THN: "100 People of Power and Influence"

Lesedauer: ca. 3 Minuten

Die neueste Ausgabe der  Fachzeitschrift "The Hockey News" wirft

einen Blick auf die 100 wichtigsten und einflussreichsten Personen im

nordamerikanischen Eishockey-Business:

100 People of Power and Influence

By Alan Adams

Your correspondent is on a rooftop terrace in Doha, counting the number

of construction cranes silhouetted against the skyline of Qatar’s

capital city.

Twenty years ago, Doha was a non-descript fishing port on the Persian

Gulf, but the discovery of oil and natural gas has poured billions of

dollars into this sand-pit of a country the size of Maryland.

The Emir of Qatar wants his country to be the financial powerbroker of

the oil-rich Gulf and he knows money and power are one in the same in

this part of the world. And Doha drips money. In this place, if someone

wrecks his SUV, he abandons it on the side of the road and buys a

bigger one .

And this, in a roundabout way, brings us to the annual People of Power list compiled by The Hockey News.

The Emir overthrew his father to seize power in the 1990s while dad was

out of the country, but NHL commissioner Gary Bettman doesn’t have to

worry about going on a road trip and being removed in a coup d’etat.

The fact the NHL generated $2.178 billion in revenues in the

post-lockout 2005-06 season simply consolidated Bettman’s perch atop

the PoP list.

Players and owners alike benefited from a close working relationship

between the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association and that speaks to how

Ted Saskin, the PA’s executive director, moved up four spots to No. 2.

Saskin is not the only mover and shaker to leap a few spots. Power, after all, comes in many forms in the world of hockey.

Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin are the face(s) of the NHL and

that explains why Crosby moved six spots to No. 7 and Ovechkin vaulted

to No. 15 from No. 57.

We’d be remiss not to recognize the amazing jobs done by GMs Darcy

Regier with Buffalo and Brian Burke with Anaheim, along with the

ground-breaking move by Carolina coach Peter Laviolette in banning

fighting (it’s prohibited on his team) on the road to the Stanley Cup

title. They’ve all moved up the pecking poll.

Ivan Fecan is hardly a name known by most hockey enthusiasts, but he is

back on the list after a short absence. Fecan heads Bell Globe Media

and its properties include TSN, the NHL Network, and CTV, which is

expected to give CBC a fight for the NHL’s broadcast rights in Canada.

And Research In Motion CEO Jim Balsillie was poised to debut on the

power list this year as a new and influential owner, but he scuttled

his deal to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins because too many string were


As new names and faces take their place on the PoP list, others are either dropped completely or moved down, some significantly.

Consider Mario Lemieux. He slipped from No. 5 in 2003-04 to No. 15 last

year to off the list altogether. The Penguins’ non-sale to Balsillie

only stalls his imminent departure from the game.

Slava Fetisov has disappeared completely. A year ago Russia’s sports

minister was promising to wrestle power from Russian club teams and

start an NHL-style league in Russia. He lost the power struggle.

There’s no formula in assembling the list. The PoP list is and will

always be a work in progress. Information is power and work starts soon

gathering information for next year’s annual list.

And there’s a stock answer for those who aren’t on the list, but think they should be (and people do call): “You’re No. 101.”

To read the rest of this story and other great features from the world of

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