Bettman Begins: What the world was like in 1993
(SI.com) -- On February 1, 1993, the NHL was in the midst of an epic offensive season. Goaltenders were under siege as 7.26 goals were being scored per game and a record 21 players were on their way to the 100-point plateau -- (by contrast, goal production was 5.32 per game in 2011-12; only Evgeni Malkin of the Penguins hit 100 points) -- and14 players, also a record, scored 50 or more goals. (Only Malkin and Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos did so last season.) A back injury limited Wayne Gretzky to a career-low 16 goals and 65 points, but he ultimately led his Los Angeles Kings (coached by Barry Melrose) to the Stanley Cup Final, where they fell in five games to the Montreal Canadiens, the league's last Canadian-based champion. Fittingly, the Habs hoisted the Cup during the 100th anniversary of the first awarding of the hallowed bowl -- to Montreal A.A.A.
So into this turbocharged world of ice came the NHL's first commissioner (his five predecessors held the title of President), not yet a perennial target of boo-birds during solemn ceremonies such the Cup presentation.
Much change was coming, but here's a snapshot of what the NHL, and the world in general, looked like during the momentous year of 1993:
Goals: Alexander Mogilny, Sabres;
Teemu Selanne, Jets: 76
Assists: Adam Oates, Bruins: 97
Points: Mario Lemieux, Penguins: 160
Plus/minus: Mario Lemieus (+55)
PIM: Marty McSorley, Kings: 399
Wins: Tom Barrasso, Penguins, 43
Losses: Peter Sidorkiewicz, Senators: 46
GAA: Felix Potvin, Maple Leafs, 2.50
Saves: Curtis Joseph, Blues: 2202
Saves pct: Curtis Joseph, Blues: .911
Hart Trophy: Mario Lemieux, Penguins
Vezina Trophy: Ed Belfour, Blackhawks
Calder Trophy: Teemu Selanne, Jets
Norris Trophy: Chris Chelios, Blackhawks
Selke Trophy: Doug Gilmour, Maple Leafs
Lady Byng Trophy: Pierre Turgeon, Islanders
Jack Adams Award: Pat Burns, Maple Leafs
Eric Lindros, Flyers: $3.5 million
(Now: Shea Weber, Predators ($14 million)
(Now $.2.5 million with minimum of $525,000)
CLARENCE CAMPBELL CONFERENCE
PRINCE OF WALES CONFERENCE
Smythe: Kings over Flames, 4-2; Canucks over Jets, 4-2
Norris: Maple Leafs over Red Wings, 4-3; Blues over Blackhawks, 4-0
Patrick: Islanders over Capitals, 4-2; Penguins over Devils, 4-1
Adams: Canadiens over Nordiques, 4-2; Sabres over Bruins, 4-0
Smythe: Kings over Canucks, 4-2
Norris: Maple Leafs over Blues, 4-3
Patrick: Islanders over Penguins, 4-3
Adams: Canadiens over Sabres, 4-0
Campbell: Kings over Maple Leafs, 4-3
Wales: Canadiens over Islanders, 4-1
STANLEY CUP FINAL
Canadiens over Kings, 4-1
• Teemu Selanne of the Winnipeg Jets broke the NHL rookie record for goals (Mike Bossy's 53) on March 2 against the Quebec Nordiques and went on to score 76.
• Mario Lemieux's two-time defending Cup-winner Penguins were upset in the Patrick Division final by the New York Islanders on a Game 7 overtime goal by unsung forward David Volek.
• Kings defenseman Marty McSorley is caught using an illegal stick during Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final and the ensuing penalty is widely credited with blunting any momentum LA had in the series. The Canadiens rallied to win the game and had no problem for there taking the series.
|Quebec City, June 26, 1993|
In keeping with the Gary Bettman's roots in the NBA, conferences and divisions were renamed and realigned, with the NHL's old traditional names gone in favor of ones based on geography. The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and the Florida Panthers also embarked on their first seasons.
Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls beat the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals for their third straight championship. In the NFL, the Buffalo Bills narrowly -- well, not so much -- lost their third straight Super Bowl, 52-17 to the Dallas Cowboys. The Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series for the second straight year and the Yankees finished out of the playoffs, the last time they would do so until 2008 (not counting the 1994 postseason that was canceled due to a players strike.). In the wonderful world of cycling, Miguel Indurain won the Tour de France for the third time en route to five straight wins and no PED inquiry. And over in tennis, Monica Seles was stabbed by a deranged fan of Steffi Graf at a tournament in Hamburg, Germany.
Major sports scandal: Reds owner Marge Schott was fined $25,000 and suspended nine months in the wake of complaints that her wardrobe drawer included a Nazi armband and that she had uttered ethnic and racial slurs about her own players.
Celebrity scandal of the year: Michael Jackson was accused of inappropriate contact with a 13-year old boy. The white-gloved superstar later issued a four-minute denial on network TV and consented to a rare, and widely-watched, interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Soundtrack: All That She Wants (Ace of Base), Whoomp! (There It Is) (Tag Team), In Utero (Nirvana), Doggystyle (Snoop Dogg), Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang (Dr. Dre), Zooropa (U2), I'd Do Anything For Love, But I Won't Do That (Meatloaf), Crying Game (Boy George), Pork Soda (Primus), Runaway Train (Soul Asylum)
Top movies and TV shows: Unforgiven won the Oscar as Best Picture, Schindler's List, Philadelphia, and Six Degrees of Separation were box office hits while Home Improvement, Seinfeld, Roseanne, Grace Under Fire and Coach ruled the big box in people's living rooms.
Other cultural milestones: Steely Dan re-formed; The U.S. Postal Service issued an Elvis Presley stamp; Lorena Bobbitt made headlines for cutting off her husband's Mr. Happy; Music lovers flocked to their local record stores to purchase The Artistry of Michael Bolton; Rick Astley squeezed out Body and Soul and wasn't heard from again until 2001.
Notable passings: Frank Zappa, Andre The Giant, Arthur Ashe, Patricia Nixon, Conway Twitty, Cesar Chavez, George "Spanky" McFarland of the Little Rascals, Fred "Herman Munster" Gwynne, River Phoenix, Vincent Price, Herve "Tattoo" Villechaize, Thurgood Marshall, James Jordan (father of Michael), Audrey Hepburn, Dizzy Gillespie, Arlington Stadium
Notable arrivals: Nail Yakupov, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Florida Panthers, Florida Marlins, Colorado Rockies, pentium chips, World Wide Web, Windows NT 3.1, Frasier, Beavis and Butt-Head, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Walker, Texas Ranger, Daft Punk, Wu Tang Clan, The Hives, Korn, Jimmy Eat World, Modest Mouse, Big Ass Truck
Notable world events: European Union formed; Czechoslovakia dissolved; NAFTA approved, humans cloned; Mississippi and Missouri Rivers flood the Midwest; Unabomber continues to strike; U.S. responds with 40 tomahawk missiles in dispute over Iraq's nuclear weapons program (Jan. 19); World Trade Center bombed (Feb. 26); Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms storms Branch Davidian Compound in Waco, TX (April 19); White House counsel Vincent Foster commits suicide (July 20); Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin sign peace accord (Sept. 13); Black Hawk Down incident in Mogadishu (Oct. 3); Church of Scientology granted full tax exempt status (Oct. 8); Omar Bongo re-elected President of Gabon (Dec. 18).
Big threats: Tuberculosis, Hantavirus
U.S. National debt: $347 billion (now $16 trillion)