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What is your opinion of Bettman

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05-04-2005, 03:29 PM
  #26
loadie
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The way I see it with Bettman, is that he is a "BasketBall' guy, not a "Hockey" guy. I honestly feel that he has no clue about the game, or it's rich history. Yes, he has seen the league generate more revenue than ever before, on the back of loyal fans who overpay for tickets and merchandise. He has expanded into markets that simply should not have been given a team, just to grab the $50 Million fee and divide it among the owners. By doing so, the game is now a watered down shadow of what is use to be, and it's making the loyal fan rethink about wanting to pay to watch clutch and grab hockey and the average fan just loses interest. However, Bettman shouldn't be the only guy getting blamed for the fall of NHL hockey, there is plenty of blame to go around to the owners, NHLPA, and yes, even the fans for supporting such a awful product (I'm Guilty). It's time to put someone else into the Commissioner's chair, hopefully someone with new ideas and a understanding of hockey, it's past, present and future. Maybe move teams to more traditional hockey markets, or just simply have the league made smaller.

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05-04-2005, 03:45 PM
  #27
Big Phil
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Here's my opinion of Bettman. He has taken what was an exciting game and turned it into what we saw for 2004. Never mind the two lockouts, look at the over expansion he has done to turn the NHL into a league that even Wade Belak can excel at. That's only the tip of the iceberg though, I dont have all day to write how he's ruined the game.

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05-04-2005, 03:59 PM
  #28
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He should go back to the NBA..Oh wait...they got rid of him..........

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05-04-2005, 04:03 PM
  #29
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Gary knows basketball

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05-04-2005, 04:05 PM
  #30
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Disturbing trends under Bettman :

1. Over-expansion and dilution of the product, the biggest reason for the proliferation of boring trap hockey. Most glaring is that several of the new markets under Bettman are some of the biggest problem franchises in the league - Anaheim, Florida, Carolina, Nashville. Of the markets in place when Bettman took charge, almost all can generate enough revenue to remain financially viable, Edmonton excepted. Of the new markets under Bettman, half can't keep up and it's one of the biggest reasons for the lockout.

2. Lack of respect for tradition. OTLs, shootouts, more major rule changes in a decade than in the previous 50 years, most doing little good. Names of divisions/conferences changed (although I'm of two minds about that). 'Mighty Ducks', robots and glowing pucks.

3. Horrible marketing of the game and it's stars. Compare this to great marketing campaigns like 'I love this game!' and 'Chicks dig the longball!'. NHL has been awful, horrible commericials and promotions, don't seem to have any sort of cohesive strategy to market the game in the US.

4. Skyrocketing salaries, loss of competitive balance.

5. Continual labour unrest, hurt more by work stoppages more than any of the other big 4 sports.


Good developments under Bettman :

1. NHL players in the Olympics.

2. Um ....


When you look at what Bettman has brought to the game vs. everything negative that's happened since his arrival, it's difficult for me to say he's done much of a decent job.

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05-04-2005, 04:33 PM
  #31
David Puddy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c-carp
Why should Bettman be viewed positively simply because he was commisioner when the owners decided to fix the mess that they created. It isnt any miraculous thing that Bettman has done, the Owners just decided to put an end to it on his watch. I m glad they decided to put a stop to it but Bettman shouldnt be viewed different because of this.
Gary Bettman was brought in to be the man that would put a stop to the mess. The position of commisioner was created because the NHLPA went on strike during the 1991-92 season in April.

Also, only a very few owners/clubs are guilty of drastically driving up the cost of the players, and therefore, of running most hockey clubs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mr gib
grew revenue - but as a custodian of the game - pure failure
If Gary Bettman can create an enviroment in which the NHL is around for 50, 100 or more years, he should be remember as a good custodian of the game.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil
Here's my opinion of Bettman... look at the over expansion he has done to turn the NHL into a league that even Wade Belak can excel at.
Expansion started before Gary Bettman joined the NHL, though he did furter it. HOwever, the fall of the Iron Curtain allowed a lot of very talented Eastern Europeans to come to North America in the 1990's, which offsets the additional clubs. The level of play was better in the NHL in 2003-04 than it was before the expansion of the 1990's. The players are better coached and trained. The thing you are looking at is offense production. There are other parts of the game, like defense and goaltending. Have a look at Daryl Shilling of The Hockey Project's "The Quality of the Talent Pool" article if you get the chance. Shilling concludes that "the talent pool of the National Hockey League is not watered down."

Wade Belak has excelled? He's an enforcer. He probably would have been better served if he played during the gooned-out 1970's. If Belak were to get into a timemachine and go back to 1975, his speed would probably be pretty close to average. Daryl Shilling discusses Canadain players in his article. He sights the statistic that one out of every 57,266 of Canadians were in the NHL in 1982. In 2003 one out of every 79,207 Canadians played NHL hockey.

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05-04-2005, 04:36 PM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS
Disturbing trends under Bettman :

1. Over-expansion and dilution of the product, the biggest reason for the proliferation of boring trap hockey.
You couldn't be more hopelessly wrong! Follow this link to the Daryl Shilling's article on "The Quality of the Talent Pool."

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05-04-2005, 05:26 PM
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Puddy
You couldn't be more hopelessly wrong! Follow this link to the Daryl Shilling's article on "The Quality of the Talent Pool."
I will read your link, but I dont see how anyone can think the NHL hasnt been hurt by overexpansion. I will ask you a question that I asked earlier. How do you feel Bettman has done looking at it strictly as a hockey fan. Do you enjoy the game more since he took over or before. I think it was much more fun before he came onboard.

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05-04-2005, 05:45 PM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Puddy
You couldn't be more hopelessly wrong! Follow this link to the Daryl Shilling's article on "The Quality of the Talent Pool."
I like Darryl Shilling, but that article/notion has a ton of holes, and I don't buy it at all.

Competitive balance in times like 67-72, 42-45 was influenced by much more than just the quality of player in the league. In WW2, teams like Boston any NYR were decimated while Montreal maintained most of their core, resulting in a ridiculously unbalanced league. Likewise, the 1967 expansion saw all the best players remaining in one half of the league, while essentially an AHL all-star squad played in the other conference. Incredibly unbalanced. So of course the competitive balance will be screwy, and it has little to do with the overall talent base. Shilling then takes this imbalance in weak periods to show that the lack of unbalance now means that this isn't a weak period.

If you took 5 teams out of the league, there's no way scoring doesn't go up substantially.

There is an abundance of goaltenders who can stop the puck at a quality level, and an abundance of guys who can play solid positional defensive hockey. You could expand the NHL to 40 teams and still have a quality #1 goaltender on each. However, there is only a select handfull of elite offensive players to go around. The more you expand, the thinner they're spread, the more pluggers the average roster has, and the more scoring drops.

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05-04-2005, 06:34 PM
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Puddy
You couldn't be more hopelessly wrong! Follow this link to the Daryl Shilling's article on "The Quality of the Talent Pool."
Sorry, but that article is hopelessly wrong. If scoring were impossible, the NHL would achieve it's best "competitive balance" as the article defines it. A season full of 0-0 games would hardly be a testament to the quality of talent in the league.

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05-04-2005, 07:21 PM
  #36
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I have one other issue, you guys sit there and say oh salaries have skyrocketed blah blah blah one question has that occured just in the NHL or has it occured in all sports ? and if it has are you going to blame Bettman for that as well ?

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05-04-2005, 07:42 PM
  #37
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While I am not a big fan of GB, he does get a lot of unjustified flack.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MS
Disturbing trends under Bettman :

1. Over-expansion and dilution of the product, the biggest reason for the proliferation of boring trap hockey. Most glaring is that several of the new markets under Bettman are some of the biggest problem franchises in the league - Anaheim, Florida, Carolina, Nashville. Of the markets in place when Bettman took charge, almost all can generate enough revenue to remain financially viable, Edmonton excepted. Of the new markets under Bettman, half can't keep up and it's one of the biggest reasons for the lockout.
I get tired of hearing Bettman blamed for Anaheim or Florida (or Tampa or Ottawa or San Jose). Those expansions happened before GB came to the NHL. You used to hear Tampa frequently lumped in that list, but not anymore - uhm, maybe a southern, non-traditional market team can excel.

I also get tired of the old argument that expansion has somehow watered down the league from some glorious golden age - well it hasn't. The influx of European players in the 90s and growth of player development in the US has more than compensated for the addition of 9 teams since 1990. In fact (as someone posted in an analysis over in the Business of Hockey forum) there are actually fewer Canadians playing in the NHL today than in 1990, so unless you are arguing that Canadian players have gotten less talented or that there has been some sort of affirmitive action to hire less qualified Europeans over good old Canadian boys, it's hard to argue that the talent level in the league today is less than in 1990. You could argue that if not for expansion the overall talent level may be higher, but that is a different argument than "expansion has watered down the talent level". And without expansion driving the need to scout in Europe alot of that current talent would not be in the NHL now, and many players who were late bloomers (See St Louis, Martin) may not have had a chance to excel in a non-expansion league.

There are many reasons for a perceived decline in quality of play - improved goalie equipment, implementation of coaching systems, etc - but to place the blame on "expansion" is misplaced.

Go back and watch some film and video from the 70s and 80s and see how slow the game was and how small the players were. Don't look at the Lafleurs and Bossys and Robinsons and Potvins, but look at the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th liners. Year round conditioning is a relatively new phenomonon.

I think one of the reasons people complain today is not that the league has become less talented, but that it has become moreso - the gap between the top stars and everyone else is actually smaller than it used to be, so the stars don't seem to excel as much - not because the stars have gotten worse, but because the lower tier players have gotten better.

Quote:
2. Lack of respect for tradition. OTLs, shootouts, more major rule changes in a decade than in the previous 50 years, most doing little good. Names of divisions/conferences changed (although I'm of two minds about that). 'Mighty Ducks', robots and glowing pucks.

3. Horrible marketing of the game and it's stars. Compare this to great marketing campaigns like 'I love this game!' and 'Chicks dig the longball!'. NHL has been awful, horrible commericials and promotions, don't seem to have any sort of cohesive strategy to market the game in the US.

4. Skyrocketing salaries, loss of competitive balance.
Largely due to the 1994 CBA which GB opposed, but was pushed through by big market owners over GB's objection. Hard to fault GB much here. That's why GB got the supermajority authority he has for the CBA negotiation.
Quote:
5. Continual labour unrest, hurt more by work stoppages more than any of the other big 4 sports.


Good developments under Bettman :

1. NHL players in the Olympics.

2. Um ....


When you look at what Bettman has brought to the game vs. everything negative that's happened since his arrival, it's difficult for me to say he's done much of a decent job.
Good developments - howabout getting the league it's first TV network deal in 20 years and growing the league into a $2.1B revenue business. It's hard to pin the irresponsible spending of some owners on GB - he has very little control over how the owners spend their money.

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Old
05-04-2005, 08:32 PM
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Puddy
Expansion started before Gary Bettman joined the NHL, though he did furter it. HOwever, the fall of the Iron Curtain allowed a lot of very talented Eastern Europeans to come to North America in the 1990's, which offsets the additional clubs. The level of play was better in the NHL in 2003-04 than it was before the expansion of the 1990's. The players are better coached and trained. The thing you are looking at is offense production. There are other parts of the game, like defense and goaltending. Have a look at Daryl Shilling of The Hockey Project's "The Quality of the Talent Pool" article if you get the chance. Shilling concludes that "the talent pool of the National Hockey League is not watered down."
I have a world of respect for Daryl Shilling; i enjoy his articles and
analysis, and have learned a lot from his research, but I think his conclusions in that article are wrong. Competetive balance only measures how evenly spread out the talent is, not the level of talent or entertainment.

As far as the influx of European players offsetting any dilution caused by extra teams; the fact is simple. North American fans are more interested in North American athletes. Rightly or wrongly, that`s the way it is. That`s why soccer isn`t big in the U.S, compare how popular tennis was in the McEnroe-Connors era to today, look at how much coverage the Tour de France gets now compared with before Lance Armstrong. It may be time to move 5 or 6 of the struggling franchises to Europe and have the European players on those in a seperate division while the North Americans play here.

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05-04-2005, 08:56 PM
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c-carp
Why should Bettman be viewed positively simply because he was commisioner when the owners decided to fix the mess that they created. It isnt any miraculous thing that Bettman has done, the Owners just decided to put an end to it on his watch. I m glad they decided to put a stop to it but Bettman shouldnt be viewed different because of this.
So everything bad in hockey is because of Bettman, but anything good was simply done on his watch, and has nothing to do with him?

I think this has much more to do with him, than half of the things he's being flamed for here (I still shake my head when I hear people blame Bettman for clutch n grab. Clueless).

And as touched on above, Most Americans will only be fans of what they excel in. Football (soccer) was poised to break out after the World Cup was held in America. Is that Bettmans fault? Its the most popular sport in the world, yet Americans dont really follow it.

Hockey is ruled by Canada and Russia, and the US, Finland, Sweden, Czech are all occasional winners only. Hockey wont excel in the US if its ruled by "little brother" Canada and "evil commie" Russia. It was never poised to break out. It was just a flavor of the month after NYR broke their winless streak in 94. Thats not Bettmans fault.

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05-05-2005, 03:57 PM
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cawz
So everything bad in hockey is because of Bettman, but anything good was simply done on his watch, and has nothing to do with him?

I think this has much more to do with him, than half of the things he's being flamed for here (I still shake my head when I hear people blame Bettman for clutch n grab. Clueless).

And as touched on above, Most Americans will only be fans of what they excel in. Football (soccer) was poised to break out after the World Cup was held in America. Is that Bettmans fault? Its the most popular sport in the world, yet Americans dont really follow it.

Hockey is ruled by Canada and Russia, and the US, Finland, Sweden, Czech are all occasional winners only. Hockey wont excel in the US if its ruled by "little brother" Canada and "evil commie" Russia. It was never poised to break out. It was just a flavor of the month after NYR broke their winless streak in 94. Thats not Bettmans fault.
Poised to break out while I happen to agree with it may be a bit strong, but dont you agree that the league's popularity has gone down during his reign. I live near one of the biggest soccer cities in the US and Soccer was never poised to break out like hockey was as far as I know.

I know that Hockey isnt and never will be our national sport like it is yours and having the Rangers win the cup in 94 was a perfect time to market the game better and expand the audience down here and Bettman and his regime failed miserably. I dont know if living in Canada as you do you get a chance to see first hand how poor of a job the NHL markets itself.

One of my Buddies is a huge NASCAR fan and he told me that when you sit down to watch a race the majority of the commercials either contain Drivers in the race or huge NASCAR sponsers. I dont know if this is true but I will take his word for it. Hockey hardly ever has players in commercials down here. Hell during the playoffs last time they happened they had a commercial with figure skaters. I dont get that concept at all.

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Old
05-05-2005, 05:51 PM
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cawz
And as touched on above, Most Americans will only be fans of what they excel in. Football (soccer) was poised to break out after the World Cup was held in America. Is that Bettmans fault? Its the most popular sport in the world, yet Americans dont really follow it.
Here`s the thing, most fans in Nashville aren`t interested in hockey. I give Bettman credit for trying it in these non-traditional markets, but also give him criticism for not realizing it`s failed. He needs to stop hurting the rest of the league to benefit teams like that. As somebody perfectly put it in a thread in the business section - the problem with the NHL is that there`s 5 or 6 crappy franchises, Bettman`s solution is to have 30 crappy franchises.

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05-06-2005, 06:22 AM
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reckoning
Here`s the thing, most fans in Nashville aren`t interested in hockey. I give Bettman credit for trying it in these non-traditional markets, but also give him criticism for not realizing it`s failed. He needs to stop hurting the rest of the league to benefit teams like that. As somebody perfectly put it in a thread in the business section - the problem with the NHL is that there`s 5 or 6 crappy franchises, Bettman`s solution is to have 30 crappy franchises.
What are you talking about?

The problems with this business goes far beyond Nashville or any or the newest teams operating like new teams and building from within. The biggest problems are in these so-called traditional markets that spend more only to lose more while not being able to sell the game even inside their own market anymore.

The Rangers spent over 500m dollars and no one in Manhattan is interested in hockey. Are you trying to say the Predators can not come close to the 60,000 homes that tuned in to watch the Rangers over 82 games in 2003-04 if they iced an 80m dollar product and had all their games on television?

Now we have Philadelphia, Detroit, Colorado, Dallas, St.Louis, Los Angeles losing money with most of these teams in new buildings going to the playoffs.

Right now we have 30 crappy franchises with visibility problems and there is nothing to change this.

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05-06-2005, 05:03 PM
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c-carp
Your points about how you would feel about Bettman as an owner are well taken, as I read your explanations. One question though, as a hockey fan how do you feel about him and what he has done during his tenure.
I think that game, from a fans perspective, has decreased in quality during the Bettman tenure. I don't think he is the ideal guy to front the league, and actually during my previous post questioned to myself if a situation where Bettman would handle the business aspect of the game, say as a CEO of the NHL, and then you could put something with a hockey background to be the actual commissioner and spokesperson for the league. Bettman has done well by the owners, but failed miserably by the fans, but that is part of the ownerships fault I feel. The owners are Bettman's clients, and the fans are the Owner's clients. The owners should make it a higher priority that they improve the quality of the product, because if they as a majority tell Bettman to jump, Bettman is going to jump. It seems like that may come to fruition when the next CBA is resolved however.

Once again, I think it's easy to think of glow-pucks and Bettman, expansion and Bettman, the trap and Bettman, but he gets blamed for being the PR guy for the league.

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05-07-2005, 01:21 PM
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Converse
I think that game, from a fans perspective, has decreased in quality during the Bettman tenure. I don't think he is the ideal guy to front the league, and actually during my previous post questioned to myself if a situation where Bettman would handle the business aspect of the game, say as a CEO of the NHL, and then you could put something with a hockey background to be the actual commissioner and spokesperson for the league. Bettman has done well by the owners, but failed miserably by the fans, but that is part of the ownerships fault I feel. The owners are Bettman's clients, and the fans are the Owner's clients. The owners should make it a higher priority that they improve the quality of the product, because if they as a majority tell Bettman to jump, Bettman is going to jump. It seems like that may come to fruition when the next CBA is resolved however.

Once again, I think it's easy to think of glow-pucks and Bettman, expansion and Bettman, the trap and Bettman, but he gets blamed for being the PR guy for the league.
A well thought out post with fair points. It doesnt change my opinion of Bettman but it gets a person to think.

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