But seriously, while I agree that Bettman has made many mistakes in his tenure, he was brought in to do exactly what his is doing now. He wasn't allowed to do it 5 years ago and it just made the mess worse. This time he will accomplish the goal and will be sent along his merry way with a huge golden parachute and be replaced by a commish with real hockey knowledge. Either that or I am totally wrong.
I voted yes. But I would have said it five years ago as well. Let's see here........... since Bettman arrived in '93 at that time goals were at over 7 per game. Hockey was fun to watch almost every game. Goalie pads weren't so bloaded and there were only 24 teams. Good enough for me I'd say.
Now since he has joined the league, we've seen the Nords, Jets, Northstars, and Whalers leave their cities, almost Edmonton and Ottawa as well, and almost Pittsburgh. We've had that infamous in the crease rule (great for the game) we've had work stoppage that lasted half the season and another one that's gonna wipe out the entire one right now, we've had Anaheim, Florida, Nashville, Columbus, Minnesota, and Atlanta added. Only Minnesota should have ever gotten one. That means we've had 150 players added to the league since '93 who would have never made it if it wasnt for expansion (good examples are Nik Antropov, Chris Dingman etc.). Player salaries have escalated 400%, tickets have gone up increasingly high as well. We've seen a watered down NHL that leaves 85% of teams to play the neutral zone trap, which is how teams like Nashville get into the playoffs, also have oversized goalie equipment which has allowed the Garth Snows of the world to be goalies where as otherwise they'd be pumping gas for a living.
And of course not to mention we have Bettman not thinking anything is wrong and believing the product is fine. Hmmmm, my question is should an American who was the former NBA Commish be running our game? I think we know the answer. And to top it off Bettman added to his rep by not accepting the generous offer form the players which might have saved his reputation. So after all is said and done why doesnt some brave soul reply to me and tell me what good he's done for the game? Dont' beleive me? Try watching a game in the 80s or pre '94. Compare it to today and you'll think 1993 was the good old days. But hey as Gary says there's nothing wrong!
I voted yes for firing Bettman simply because he failed to capitalize on hockey when it was at its highest interest points. For instance, when the New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup, he should have been promoting the fact they had won and the sport in general all across the Northern hemisphere. Instead, he and the owners decided that they should have a lockout instead. Any attempt to keep the embers burning while the game was still hot was immediately squashed by the league.
We fast forward to the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics. Once again, hockey is really hot. People are clamoring it up and in the 2002 year in particular, the gold medal game was a game that EVERYONE banked on. Once again, rather than capitalize on the sport when it is popular, Bettman wasted a marketing opportunity.
Now, we fast forward to 2004. Calgary and Tampa Bay just finish one hell of a Stanley Cup final. Say what you want about ratings being in the tank, but it was one of the best finals in a LONG time. What does Bettman and the league do? They totally shut the door on the opportunity to once again capitalize on the game and instead, focus on impending labour doom.
While Bettman may be the owner's lackey, the fact of the matter is that he is the commish.....he has the final say. And his final say has been terrible and it's cost the league. Yeah, the man needs to be turfed. I don't know why the league ever hired him to begin with. Why they didn't go with someone like Ken Dryden is completely beyond me.....
Under Bettman's watch the NHL expanded into markets it shouldn't have and he molded the NHL into a sideshow of the WWE. He's a joke. If my CEO lost $300 million he'd be fired long ago - which one more reason why I don't believe a word of the rhetoric the owners spout.
I agree in total that Bettman must go, but I don't get the WWE sideshow comment. If anything, what made sports like football and entertainment like wrestling boom in the 1990s is what Bettman did everything he could to avoid in the NHL. From draconian rules enforcement to the pathetic attempt to avoid marketing violence, those decisions have hurt the sport far more than a few mistakes in expansion.
Gary is fighting the good fight for all us fans. He should stand strong with our support. With his CBA blue print, we'll have lower ticket prices, team equality, a better product on ice, and end talks of teams being moved to other cities. Edmonton is counting on Gary Betman to fix this system
Gary doesn't give a crap about the fans, Gary Bettman cares about Gary Bettman and only Gary Bettman. And what makes you think ticket prices will go down if he gets a hard cap? Ticket prices are in no way shape or form related to players salaries. That has been proved over and over again. And just think how mad everyone will be when there is a $36M cap and ticket prices are still so high that nobody can afford them.