Words from Bettman on DirectTV-Versus feud 

January, 15, 2010

Did you catch the Jordan Staal show last night in Edmonton? The Pittsburgh Penguins were down 2-0 to the bottom-feeding Edmonton Oilers in the third period when the lanky pivot cranked things up. Staal set up three third period goals to help the defending champs to a come-from-behind 3-2 victory.

Clearly, Staal brother No. 3 is uniquely positioned in the Pens' lineup behind megastar centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. And, as such, he isn't the focus of an opponents' defensive game plan. Still, I love Staal's ability to raise his level in the big moments of a game. And I haven't waivered in my belief that he would have been a terrific choice for Canada's Olympic effort.

Staal and the Penguins will be looking to go three-for-three on their current tour of Western Canada when they visit the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night. I wonder what Canucks controversy will come out of that game? In Vancouver's last three tilts, we've had the laser-pointer guy mystery (against Calgary), the ref hates me drama (against Nashville) and, of course, the old classic, the coach is making me fight (against Minnesota).

What could be next in Canucksland?

For now, I'll ponder a few quick questions in my Five for Friday, starting with a question on the minds of satellite-TV subscribing puckheads everywhere.

Will the Versus-DirecTV dispute be settled any time soon?

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.

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