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11-27-2012, 11:38 AM
Puttin' on the Foil
ZZamboni's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Buffalo, NY
Country: United States
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I'm not anti Bettman/Owners. I'm not anti Fehr/Players ....

Because Gary Bettman apparently proposed a two week moratorium on negotiations because of whatever dumb reasons he could come up with and apparently based entirely on hearsay everyone even remotely sympathetic to the players in this labor strife once again took the opportunity to climb their nearest mountaintop and proclaim the man deeply and truly inept, irresponsible, and worst of all, Bad For The Game. But the truth of Bettman's role in this lockout, and in the League as a whole, is far more complicated than his being the guy who brought fans three lockouts in 18 years. The simple fact is that when he's actually doing the day to day business of running the League, and not locking out the players at the slightest provocation, Bettman might be the best commissioner in sports.

The League's hockey-related revenues expanded 50 percent to $3.3 billion in the seven years since Bettman notoriously dashed an entire season in an effort to break the players' union.

Despite all the claims that no one would come back, and despite the fact that ticket prices didn't actually go down as promised, far more people get out to NHL games and show they care about the product by spending money on it than they did before.

In terms of television ratings, (relatively speaking) no one watches hockey, and yet Bettman just worked NBC Sports Network to the tune of $2 billion over the next 10 years, having already essentially forced it to go from The Hunting and Fishing Channel to The Hockey and Also Some Other Stuff Channel.

The Winter Classic, for one, is the most-watched hockey game of the year, a huge event that this league could never have pulled off prior to the last lockout. It makes the league an absolutely insane amount of money, and Bettman deserves partial credit alongside John Collins who was the guy who had the vision on this, but Bettman at least listened to him.

The decision to let Atlanta move to Winnipeg when it needed to do so was one he likely could have forestalled, but didn't. He got out of the way despite making seemingly every other southern team a rock on which to die, and that certainly worked to the league's benefit last season as well.

He's very obviously not a bad commissioner or a bad steward for the sport, or an idiot. He's a good commissioner, a good promoter and even grower of the game, and a very smart man. What he isn't is in any way likable and seems to lack basic interpersonal skills that could serve to make him a tolerable person to which one could listen to.

He's not perfect. To err is human. But blind sheep like hate invalidates you as knowledgeable.

So keep on hating on Bettman because all your internet buddies and clueless bloggers hate him.

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