20 years ago today, Gary Bettman officially took office as the first NHL Commissioner.
The first week of the shortest month of the year offers professional hockey a rare share of the American sports spotlight. Football is finally finished, and the baseball players won't report for spring training for another couple of weeks. The sports news media poke their collective heads above ground, see Charles Barkley's shadow and realize there are six more weeks of college basketball until the Final Four.
So the stage was set yesterday (February 1st, 1993) at National Hockey League headquarters in Manhattan, where Gary Bettman took office as the first commissioner in the league's 76-year history.
The traditional gift for a 20th anniversary is china. Maybe if we pool our money together, we can buy him a (one way) ticket TO China?
*edit* Props to the author of that story for the Charles Barkley one-liner.