Thread: Gary Bettman
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06-11-2008, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ragshockey88 View Post
i may sound ignorant, but give someone the job who has a hockey background, no one at this point can make it worse. i think the worst possible thing i had ever heard was bettman proposing changing the nets, id find him and snap his neck if that were to happen
I don't really agree with this argument. The commisioner doesn't make rule changes or impact the product on the ice beyond the fiscal and locational aspects. He doesn't change how the game is played. The Board of Governors, made up of hockey minds and former players, change the rules and the product on the ice. Bettman may try to influence them but if the BoGs can't resist him over the tremendous pull of tradition and history then they deserve to have a product that fails and the blame will fall on them.

I don't blame the league for seeking a mind that can pull the league out of the fringe and into the limelight and truckloads of cash. The problem is that Bettman failed at every major mandate he was given.

-He was brought in after salary disclosure became a tool for the union. Players knew what eachother were making... they discovered their value and salaries rose. Bettman was supposed to surpress that rise, he was supposed to bring the union to their knees after the first lockout. Failed. His CBA completely backfired and caused salaries to rise at an even faster rate.

-He was brought in to expand the league. Accomplished but he still managed to turn it into a failure. His shortsightedness and greed lured him into the sunbelt... an untapped market at the time and with a few exceptions markets that were untapped for good reason. The weak franchises (PHX, Nash, Fla, TB, Atl, Car) are all moves or new franchises under his tenure. He saw an immediate revenue source from owners willing to pay the franchise fee but he misread the market by bailing on the northern franchise and prospective cities too soon. Now the strong Canadian dollar isn't being sunk into the NHL at a rate as much as it could be with Winnepeg, Quebec, Hamilton etc being left untapped. Not to mention the northern US cities that wanted in. To compound his problems, many of these cities became the squeeky wheels that brought on the 2nd lockout. Cities that couldn't compete financially because their market blow for hockey.

That's not even getting into the dilouted product that is the result of a serious expansion.

-He was supposed to break the union and bring in cost certainty. Utter failure. Last year's average salary was higher than the pre-lockout average. He justified this lockout by promising lower ticket prices that lasted all of 1 season.

-I'm confident that one day we'll find out that the commisioner and the owners fudged the ledger books when they cried poor prior to the lockout. I'm positive they hid revenues to show losses, losses blamed on player salaries. I find it hard to believe that teams spending $22m and supposedly hemoraging badly rebounded in under 4 years with an entire year of lost revenue. How can they be forced to pay at least $34m this past season and make money while they lost enourmous amounts while spending $12m less? Are they making more than $12m now in ticket sales and gimmick jerseys? Or did they hide revenue sources (TV contracts, concession sales, luxury boxes) prior to the lockout? What seems logical to you?

-I'm curious to see how his failure to work out a deal with Russia on a transfer agreement plays out in the next few years. His last tactic of stonewalling them seems to have galvanized the Russians even more and are now forming their competing league. His 30 team legacy is riding on this outcome. If Russia steals too many players the NHL will be horribly weak.

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