Today is a not-so-happy anniversary for many of us around the hockey world. This marks the 15-year anniversary of Gary Bettman's appointment to commissioner of the NHL. I do enough Bettman bashing around here so I'm going to be nice and lay off the guy. He's probably a nice person, even if his managerial skills are, well, questionable.
All I'm going to do is ask you to think back and try to remember December 11, 1992. Think about what the NHL was like back then...
- The league was about to start a big television deal in America with FOX.
- It was arguably the height of the sports' popularity in America... depending on who you ask.
- A Canadian team would win the Stanley Cup in 1993, a feat not repeated since.
- Mario Lemieux had just won his second Stanley Cup, which had been preceded by a few Oiler teams winning the whole enchilada, led by you know who.
- The first of the last truly successful batch of expansion teams had been brought into existence. (Before you jump on me I know there have been successful teams since, but for the most part, the majority of successful expansion came before this time.)
- Bill Clinton was about to take the oath of office for the first time.
- Hockey cards with game-used crap on them had not yet been invented.