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That role for any sport is a really
14-02-2019 04:34 AM
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That role for any sport is a really
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GLENDALE http://www.officiallightningprostore.com...agh-jersey , Ariz. (AP) Antti Raanta and the Arizona Coyotes look far different from the team that began the season with 11 straight losses. They’re also making things difficult for teams with postseason hopes.Raanta stopped 34 shots for his third shutout of the season and the Coyotes scored three goals in the second period to beat the playoff-chasing St. Louis Blues 6-0 Saturday night.”The guys were helping me a lot and when I needed to make the save, I made it,” Raanta said.Four of the Coyotes’ goals came from defensemen, including Luke Schenn, who scored his first goal in his 61st game of the season. Schenn also energized a large crowd and his teammates with a powerful check of Blues forward Scottie Upshall early in the second period.Richard Panik added a goal just before the hit, and 28-win Arizona won its 10th this month.”It was nice to see the `D’ contribute and score some goals,” said Schenn, who faced his brother Brayden with their parents in attendance. ”It was an all-around enjoyable night. The second period it was pretty loud and energetic and those are the type of games you want to play in.”Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored on a power play and assisted on another second-period goal, Jakob Chychrun, Alex Goligosksi and Zac Rinaldo also scored, and Max Domi and Dylan Strome had three assists each for the Coyotes. Panik had an assist and Derek Stepan had two.The Blues entered 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, but ended the night tied with Colorado for the second wild-card spot in the West at 92 points through 78 games. The six-goal loss was the most lopsided for St. Louis this season.”We can’t allow any carryover from this,” Blues coach Mike Yeo said. ”Three weeks ago I don’t think anybody would have put us in this place, and the opportunity that we have here, that’s something we need to be excited about.”Jake Allen made his 12th consecutive start in goal for St. Louis, but was replaced after the Coyotes’ second goal on 14 shots. Carter Hutton finished the game and made 15 saves.”Jumping in and trying to find a rhythm was tricky,” Hutton said. He hadn’t played since March 3 at Dallas.Brayden Schenn hit the post with a shot midway through the first period, the best scoring chance in the early going for St. Louis. Allen caught Brendan Perlini’s wrister at 14:27, but couldn’t stop Luke Schenn’s long shot 32 seconds later.”I was not wanting to go the whole year without getting one,” Luke Schenn said.The Coyotes made it 2-0 at 3:51 of the second period. Clayton Keller bounced a cross-ice pass to Panik, who scored from distance for his 13th of the season.Luke Schenn threw a shoulder into Upshall, who staggered into the Blues’ bench area after the hit. Schenn and the Blues’ Chris Thorburn were given five minutes for fighting after the check.Upshall did not return.Raanta thwarted several Blues’ attempts right in front of the net with saves amid heavy traffic throughout the second period and made more impressive saves in the third. He has 11 career shutouts.A third Coyotes goal at 13:54 was waved off for incidental contact with Hutton before the puck crossed the goal line. Arizona challenged the call but it was upheld.Ekman-Larsson, who lost a goal on the call, scored at 15:09 on a power play, his 14th of the season. Stepan reached 42 assists, a career high in a single season.Chychrun made it 4-0 with his goal 20 seconds before the second intermission. Rinaldo ended the scoring at 17:40 of the third.”They’ve bought in. I’ve got to give a lot of guys credit for that,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. ”It’s easy when you’re out of the playoffs to give up, and we haven’t given up.”NOTES: Blues D Mitch Reinke, a 22-year-old who just finished his college season with Michigan Tech, made his NHL debut. … The Blues called up D Chris Butler from AHL San Antonio in time for the game Womens Steven Stamkos Jersey , but he was scratched. So was D Jordan Schmaltz with an upper body injury suffered Friday at Vegas. … Coyotes C Christian Dvorak was scratched with a lower body injury, his first missed game of the season. … The Coyotes reached 10 wins in March for just the fifth time in franchise history. … Assistant captain Brianna Decker and forward Amanda Pelkey, from the United States women’s hockey team that won the gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, performed the ceremonial puck drop before the game.UP NEXTBlues: Host Washington on Monday.Coyotes: At Calgary on Tuesday. NEW YORK (AP) There is usually another guest at the table when Gary Bettman and his wife, Shelli, go out to dinner with other couples during the NHL playoffs.Friends come to accept the glow of the TV screen set up so Bettman can keep an eye on games, ready to go from enjoying a nice meal to running a multibillion-dollar business and back again. The commissioner of a storied league with 24 teams in the United States and seven in Canada doesn’t put work on hold for life or vice versa. When his 11-year-old grandson, Matthew, wanted to hang out with him in Tampa during All-Star weekend, he brought him along for meetings.”They all blend together because I’m never off,” Bettman said. ”It’s all part of what I do and who I am.”For 25 years, Bettman has overseen the growth of the NHL from $437 million in annual revenue to nearly $5 billion, guiding the league into and out of work stoppages and expanding hockey’s reach to places that never seemed a fit for the fastest game on ice.The Stanley Cup Final opens Monday in Las Vegas, where Bettman had a guiding hand in the expansion process that yielded the Golden Knights and led to the most successful inaugural season in league history. When he was there in November 2016 for the unveiling of the team name, Bettman was booed by the crowd and could not have cared less.”No, no, keep the booing,” he told the crowd. ”That proves you’re now an NHL city.”Once perhaps an unlikely leader for a game with its roots north of the border, the 65-year-old lawyer from Queens who got his start in the NBA has become one of the most powerful and long-lasting influences in professional sports. More than two decades into the job, Bettman still feels energized by the thrill of work – and the sugar supplied by dark chocolate Milky Way candy bars doesn’t hurt.He isn’t going anywhere, either.”I think he’s the best that we could do,” said Jeremy Jacobs, the Boston Bruins owner and board of governors chairman. ”I mean, there are things that might irritate you from time to time about him. But you know where his heart and soul is, he’s always interested in the game, the improvement of the game.”It hasn’t always been pretty. Bettman has had a role in three lockouts, the relocation of five franchises, has repeatedly denied any link between head injuries and the degenerative brain disease CTE, and recently refused to allow NHL players to go to the Olympics after doing so five times. Confident in his decisions and willing to accept the ramifications to his reputation and legacy, Bettman has earned respect – sometimes begrudged – and made some enemies while serving longer than the other three major sports commissioners combined.”He’s a force Tyler Johnson Jersey , so he’s not going to roll over because somebody thinks it’s a good idea,” said John Collins, a former NHL chief operating officer. ”He’s very principled and he sticks up for his principles. And those principles could be business principles or they could be just kind of moral principles and he’ll fight for that. That’s the way he lives his life, and that’s the way he runs the league.”Part of Bettman’s work involves keeping 31 ownership groups and markets on the same page. Former Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment President and CEO Richard Peddie said Bettman bringing almost every owner into the league has its benefits.”They’re all there because Gary ultimately blessed them, so I think they always have some kind of IOUs,” Peddie said. ”I don’t mean that in a disingenuous or unfair way. But he was the gatekeeper, so he has that going for him.”Bettman, who was NBA general counsel under then-Commissioner David Stern and a senior vice president before starting at the NHL on Feb. 1, 1993, orchestrates things in such a way that there’s rarely public dissent. Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis has watched how Bettman builds a united front among owners.”He’ll pre-brief and sell some of the key owners, if you will, and he backchannels and he’ll literally call and brief every owner personally on a subject so that when you come to the meeting, you’re briefed, you’ve asked your questions,” Leonsis said. ”Because he puts in the work and he has the data and his competence is not questioned in any way and he does have the data, he’s able to land the planes, if you will, with efficiency.”Bettman acknowledges some events during his tenure were not of his making. To this day, he insists moving the Quebec Nordiques to Colorado and the original Winnipeg Jets to Arizona had to be done, and that the 2004-05 lockout that wiped out an entire season was necessary to ensure the long-term health of the league.”There are things I wish might not have happened,” Bettman said. ”Work stoppages are a good example. The fact is I knew what we needed, and we had to get it. And if it took a long time to ultimately convince the Players’ Association that this was in everybody’s best interest, I wish it could’ve happened sooner, but it didn’t.”There are some in hockey who can’t forgive Bettman for the lockouts, most recently one in 2012-13. There are others like Peddie who’d rather consider them part of an entire body of work that includes overseeing expansion into the Sun Belt.”It’s putting hockey where it hasn’t traditionally been,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly said. ”That’s proven successful. … I think his legacy of having franchises there and putting hockey in nontraditional markets and making it relevant in nontraditional markets kind of exceeds the business success of the teams.”The deaths of enforcers Derek Boogaard and Bob Probert brought CTE and hockey to the forefront, and the NHL is currently facing a federal lawsuit from more than 100 former players who allege it had the resources to better prevent head trauma, failed to properly warn players of such risks and promoted violent play. In a July 31, 2015, deposition Victor Hedman Jersey , Bettman said: ”There’s no medical or scientific certainty that concussions lead to CTE.”Bettman said the NHL was a leader on concussion studies, testing and solutions as far back as the 1990s. He also said he believes the lawsuit has no merit.”People can embrace that position, understand it, dismiss it – that’ll be individual opinions,” he said. ”But I have to do what I have to do on behalf of the game, and it starts with player safety being a priority.”Bettman is paid more than $9 million annually and with that is willing to take the brunt of responsibility for the NHL’s good, bad and ugly. He doesn’t have too many fans at the Players’ Association, but owners line up behind him based on his work in raising franchise values, negotiating U.S. and Canadian TV deals and steering the sport through trouble.”I think the league is lucky to have had him as long as they’ve had,” said Collins, who worked under Bettman for nine years. ”That role for any sport is a really tough one and it’s really tough when you’re in it for a long time because it’s inevitable that you collect a lot of dents.”The dents don’t keep Bettman up at night, but he works so much that he’ll sleep at most 6 hours on the weekend and often much less. When he returned home at 2 a.m. from a playoff game this spring, he walked 13-year-old golden doodle Lola and 4-year-old Teddy before bed, slept under three hours and postponed working out with a trainer to leave the house at 6:15 for an 8 a.m. television appearance.”I don’t get a lot of sleep and I don’t need a lot of sleep,” Bettman said in his office overlooking Sixth Avenue that has a table-top hockey game, books of the sport’s history and plenty of family photos. ”There are probably certain days where people in my family will think I have narcolepsy, because if I sit down I might fall asleep for five or 10 minutes. But what I do is energizing, so that keeps me going. And I eat a lot of candy.”Bettman and Daly spent two hours earlier this week poring over a draft of the 2018-19 schedule while having Chinese food for lunch – a less glamorous part of the job than handing out the Stanley Cup each June but part of the gig.So is planning for the future, even though Bettman is under contract through 2022 and shows no signs of slowing down. Daly, who’s 54, thinks Bettman will work long enough that owners should look to someone younger as the next commissioner, but his boss is more than comfortable handing him the reins if anything went wrong.”What if God forbid I get hit by a bus?” Bettman said. ”Well, I’ve built an organization that, if need be, I’d hope they’d miss me somewhat, but if need be could carry on.”—
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