Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.
Islanders v. Botta, continued
Here is my latest take on the matter of New York Islanders v. Chris Botta from the Friday newspaper.
Bottom line: No matter how bad all this has made the Islanders look and no matter what the Professional Hockey Writers Association and the National Hockey League might think about it, it appears the team intends to continue exercising its right to deny Botta a media credential.
Botta did a half-dozen interviews Thursday on the subject, then said he intended to go about his business and let the process play itself out. He returned to blogging Friday.
The weirdest moment of his mini-media-tour Thursday was the last, when he was interviewed on Versus' "NHL Overtime" show, after which one of the analysts discussing the situation was Billy Jaffe, the well-liked MSG Plus color analyst recently deposed by the team.
Here is the most thorough take on the controversy I have read, including a note on the irony of Botta having established the Islanders' "Blog Box" a few years back when he was the team's p.r. chief.
The NHL cannot be happy about this but has not taken a public position. All spokesman Frank Brown would tell me Thursday was that he did meet with GM Garth Snow to discuss it Wednesday.
When I asked Brown what the league's opinion on the situation is, he paused for 10 seconds and said only, "The league represents the interests of the 30 member clubs."
(Full disclosure: I used to play hockey with Brown in the early 1990s when he was a Daily News reporter. Kenny Albert, Steve Levy and other famous media figures also participated.)
Botta said in a radio interview Thursday that he is concerned his situation quickly will disappear from the public's and media's radar screens after the initial burst of attention.
Given the Islanders' status in the sports world, he probably is right.