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Alternatives to Bettman

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01-07-2013, 01:27 AM
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ForsbergForever
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Alternatives to Bettman

When the NHL was searching for a new President/Commissioner in 1993 to replace the infamous Gil Stein were any other names circulated as candidates besides Gary Bettman or was he the guy all along? I've never come across any alternatives mentioned in the media but maybe someone who followed the process back in the day could have some insight.

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01-07-2013, 01:51 AM
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Ziggy Stardust
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The only name I remember specifically is David Stern. The NHL Board of Governors apparently had targeted Stern due to the success of the NBA, but since Stern wasn't interested, they went with his secondhand man who was responsible for bringing in a salary cap to the NBA, Gary Bettman. The owners originally were seeking a salary cap back in 1994.

I found this article from 1992 that only names Bettman and Stein as the finalists that the league was considering as full-time president/commissioner:
http://www.nytimes.com/1992/11/29/sp...a-officer.html

Quote:
Gary B. Bettman, third in command at the National Basketball Association, is one of two finalists for the newly established job of commissioner of the National Hockey League, according to a hockey team owner who is a member of the search committee and an influential voice on the league's board of governors.

The other finalist is Gil Stein, the N.H.L.'s president, who replaced John Ziegler last summer after Ziegler was forced to resign.

The team owner, who spoke on condition that he not be named, said he expects his fellow owners to choose between Bettman and Stein at a board of governors meeting in Palm Beach, Fla., that begins on Dec. 10.

Bettman, 40 years old, is the N.B.A.'s senior vice-president and general counsel, working for David J. Stern, the commissioner, and Russell T. Granik, the deputy commissioner and chief operating officer. A Man of Several Talents

"Bettman has impressed the committee with his knowledge of all aspects of sports," the owner said. "You might say 'What about his knowledge of hockey?' Well, we have a lot of people who know a lot about hockey, but not a lot who know about licensing and marketing and salary caps.


Last edited by Ziggy Stardust: 01-07-2013 at 01:57 AM.
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01-07-2013, 08:30 PM
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cynicism
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Johnathan Gatehouse's book on Bettman confirms this. The NHL wanted Stern, Stern gave them his brightest protege instead.

I'm sure there were other long-listed candidates, but Bettman seems to have been the only serious candidate.

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01-07-2013, 09:51 PM
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Hardyvan123
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Given Ken Campbell's coloum on Gary Bettman stepping down, I was hoping some light would be shed on the next Commish.

http://www.thehockeynews.com/article...step-down.html

It won't happen but I think the Commish duties should be split up, the part of acting on behalf of the owners at the negotiating table into a separate title and the Commish to act on behalf of hockey for the fans, teams, players everybody.

The two obvious guys would be Daly and Gretzky but like I said the NHL really doesn't have a clue as 3 lockouts has shown us.

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01-07-2013, 11:51 PM
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I am assuming that someone must be a lawyer to perform a commissioner's duties. So- Ken Dryden?
(responding to previous message asking about the next commissioner)

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01-08-2013, 08:55 AM
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BleedinBlueSince1972
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John Davidson would be a excellent NHL Commish.

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01-08-2013, 11:29 AM
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Inkling
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BleedBlue1967 View Post
John Davidson would be a excellent NHL Commish.
I'd second that. I'd seen comments to that effect when he announced he was leaving the Blues.

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01-08-2013, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BleedBlue1967 View Post
John Davidson would be a excellent NHL Commish.
I agree; Davidson's a great hockey mind. He'd make an excellent commish when the time comes.

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01-08-2013, 09:27 PM
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Big Phil
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Ken Dryden would be an excellent choice. Smart, knowledgable about hockey and has the respect as a former player and President of an NHL club. Dryden's been around the block. The owners probably would never go for it because Dryden wouldn't be a knob and support a lockout three times in 18 years. So as is usually the case the NHL will still find a way to screw it up once Bettman is gone.

I'd like to throw in Ron Francis and Bob Gainey's hat into the ring. I don't think either one of them even went to law school but they have brilliant minds for the game. But if I pick one, it's Dryden.

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01-08-2013, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
I'd like to throw in Ron Francis and Bob Gainey's hat into the ring. I don't think either one of them even went to law school but they have brilliant minds for the game. But if I pick one, it's Dryden.
I dont really see Bettman going anywhere anytime soon, and he'll be 68 when this recently negotiated CBA expires in 8yrs. Possible he'll stick around for it, overseeing another Lockout.... Dryden's already 65, so he'd be like 73 by that time, a little late in life to be taking over as Commissioner of the NHL Id tend to think. Francis is intriguing; as is Gainey, but with Bob, again youve got that age factor. I think he's 59 or 60 now, and if Bettmans does hang in there, late to be undertaking such a position.

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01-08-2013, 11:06 PM
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ForsbergForever
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
I dont really see Bettman going anywhere anytime soon, and he'll be 68 when this recently negotiated CBA expires in 8yrs. Possible he'll stick around for it, overseeing another Lockout.... Dryden's already 65, so he'd be like 73 by that time, a little late in life to be taking over as Commissioner of the NHL Id tend to think. Francis is intriguing; as is Gainey, but with Bob, again youve got that age factor. I think he's 59 or 60 now, and if Bettmans does hang in there, late to be undertaking such a position.
Technically the new CBA is 10 years with an opt-out clause after 8, but if either side decided to pull the trigger on that, I think it'd be like declaring nuclear war...

Bettman does have his positives, like achieving a hard salary cap,a 50/50 revenue split and a major TV contract with NBC (that coincidently expires at the same time as the next CBA...) and creating events like the Winter Classic. The downside is obviously over-expansion and the three lockouts it took to achieve the previously mentioned gains. So I think his legacy is ultimately a mixed bag but its hard to say how things will look a decade from now. After reading the article Ziggy Stardust posted, his hiring does make sense as there's a quote from a league official that states that the league had many hockey guys but no real legal/marketing guys, which was where Bettman was supposed to shine.


Last edited by ForsbergForever: 01-08-2013 at 11:12 PM.
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01-09-2013, 01:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Ken Dryden would be an excellent choice. Smart, knowledgable about hockey and has the respect as a former player and President of an NHL club. Dryden's been around the block. The owners probably would never go for it because Dryden wouldn't be a knob and support a lockout three times in 18 years. So as is usually the case the NHL will still find a way to screw it up once Bettman is gone.

I'd like to throw in Ron Francis and Bob Gainey's hat into the ring. I don't think either one of them even went to law school but they have brilliant minds for the game. But if I pick one, it's Dryden.
I admire Dryden and would love to see him in the Commissioner's role. I'm not too sure he'd be very keen on being a figurehead for the owners though. The days of the sports commissioner as a leader of their respective league is long gone.

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