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01-06-2013, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Frenzy1 View Post
Bettman has done a great job of growing the game. Fans can be pissed at him all they want. Blame him for the lockout... etc. But - you do have to give him credit where it is due.

Revenues are way up. Teams for kids in the US has grown quite a bit (heck we have Cali kids being drafted). Other countries are producing highend players. He has grown the game.

From the owners perspective, he has taken all the flack for the two lockouts and has acted like a shield for the owners from fan hate. Fans and players can hate him, but fans will return to their teams and will root for them. Players will return to their teams and play hard for them.

IMO, he has done his job. But I also see it as a time for the NHL to make a change and let him go. That would be one step. Also, Fehr needs to leave - which would be step two.

Finally, I would offer any fan who had had at Center Ice package at any point in the past 4 years, free center ice. That would be one big step.

After that, the best thing that could happen is strong hockey with good teams in some of the weaker markets. That will drive fan interest back into those teams with long playoff pushes. Some of the smaller markets/weaker fan bases need to have a good playoff run and that will drive fans back into their seats.

The rest of us will be back - because we are fans.
I don't deny for one second that Bettman has done his job and has "grown" the value of the game, but that's not the issue. The issue is he is the face of the game, and everyone is sick of seeing his face. Right or wrong, if you replace Bettman ( maybe keep Bettman in the back room so he still is involved but get him out of the public eye ) you eliminate a major reason people have for being pissed off.

And if the NHL puts a "Thank-you Fans" message on the ice, it won't be there for long. People I sit with will be throwing beers and pops at that logo on the ice.

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