Feb 15, 2013, 1:40 PM EDT
Friday marked the second straight day of NHL Olympic participation meetings in New York. Four parties — the NHL, NHLPA, IIHF and IOC — met to discuss a variety of topics, but two participants stood out above the rest:
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and IIHF president Rene Fasel.
Why? Well, the two haven’t always worked together harmoniously and, as Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston points out, the days leading up to the meeting weren’t exactly ideal:
There was more than a hint of tension in the air. Relationships are frayed.
Rene Fasel, the wildcard who wears two hats (IIHF and IOC), certainly didn’t help things. He not only told the CBC last weekend that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman had “no other choice” but to allow players to go to Sochi, but also said that it was “ego from some people in North America” that was keeping it from happening.
At this point it doesn’t even matter that there is a small grain of truth in those statements. Finger-pointing and name-calling, especially from someone in Fasel’s position, isn’t going to help the process along.
Despite that, there was optimism emanating from Friday’s meeting. Johnston said there was a “feeling” that discussions “got started in the right direction” this week.
On that note, here are Bettman and Fasel addressing the media:
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- Wilson signs with Preds, leaving just four arbitration cases to go 2
- Rangers sign Stepan — six years, $39 million 62
- Deal with the Devils: New Jersey re-signs Larsson to six-year contract 14
- Stepan seeks $7.25M in arbitration, Rangers counter at $5.2M 24
- Capitals investment: Holtby signs five-year, $30.5M deal 21
- Redemption time? Montreal, Semin agree to one-year deal 26
- Full autonomy: Lamoriello’s place in Leafs’ chain of command 26
- Lamoriello’s departure removes any doubt: Devils are Shero’s team 21
- With Lamoriello hire, Leafs hammer home their culture change 23
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- Rangers sign Stepan — six years, $39 million (62)
- Ah, arbitration: Holtby reportedly asking for $8 million, Caps countering at $5.1 million (59)