Bettman: Pronger doesn't cross line

Updated: June 4, 2010, 7:48 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said he hasn't seen Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger do anything that violates league rules in the Stanley Cup finals, despite complaints by the Chicago Blackhawks.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Thursday he would use "forums and mechanisms" to get his message out about Pronger, implying he would alert league supervisors to any of Pronger's actions that may cross the line, including stick-work and interfering with players.

"I don't know that anybody's brought anything to my attention that's crossed the line," Bettman said Friday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "Some people find what he does entertaining, some don't.

"It depends on who you're rooting for, but he's been around long enough to know how to get close to the line without crossing it."

The Blackhawks take a 2-1 series lead into Game 4 on Friday night. Pronger made headlines after the first two games in Chicago, which the Blackhawks won, by grabbing the pucks after the games and throwing them away.

Bettman didn't mind the publicity generated by the stunts.

"It's bringing attention to the game," Bettman said. "It's showing our players have personality."

As far as what's been taking place on the ice, Bettman said it's been "phenomenal."

"Ratings are up across the board, and more importantly, there's a real buzz about it," Bettman said. "All of the games were so close they could've gone either way, and I think that means we're witnessing something terrific.

"We don't know how long this series is going to go, we don't know what's going to happen tonight, and it's the unpredictability that adds to the excitement and the tension."

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