NEW YORK - - Gary Bettman isn’t in the business of cheering for any particular NHL teams, but he recognizes the excitement surrounding the Maple Leafs through the opening week of the season..
And the NHL commissioner has been impressed with the sizzling start by the Leafs and the effect it might be having in one of the hottest and most lucrative markets in the league.
“What has been great about what is going on in Toronto so far this season is how visible the passion is for hockey and the Leafs,” Bettman said in an interview Friday at the league offices in Manhattan.
“It’s always been the case, but obviously when the team is playing better, the passion bubbles through the surface in remarkable ways.”
Bettman has a strong relationship with Leafs general manager, Brian Burke, who was a guest on the commissioner’s weekly radio on Thursday night.