Gary Bettman

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Time For Change, Time To Trade The Pick

The Montreal Canadiens step down from the podium and the camera turns to the General Manager of the New York Islanders, Garth Snow. Accompanied by his top scouts and assistants, and most likely Kevin Connolly who formerly was on Entourage, Snow remains seated. With Pierre McGuire ready to analyze Snow's draft choice at fourth overall, the Isles GM leaves the podium vacant for the Commissioner of the NHL, Gary Bettman.

"We have a trade to announce, " are the words that would echo throughout a startled building.

"The Islanders have chosen to trade the fourth overall pick in this year's draft..."

Crosby's comments offer cover for NHL head-shot dinosaurs

How much cover does the National Hockey League need before it can summon the nerve to outlaw players from pointlessly whacking each other on the head?

The league is terrified of ruling against head shots for fear it will be accused of lacking the manly qualities it believes fans expect of it.  And some of the handful of fans attracted to games in no-hope hockey towns in the southern U.S. might decide to stay home and watch crocodile wrestling on TV instead. Gary Bettman and his pals can't back down without fear of looking all sissified or something.

But now Sidney Crosby has provided all the cover required to make a change, the need for which has been painfully obviou...

NHL rules debate leaves Crosby on the sidelines

No one ever accused the National Hockey League of being pro-active. On anything. If the NHL was in charge of the fight against cancer, it would still be debating whether dying prematurely was an issue worth addressing.

A week or so ago, the league got much pre-season attention when it held a camp in Toronto to evaluate a few possible tweaks to the rules. Maybe nets should be shallower, so players had more room to manoeuvre and could score more often on the wraparound.

Maybe a green line should be painted inside the goal to make it easier to judge when pucks had fully entered the net. Maybe penalized players should have to serve out the full two minutes, producing more short-ha...