Columnist: Where’s the proof NHL owners aren’t unified?

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If there’s dissension in the ranks of NHL owners, the Toronto Star’s Damien Cox wants proof, not conjecture and anonymous sources.

Cox went on a bit of Twitter rant Monday as speculation swirls that some NHL owners aren’t fully behind commissioner Gary Bettman:

[tweet https://twitter.com/DamoSpin/status/255333823645106178%5D

[tweet https://twitter.com/DamoSpin/status/255334274314694656%5D

If we had to guess, Cox’s tweets came in direct response to an article written by the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch in which a “league insider” was quoted as saying, “My guess is you’ve got about 10 teams that are pretty nervous right now.”

Garrioch went on to theorize that the owners of the New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, and Buffalo Sabres may be quietly unhappy with the league taking such a hard stance against the players.

“Theoretically” Cox admits some owners may not be fully on board with Bettman’s negotiating strategy. “But theory doesn’t make fact.”

Of course, owners are forbidden from speaking to the media about the lockout, so if there’s actually disagreement behind the scenes, unless one of the dissenters is willing to pay an enormous fine (not to mention get on the bad side of the commissioner), we won’t be hearing anything on the record.