If the players accept the league’s offer to meet without head executives Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr, then New York Rangers owner James Dolan wants to be there, the New York Post’s Larry Brooks reports.
Brooks lines up reasons why Dolan could be a difference-maker in those hypothetical meetings, most notably that the Rangers generate the league’s second-most revenue and profits behind the Toronto Maple Leafs.
One might have the instinct to believe that Dolan would be pleased that Bettman wouldn’t be in attendance; the two powerful individuals most notably butted heads regarding the team’s Web site in 2007.
Brooks writes it might be more important is that Dolan – also owner of the New York Knicks – was a helpful factor in ending the NBA’s lockout, though.
The source familiar with Dolan’s thinking told The Post Dolan believes his relationship with the commissioner is immaterial given his substantial role in brokering an agreement between NBA owners and NBA players that ended that league’s 2011-12 lockout last Dec. 8 and allowed for a 66-game season to commence on Christmas Day.
Either way, two things must happen for Dolan to be involved: the NHLPA must agree to meet and Bettman would need to OK Dolan’s inclusion.
Still, it’s interesting to note that a big market owner might just help end this thing – assuming that’s what he would push for, of course.