What is Gary Bettman really saying?

Every now and then, you come across a work of art in the blogger
world. There are so many great writers, with some incredible insight and
creativity, that we have great articles to read to read every single
day. Yet sometimes, you come across the pot of gold. Dominik of
Lighthouse Hockey has provided us with that today.

Gary Bettman
talked with the media before Wednesday night’s game in Los Angeles,
hitting a number of topics. There was a bit of sparring back and forth
with the media, and Bettman also provided a lengthy Q&A with the LA
Times, which you can read here.

Dominik decided to translate that
interview, providing a satirical look into the true meaning behind
Bettman’s words. Here
is a taste:

Bettman: “It’s a coincidence. It’s good to be
here. We’ve been
planning [the 2010 draft], as have the Kings, for a while, but we know
that this is a market that will support hockey. We had a terrific
All-Star Game here in 2002, when things were not as exciting as they
are today. But you always have to look at these things for the long

“And yet, league movers and shakers still wanted to be able to play
golf, so L.A. it is.”

Translation: “It’s totally a coincidence the draft is in L.A.
Never mind that with all of last summer’s sideshow, we really really
really wanted to prove a point by holding it in Phoenix. But as that
ownership quagmire lingered into the winter, it became too much of a
reach for even us “this-pig-smells-like-a-rose” types in the NHL office
to hold the draft in a city that might not have a team anymore.

I don’t want to steal much more thunder from Dominik, but it’s
certainly a great and hilarious read into what the ‘true’ meanings
behind Bettman’s words might be.

And honestly, it’s tough to argue with any of them.

Panarin impresses ‘Hawks with his preseason debut

Artemi Panarin
AP Photo

Will Artem Panarin‘s overwhelming success in the KHL translate to North America? The 23-year-old forward has a lot to prove, but his first big test was a success.

Playing on a line with Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov, Panarin made his preseason debut in Chicago’s finale on Saturday. He registered two assists while giving his teammates reason to be optimistic about him.

“For not being on the ice he looks really relaxed. He’s great with the puck, has nice moves and I think we’ll see a lot of this,” Marian Hossa told CSN Chicago. “He has unbelievable skill. People here in Chicago are going to have a good time watching this guy dangling.”

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was impressed by Panarin as well and liked that line as a whole.

The fact that the trio seemed to hit it off quickly has to come as a relief after an upper-body injury prevented Panarin from getting the most out of this year’s training camp. At the end of the day though, the fact that he was able to at least get in one preseason contest is a big silver lining. How smoothly his adjustment goes from here is still a big X-factor, but at least now he’s going into the regular season with a better idea of what to expect.

Panarin is attempting to establish himself in the NHL after leading the KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg to a championship last year. He was the team’s scoring leader, topping ex-NHL star Ilya Kovalchuk.

Gustavsson secures one-year contract with Bruins

Jonas Gustavsson
AP Photo
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There was stiff competition for the backup goaltending job in Boston, but with a signing this afternoon, it seems likely that the matter has been resolved.

The Boston Bruins announced that Jonas Gustavsson has agreed to a one-year, $700,000 deal. It’s a one-way contract, according to the Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin.

That contract is still small enough that the Bruins could bury it in the minors if they so desire, but it does set him apart from his last competitor for the goalie position, Jeremy Smith, who has a two-way deal. The fact that Boston went this route seems to imply that Gustavsson will serve as Tuukka Rask‘s understudy, although both netminders attended Sunday’s practice.

In Smith, the Bruins would be getting a 26-year-old goaltender who was dominant with the AHL’s Providence Bruins last season, but has no NHL experience. By contrast Gustavsson, 30, has played in almost 150 NHL games.

Boston sent Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban to the minors last week, but an argument could be made that either one of them is worthy of the backup job. However, both of them have a lot of potential and it’s not surprising that the Bruins felt they were better served by staying in the minors where they can play regularly and focus on honing their game.