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February 21, 2009

If Gary Bettman is interested in making the NHL popular, why doesn't he try getting a national TV contract that doesn't require purchasing a third-tier cable package during a recession?

Instead, Bettman continues experimenting with gimmicks like shootouts and banning fighting. As Matthew Barnaby recently said on ESPN, "For all the talk about how bad fighting is for our sport, I have never seen anyone go get a hot dog during a fight."

If Bettman was smart -- which is like saying, "If that octuplets mom had good judgment" -- he would have given ESPN the rights to broadcast their league for free after the lockout to woo back fans.

Instead, you now have the World Series of Poker enjoying more popularity than hockey. If memory serves, I believe that is on ESPN.

Steve Keegan

Oak Park


Feb. 15: AEG's Tim Leiweke declares there will absolutely be no further conversation regarding David Beckham's transfer to AC Milan.

Feb. 19: Planned meeting between Leiweke and AC Milan to arrange the transfer is postponed until Tuesday.

Does AEG still wonder why Galaxy and Kings fans view them with such mistrust and derision? Has any chief executive this side of Enron ever talked as much as Leiweke yet said so little of the truth?

Brian Freedman

Los Angeles

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