NHL Commissioner Bettman welcomed in Winnipeg
WINNIPEG, Manitoba—Hockey fans in Winnipeg seem to have forgiven Gary Bettman.
Once villified in the city after the original Winnipeg Jets left town, the NHL commissioner had his name chanted in the concourse of MTS Centre on Sunday while doing a radio interview before the second generation Jets played their first game against the Montreal Canadiens.
It was such an unusual occurrence, he wasn't sure if they were actually showing their support for him.
"I thought the radio guy, his name was Gary (Lawless), I thought they were cheering for him," Bettman said, laughing.
The commissioner was often blamed for the league's decision to relocate the Jets to Phoenix in 1996. At that time, the team was struggling with attendance at the old Winnipeg Arena and couldn't find a new ownership group.