Bettman's ruling does misquote McSorley—by falsely alleging that McSorley had said he "sacrificed himself for the good of the game"—and includes at least one certain error in fact. Bettman charged that McSorley attempted to slash Brashear's midsection, while McSorley's sworn testimony was that he tried to hit Brashear's shoulder. (Video replays refuted Bettman's claim.) Also, Bettman waited for nearly three days before hearing May's case, while McSorley's hearing came only 33 hours after the incident with Brashear. That timing made it nearly impossible for McSorley, who was being investigated by the Vancouver police, to attend the NHL proceeding in New York.
Bettman denied Kelly's request for McSorley's immediate reinstatement and wrote back that he found Kelly's points "to be inaccurate and/or irrelevant" The commissioner need not apologize for his decision on McSorley. As he writes in his letter to Kelly, " Mr. McSorley is not, and never was, the victim here." Yet Bettman has done himself a disservice. By misrepresenting important details of the McSorley case, he has weakened the strength of his verdict.
Talking a Good Game
SI recently asked head coaches, Whom among their peers would they most like to hear at a seminar? Not surprisingly, the Red Wings' Scotty Bowman received 11 of the 26 votes cast. "The only issue would be getting Scotty to open up," one respondent said of the NHL's winningest coach and also one of its most reserved. The Stars' Ken Hitchcock and the Maple Leafs' Pat Quinn each got five votes, and while they don't have Bowman's reputation as a hockey mastermind, both were cited for their hockey knowledge and for vital qualities in public speaking. Two coaches called Hitchcock, "entertaining," while Quinn earned even higher praise: "He's funny," said a voter.