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Thank you, Gary Bettman

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Old
06-20-2006, 10:44 AM
  #1
chosen
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Thank you, Gary Bettman

Now that the season is over it's time to say thank you to Gary Bettman for making hockey once again an exciting game.

Gone is the endless clutch and grab garbage we were endlessly subjected to. Gone is the swallowing of whistles late in the game. Gone is the make up call in order to make it more "fair". Gone is the time of watching a player with no skill interfering with a skilled player.

Those that bemoaned the loss of physical hockey under the new rules turned out to be 100% wrong. The game is as physical as it has ever been. There's a lot less fighting, which I used to love and still do when it happens, but if offered a choice between watching no talents constantly slug each other and watching Ovechkin and Crosby and the like weaving their magic, I vote for the latter. This obviously bothers some fans who still believe that players like Colton Orr are more fun to watch than Ovechkin and they are entitled to their opinion. It's just not mine.

I thought Bettman was destroying the game when the lockout happened but I was wrong. The TV ratings don't mean a thing to me. Watching exciting hockey is far more important.

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06-20-2006, 11:05 AM
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Larry Melnyk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chosen

Gone is the endless clutch and grab garbage we were endlessly subjected to. Gone is the swallowing of whistles late in the game. Gone is the make up call in order to make it more "fair". Gone is the time of watching a player with no skill interfering with a skilled player.

Those that bemoaned the loss of physical hockey under the new rules turned out to be 100% wrong. The game is as physical as it has ever been. There's a lot less fighting, which I used to love and still do when it happens, but if offered a choice between watching no talents constantly slug each other and watching Ovechkin and Crosby and the like weaving their magic, I vote for the latter. This obviously bothers some fans who still believe that players like Colton Orr are more fun to watch than Ovechkin and they are entitled to their opinion. It's just not mine.
Agree. I was one of those that bemaoned the loss of physical hockey...To be honest, most of the hockey I saw during the regular season was far from physical and not the style that appealed to me at all..Granted, I watched more Ranger games then any other team and they were as sofdt as you could get, but there was still a general lack of physicality through most of the season...

All that being said, whether it was a result of the players adapting to the rules or the refs learning how to truly call the game (Face it, alot of the physical hockey that we saw in the POs were often called as penalties during the regualr season) or, more likely, both, I was truly impressed with the late season hockey and POs..Fast, passionate, high speed hitting....Let's hope it stays that way...Could go for the D-men being allowed to be a little more physical in-front, but that didn't hurt the game in the POs ..

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06-20-2006, 11:07 AM
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Fletch
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Not thanking Bettman for anything...

What I liked about this past series is that the refs let the teams play the game and didn't do what we saw a lot of in the beginning of the season - which was blow the whistle and ruin the flow. If the game was called in the Stanley Cup finals as it was called in the first couple months of the season, the series would've been miserable. There was less clutching and grabbing this season, but I can't thank Bettman for that. We've been saying for 10 years - call the penalties! Perhaps had Bettman thought to call the penalties 10 years ago, the games would've been more exciting and the popularity of the sport would've risen, and perhaps we could've even averted a lockout. So I'd have to say no to thanking Bettman.

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06-20-2006, 11:13 AM
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I totally agree...

Now if we could just get the announcers to agree with your opinion. I also Bettman as the critique easy puching bag is unfair and he deserves more credit.

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06-20-2006, 11:21 AM
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Fletch
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Where I do agree, Chosen...

is that I too would rather watch Ovechkin than Orr. I love a fight as much as a next guy, but would prefer a fast pace, physical hockey game, which guys like Orr cannot really play.

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06-20-2006, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch
What I liked about this past series is that the refs let the teams play the game and didn't do what we saw a lot of in the beginning of the season - which was blow the whistle and ruin the flow. If the game was called in the Stanley Cup finals as it was called in the first couple months of the season, the series would've been miserable.
It's my opinion that in the beginning of the season the players were getting used to the new rules. That is why there were so many penalties and no flow. By consistently calling it the same way throughout the year the players eventually adjusted and we got to see a much improved product.

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06-20-2006, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch
is that I too would rather watch Ovechkin than Orr. I love a fight as much as a next guy, but would prefer a fast pace, physical hockey game, which guys like Orr cannot really play.

only hollweg has the face pace physical hockey style up front.

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06-20-2006, 01:30 PM
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I don't totally dispute your opinion, Chosen...

what I believe is that Bettman waited too long to crackdown on the rules as it relates to infractions we had talked about since the Devils won the Cup (i.e., obstruction). I can't thank a guy for getting it right after 11 years and in the end it took a lockout for him to crack down, almost like the rule changes, err, calling penalties how they should've been called, could've been implemented years ago but he held out for some reason, which I can only speculate that he needed something to help the game along coming out of the lockout to make him look like a hero [phew, long, run-on sentence, sorry].

I do agree that to a certain extent, we saw less of the infractions. I do believe, though, that we saw infractions after the Olympics being let go that were previously called penalties, and I think that was the right balance, since many people thought there were way too many penalties that screwed with the flow of the game and that the refs weren't letting them play.

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06-20-2006, 01:51 PM
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Well I agree with everything said about the new rules, the way the refs are calling them, and the way it has opened up the game. The game is definately much faster and much better. And I don't think such big changes would have been made if there wasn't a full year to think about them. So in that way the lockout was good. But that's the only good thing to come from the lockout.

As far as thanking Gary Bettman, I don't think so. Any idiot could have figured out that taking out the red line would open up the neutral zone. And any idiot could have figured out that hooks and holds were slowing down the game. I can't give anyone too much credit for these changes because they should have been done a long time ago. Plus, most of the rules were dealt with by that competition committee which they put together during the lockout. I remember Shanahan having a big part in it. As well as other players, GM's, refs, etc. Those are the people who should be thanked for taking the year off to improve the game.

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06-20-2006, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch
What I liked about this past series is that the refs let the teams play the game and didn't do what we saw a lot of in the beginning of the season - which was blow the whistle and ruin the flow. If the game was called in the Stanley Cup finals as it was called in the first couple months of the season, the series would've been miserable. There was less clutching and grabbing this season, but I can't thank Bettman for that. We've been saying for 10 years - call the penalties! Perhaps had Bettman thought to call the penalties 10 years ago, the games would've been more exciting and the popularity of the sport would've risen, and perhaps we could've even averted a lockout. So I'd have to say no to thanking Bettman.
I agree 100%.

The difference between this season and the others was not some dynamic rule change that altered the game, it was simply calling penalties.

It's such a novel concept: When the rules are actually enforced, the game is played the way it should be.

I still don't understand how clutching and grabbing always gets clumped with physical hockey. It seems like such a blurred issue to me.

The issue of physical play to me has nothing to do with speeding the game out. Hockey was fast and physical before and it can be again. The difference is the stupid physicality rules that have NOTHING to do with speeding up the game.

To me they are totally seperate issues.

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Old
06-20-2006, 02:06 PM
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I will join the chorus thanking the Bettman for the enforcement of the rules.

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06-20-2006, 02:16 PM
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I'm really surprised the NHL hasn't been better in the TV ratings, only a 2.3 for last nights game.

"Last night’s Game Seven averaged a 2.3 adults 18-49 overnight rating from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., according to Nielsen fast nationals."

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/art...ticle_5498.asp

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06-20-2006, 02:32 PM
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Edge
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Originally Posted by phishman3579
I'm really surprised the NHL hasn't been better in the TV ratings, only a 2.3 for last nights game.

"Last night’s Game Seven averaged a 2.3 adults 18-49 overnight rating from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., according to Nielsen fast nationals."

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/art...ticle_5498.asp
That's hockey, unfortunatly most people in the U.S. just don't care.

It's the hardest thing in the world to tell a hockey fan that fact, because the average hockey fan (though less in number than other sports) is very passonate.

Hockey is a niche sport and until the next great media chance comes along (Chicago, NY or someone else winning a cup) it's going to stay that way.

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06-20-2006, 02:42 PM
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Agreed Fletch. Its like congratulating a doctor who cured a disease he created. I'll give Bettman credit for finally getting it right but the game would've been fine had he enforced the rules 10 years ago. If he did, we wouldn't need major rule changes and goalies would be able to play the puck more freely.

Another thing to think about is, Bettman took over when hockey's popularity was at its highest. Now the NHL is banished to the OLN network.


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Old
06-20-2006, 03:40 PM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edge
That's hockey, unfortunatly most people in the U.S. just don't care.

It's the hardest thing in the world to tell a hockey fan that fact, because the average hockey fan (though less in number than other sports) is very passonate.

Hockey is a niche sport and until the next great media chance comes along (Chicago, NY or someone else winning a cup) it's going to stay that way.
Would you include Aneheim or LA in that group?

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06-20-2006, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyr7andcounting
As far as thanking Gary Bettman, I don't think so. Any idiot could have figured out that taking out the red line would open up the neutral zone. And any idiot could have figured out that hooks and holds were slowing down the game.
Maybe any idiot could have figured it out yet no one before him fixed the problem and it existed for many years before Bettman arrived.

The owners had their narrow agenda and the players association had theirs. Nothing could ever get fixed in that atmosphere.

By the way, of all the changes made, I'd rate the red line one as the least important. The most important by far was enforcing interference of players who didn't have the puck.

An enormous part of the problem was letting go of the Canadian view of what hockey should be and incorporating more of the international game.

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06-20-2006, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by The Truth
Another thing to think about is, Bettman took over when hockey's popularity was at its highest. Now the NHL is banished to the OLN network.
I'd rather see great hockey on OLN than crummy hockey on ESPN2.

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06-20-2006, 03:46 PM
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Nice to see Rangers fans happy with Bettman!

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Old
06-20-2006, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chosen
Maybe any idiot could have figured it out yet no one before him fixed the problem and it existed for many years before Bettman arrived.

The owners had their narrow agenda and the players association had theirs. Nothing could ever get fixed in that atmosphere.

By the way, of all the changes made, I'd rate the red line one as the least important. The most important by far was enforcing interference of players who didn't have the puck.

An enormous part of the problem was letting go of the Canadian view of what hockey should be and incorporating more of the international game.
No one before him fixed the problem because it wasn't a problem yet. Anyway, my point was that the rule changes were mostly dealt with my other people than Bettman. None of the top guys in the NHL or the PA had much of an impact because they were busy hammering out the new CBA. I'll thank somebody that they finally started callling the rules right and the game is better, but it's not Gary Bettman.

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06-20-2006, 04:12 PM
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Chosen...

I don't agree that the problem existed before Bettman entered the picture (and if I agreed that it did, I think it was magnified under Bettman by a big factor). The game really started to slow down in the mid 90s, as the trap was becoming more widely implemented. But what also happened is that expansion came and with that teams that needed ways to win - trapping with clutching and grabbing was the only way these teams, who didn't have many highly skilled players, could win games at that point. The 1994 playoffs were some pretty darn good playoffs. The late-80s and early 90s seemed to be good hockey too. I believe the problems came while Bettman was in office and were easily rectified (as Edge put it 'it was simply calling penalties').

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06-20-2006, 04:33 PM
  #21
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Overexpanding brought the talent level down. It wasn't just the Devils who gave us the trap. They only perfected it but they've always at least had the talent to go along with the trap. The Panthers went all the way to the finals with Beezer and a pretty mediocre bunch of slugs in front of him and playing a passive and boring game. All those years Bettman didn't seem to have a clue. To thank him now is almost the same as thanking Sather for finally putting together a playoff team after missing 4 years and a lockout. Yeah--this year was great but the Low and Trottier years were horrible. Bettman IMO has always been incompetent. He is all about glitz and money. He doesn't know the game and never has and I don't think he ever will. To me he's a joke.

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06-20-2006, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chosen
The most important by far was enforcing interference of players who didn't have the puck.
Agreed. It was great to see a skilled player break into the offensive zone with speed, dump the puck into the corner, weave circles around the D, and then be the first time spent in the offensive zone or a scoring chance.

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06-20-2006, 05:05 PM
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I liked ESPN2 better than OLN...

Only because I can watch it in hotels and it's a channel that seems to be no more bar TVs than OLN. I thought both have mediocre coverage and do hope that Comcast invests the $$$ to help hockey along - I'm just skeptical that their efforts will be fruitful.

And speaking of efforts - NBC couldn't have stopped the broadcast any sooner. They were dying to cut it off. JD talks about how the crowd will roar after Cole hoists the Cup - but we never saw that. Thought there'd be a bit more of an after-game, but there wasn't. Was there anything on OLN last night? It's still a channel that I do not frequent (and during hockey, I can watch Center Ice).

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06-20-2006, 05:10 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barrel_master
Would you include Aneheim or LA in that group?
10 years ago maybe, during the Gretzky era I think it would have done wonders. Right now, not as sure.

That's the problem, 10 years ago there were some major opportunities.

LA not winning hurt and more importantly the lockout after the Rangers won was a nail in the coffin of that opportunity.

Chances like that don't come around often and frankly hockey blew it.

There will be other chances, but I don't see one at the present time.

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Old
06-20-2006, 05:13 PM
  #25
Edge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eco's bones
Overexpanding brought the talent level down. It wasn't just the Devils who gave us the trap. They only perfected it but they've always at least had the talent to go along with the trap. The Panthers went all the way to the finals with Beezer and a pretty mediocre bunch of slugs in front of him and playing a passive and boring game. All those years Bettman didn't seem to have a clue. To thank him now is almost the same as thanking Sather for finally putting together a playoff team after missing 4 years and a lockout. Yeah--this year was great but the Low and Trottier years were horrible. Bettman IMO has always been incompetent. He is all about glitz and money. He doesn't know the game and never has and I don't think he ever will. To me he's a joke.
I don't think it was over expansion. The league needed that and the playoffs have proved it can work.

The problem was stoppage in play, not calling penalties and taking a lot of overall zip out of the game.

Hockey was attracting people to the sport just fine the way it was, but they tried to fix something that wasn't broken with fighting rules and other changes.

What they turned the sport into wasn't what people fell in love with during the early 90's and so they lost the people they gained.

I think it was poor management, not really watered down talent.

It's one reason I can't really praise Betteman. It's like someone taking a crap in your living room, I'm not going to praise them when they have to clean it up.

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