already infamous town hall last week wasn’t aimed as much as the journalists attempting to do their jobs but at his team’s own fan base.
Because when the principal owner of the disgraced Blackhawks organization said that he would provide answers about the organization’s response to the Kyle Beach scandal and cover-up only to those who “work in the company,” I am assuming very few people who actually buy tickets to the team’s games “work in the company.”
This all reminded me of that scene from the movie, “Legends of the Fall,” when the corrupt sheriff visits the Col. Ludlow character played by Anthony Hopkins. The sheriff is looking for a wanted man whom the good Colonel has provided a home. When asked what the man is wanted for, the sheriff replies, “That would be of a private nature.”
“A private nature?” Hopkins/Ludlow responds. “That’s a public office you hold, isn’t it, Sheriff?”
Wirtz’s response to a layup of a question from a reporter bespeaks of a chief executive never held to account for the sordid events surrounding the scandal and cover-up that lasted for more than a decade under his watch. On Friday, Gary Bettman called Wirtz’s response, “a moment.”
Believing in the public trust concept regarding a sports team’s ownership’s relationship to the community is all but certainly naive, at best. It is almost like hanging on to believing in Santa Claus. CEO’s are always going to CEO.
But few have ever made it clearer than Wirtz that there is no obligation for transparency to the paying customers. That is only owed to the folks who “work in the company.”
The NHL has not announced the matchup for the 2023 outdoor extravaganza, but the Rangers heading up to Fenway to face the Bruins in next season’s Winter Classic not only makes all sorts of sense but sounds pretty darn good to me.
Joe Zanussi can drop the ceremonial first puck and the Red Sox can retire Brad Park’s number.
So Bettman said on Friday that there would be a very small drop-off, if any, in the amount of revenue generated by the Coyotes it they play the next handful of seasons as a temporary tenant of Arizona State University’s 5,000-seat rink while awaiting construction of a new structure in Tempe.
That seems to be as good a reason as any to finally put an end to Gary’s Folly and get the perennially troubled franchise out of the desert.
For the sake of accuracy, maybe the name should be changed from “Skills Competition” to “Skills Showcase,” because that’s what it really is at this point.
There is nothing wrong with the breakaway challenge showmanship that allows players to highlight parts of their personalities. Trevor Zegras, Kirill Kaprizov and Jack Hughes and mini-Jack Hughes did a perfectly wonderful job of that on Friday.
But the problem with both the skills portion of the program as well as the three-on-three mini-games themselves serving as advertisements for the sport is that players’ skills can only be highlighted and appreciated when accompanied by the element of speed.
And that has been removed from the proceedings.
By the way, the last thing that Zegras needs is to be showcased as a novelty act.
Listen, I’d have put an All-Star Game in Vegas as quickly as possible, too, but when I hear that this is some sort of unprecedented coup for the 5-year-old franchise, I can remind you that the Devils hosted the All-Star Game in their second season of 1983-84.
Of course, it hasn’t been back since.
Then again, the last All-Star Game at the Garden was in 1994, and the last one at the Coliseum was in 1983. One would think that Long Island would have dibs on the event — or maybe the draft — whenever a request is made.
I don’t know, maybe it would be a little bit easier for the NHL to “market its stars,” as the saying goes, if Connor McDavid didn’t have a scowl on his face essentially every time he’s on camera for an interview.
And if others see charisma in Auston Matthews, well, I guess I’ll have to take their word for it.
This just in. Jon Hamm has just been identified as one of those judges implicated in the pairs figure skating scandal in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.
When my career began in 1976 covering the Islanders for The Post, there were always young women on the beat in New York. It was business as usual for me even if it might hardly have been that for these women.
Robin Herman of The Times and Lawrie Mifflin of the Daily News, then soon after Helene Elliot of Newsday and Mary Flannery of the Daily News. These were trail-blazers and they were my peers and they were my friends.
We lost Robin this week, and when we did, we lost a giant of the industry. She should have a plaque hanging in the Hockey Hall of Fame. So should Lawrie and so should Mary. Helene already does.
These women, even if unaware of it back in the day, they became role models for the generations of women that have followed. Robin was the first. She was a force. She was a journalist. RIP.