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Bettman Hockey News Interview Rant

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Old
01-30-2004, 05:10 PM
  #1
K215215
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Bettman Hockey News Interview Rant

In the new Hockey News Bettman says that their possibly won't be any changes in the game. UNBELIEVABLE! He might be the most clueless commissioner in the history of sports. Look, the quality of game in NBA is on the decline to, but the league is not falling apart. One major reason for that is Star Power. The NBA has actual superstars worth the price of admission. If I go to a Cav’s game, Im gonna watch LeBron play with out being grabbed all over the court. I also know that he is gonna score.

The NHL on the other hand has eliminated stars from the game. The game has been neglected to the point where players no longer score. No more big goal scorers, no more stars. Take a look at the NFL as the model league. Every year they retool their game so that it is more fan friendly. The NHL is stuck in Canadian Traditionalist Culture which precludes the league from doing anything. Not only that, it is impossible for the NHL to market any of the stars they do have because the game has become so dull, that it is impossible to get excited to watch a Joe Thornton play because he is gonna get hooked and grabbed in a 1-1 tie.

Gary, I understand you are in your great pursuit of convincing everyone that everything is fine…but it is not. Stop lying to me! The league has NEVER been in worse shape. The product is terrible. Unwatchable. I promise you, the only people left watching hockey obviously care about it enough to know and understand the game and the problem its facing. I consider it a slap in the face for him to say everything is fine. My continued support of the NHL is in hope that the league will somehow figure out how to bring the game back to the heights it reached when I first fell in love with hockey, but I promise you this, I will not continue to shell out money to watch 1-1 ties.

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01-30-2004, 05:16 PM
  #2
ColdSteelOnIce
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But if he's so hell-bent on keeping tradition, why does he keep adding teams where there aren't traditional markets?

I don't like the thought of Pittsburgh, Calgary and Edmonton suffering while Columbus and Nashville are doing well enough for themselves.

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01-30-2004, 05:41 PM
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdSteelOnIce
I don't like the thought of Pittsburgh, Calgary and Edmonton suffering while Columbus and Nashville are doing well enough for themselves.
So, are you blaming non-traditional hockey markets for doing well? I don't get it.

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01-30-2004, 05:48 PM
  #4
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Not really. More or less an observation that doesn't sit well with me for a couple reasons. And it's no knock on the South or the West -- the more people that appreciate hockey, the better.

It makes me wonder if the only teams that will be able to sustain an interest are the ones in new markets -- and I wonder if/when interest declines, what will the NHL be left with? I guess only time will tell if the fan base is more or less there because of the novelty of it. It could very well be that the new teams are just thinking way ahead of the old group in marketing.

The other thing is, I think it's important to keep some sort of balance between Canadian teams and American teams. It's something no other league has, and for some reason, it just adds interest for me. To see two different countries taking each other on night after night.

It would just suck to see NHL franchises playing a big game of musical chairs -- moving to a new city, getting a new fan base, then having to move the team when they lose interest.

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01-30-2004, 05:53 PM
  #5
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Personally I HATE the NBA and basketball in general, Its a bore fest of TOs and free throws IMO. But the whole LeBron thing is completly planned by ESPN/Disney. Why would they Hype to no end someone from HS? well because they paid a lot of $$ for the NBA rights and this creates interest. I guess he is good but everyone wants to see this crummy team ( don't they suck? ) because of the US Media hype machine driven by ESPN.

What can Bettman do to twist the arm of ESPN to say run the hype machine over Sidney Crosby? And there Are stars Boumester, Nash, Kovlchuck. Ovechkin is going to be a stud. But most of the US Media hates hockey and continues to never give it credit. I'm not sure what bettman can do about that.

First the new CBA should find away to drive salarys down, to compensate for less TV rights fee, which could, if they were clever find a way for MORE exposure. IE say the price is now so low that the network can show it more even with low ratings, why is Womens'sBB or lumberjack games on? because they cost espn nothing in rights fees to begin with. TV now is about low production costs, NOT ratings so much anymore those days are gone. The NHL should embrace this mentality not fear it.

Then they should let the league recover from expansion. The players mentioned above will be in thier primes in 5-10 YRs and will be joined by highly talented line mates. US Hockey is really growing, they proved that in the world Jrs, I'm sure if they wanted the Hype machine could find a 16 Yr old and hype him to death just like LeBron.

I think another problem is that the NHL has rarely been seen as the "cool" sport, ya know that rediculas "street cred" aspect. Nowits never going to get the urban vote BB is too entrenched BUT what about the whole X-Game-extreme sport crowd? In fact that is EXACTLY what the NHL should target, because what is more extreme than a quality hockey game, its faster than any team sport, with hitting fighting ect... More so the X-game video playing youth is out ther in suburbia has a lot more disposable income than any "street cred" urban population. In fact the young teens of suburbia these days seems less interseted in major pro sports, yet the X-games seems to do well with them, This is an opurtunity the NHL should look at to get people interseted in the NHL.

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01-30-2004, 06:00 PM
  #6
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do you honestly think people will be as into the crosby's ovechkins and nash's asthey were into Gretzky Hull and Lemieux, when the state of the game and the way the game is currently played will only allow those guys to score 80-100 points a season.

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01-30-2004, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K215215
do you honestly think people will be as into the crosby's ovechkins and nash's asthey were into Gretzky Hull and Lemieux, when the state of the game and the way the game is currently played will only allow those guys to score 80-100 points a season.

Hey Im no expert on the NBA, but is it not wretched compared to the go go eighties? Their scoring is down, I think this year a game set a new low of futility of 60-sixtysomething game. Is LeBron really even close to MJ or Magic in skills?

Yet they hyped him to no end, the 100 mil shoe deal is clever, it gets pub because it IS so large. If this was bizaro world and the NHL was as popular as the NBA we would be seing S Crosby's Juniors games all the time right now.

Its not about If the stars are better or the game is better, its about what ESPN/US Media tries to premote the most. What Bettmen and the NHLPA should do is try to make the US market get an interest hockey. Outside of Obstruction calls Rule changes are not going to really help matters. Really even when they do call a ton of calls that slows the game down. If you want the games higher scoring I feel a few changes should be looked at other than Goalie pads and redline adjustments.

-Get the Ice surfaces better, really get a real effort with some science together to find away to make games in Dallas, San Jose and anaheim to look like a game in Calgary or edmonton. Do tell me in can't be done, if enough of an effort was made I'm sure some sort of synthetic polymer natural ice surface could be made.

-Change the current structure/culture of hockey development that stresses strait to the net North south game, to being in a east-west aspect so missing now. Watch a espn classic game from the eighties and you notice one major differance-passing. These days how many 2-1's has the puckhandler just look off the other guy and then fire right into the Goalie's logo. Gretsky was hardly the fastest skater on his own team, let alone the league. I bet in todays junior structure Some coach would have got Gretz aside and said "kid you'll never get that space in the NHL, you better get some speed into your game". Todays NHLers ARE faster, and the new sticks lighter too yet scoring is down. The New Breed of Def systems and Goalies clamp down on these but why no coach is willing to risk a system that finds ways for players to "pass" their way out of Trap is beyond me.

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01-30-2004, 06:57 PM
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Hockey not having 'street cred' has nothing to do with basketball being so entrenched in urban areas. It's becaue of how easy it is to play basketball compared to hockey.

To play basketball in an urban area, all you need is a basketball and one person. There's a court ever 10 blocks or so.

To play hockey in an urban area, you need to find a good number of guys with sticks, a puck, and an empty basketball court or parking lot. It just isn't going to happen.

BTW... http://www.hfboards.com/forumdisplay.php?f=100

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01-30-2004, 08:26 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rekrul
What can Bettman do to twist the arm of ESPN to say run the hype machine over Sidney Crosby? And there Are stars Boumester, Nash, Kovlchuck. Ovechkin is going to be a stud. But most of the US Media hates hockey and continues to never give it credit. I'm not sure what bettman can do about that.

You're going to be hard pressed to market those guys to the average American. This is my opinion, but what the NHL needs, at least in the U.S., is an American player that transcends the game in much the same way Gretzky did. No player IMO will be as good as Gretzky, but there needs to be a player that Americans can hang their hats on, and a guy like Ilya Kovalchuk just isn't it.

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01-30-2004, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabid Ranger
but there needs to be a player that Americans can hang their hats on, and a guy like Ilya Kovalchuk just isn't it.
I guy like Kovalchuk could be it if he was scoring 75 goals. But the way the game is played today, noone could ever score enough goals often enough to become an American Superstar

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01-30-2004, 10:46 PM
  #11
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If one can only appreciate "stars" by high scoring totals, street cred and media hype, then the NBA and Lebron is your gig.

See 'ya!

Sidenote: funny how ties have been an acceptable part of the NHL for 75+ years, and now suddenly are a "problem." Some people always need to find something to complain about.

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01-30-2004, 10:53 PM
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Bettman said there could be no changes to the game? But, I thought Dave Hodge just interviewed him and he was adamant that "There will be changes, there has to be". Maybe he was referring to the business side and not the actual game, I'm not sure.

All I know is that the hockey goal is becoming as rare as the soccer goal, and most of the "superstars" in the league aren't putting up superstar numbers anymore, not because of their skill but because of the game. Take Bertuzzi for example, there is barely any room for a power forward in todays game. They banned his "push off" move because coaches where whining about it, and every time he touches the puck he's got 3 guys hanging off him like monkeys.

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01-31-2004, 02:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdSteelOnIce
But if he's so hell-bent on keeping tradition, why does he keep adding teams where there aren't traditional markets?

I don't like the thought of Pittsburgh, Calgary and Edmonton suffering while Columbus and Nashville are doing well enough for themselves.
I don't understand this.

Are you saying that Columbus and Nashville are doing well, for non-traditional markets, or are you saying that they aren't doing well enough, and shouldn't have teams---especially at the expense of the other 3 cities you mentioned?

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01-31-2004, 02:22 PM
  #14
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2 words

Video replay

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01-31-2004, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by mrlayance
2 words

Video replay


You wanna eliminate it or use it for penalties? Maybe eliminate that extra ref that takes up extra room and does nothing but play pocket pool all night. The real "fans" will be there regardless of the product. It may lose marketability in the States but we'll always recognize up here. There is something wrong with the game but it may just have something to do with the Commissioner not even knowing how to lace up a pair of skates. "Ban the trap and bring in a soft cap." Maybe then those fans in Winnipeg who were robbed of a team and the Nordique fans forced to cheer for Montreal while their team won a cup in Colorado will come back. This is meant as non offensive to American fans...most seem like great fans.

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01-31-2004, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K215215
In the new Hockey News Bettman says that their possibly won't be any changes in the game. UNBELIEVABLE! He might be the most clueless commissioner in the history of sports. Look, the quality of game in NBA is on the decline to, but the league is not falling apart. One major reason for that is Star Power. The NBA has actual superstars worth the price of admission. If I go to a Cav’s game, Im gonna watch LeBron play with out being grabbed all over the court. I also know that he is gonna score.

The NHL on the other hand has eliminated stars from the game. The game has been neglected to the point where players no longer score. No more big goal scorers, no more stars. Take a look at the NFL as the model league. Every year they retool their game so that it is more fan friendly. The NHL is stuck in Canadian Traditionalist Culture which precludes the league from doing anything. Not only that, it is impossible for the NHL to market any of the stars they do have because the game has become so dull, that it is impossible to get excited to watch a Joe Thornton play because he is gonna get hooked and grabbed in a 1-1 tie.

Gary, I understand you are in your great pursuit of convincing everyone that everything is fine…but it is not. Stop lying to me! The league has NEVER been in worse shape. The product is terrible. Unwatchable. I promise you, the only people left watching hockey obviously care about it enough to know and understand the game and the problem its facing. I consider it a slap in the face for him to say everything is fine. My continued support of the NHL is in hope that the league will somehow figure out how to bring the game back to the heights it reached when I first fell in love with hockey, but I promise you this, I will not continue to shell out money to watch 1-1 ties.




Could you maybe explain Canadian Traditionalist Culture? Maybe if you could explain to me what that means I'll teach you what an offside is.

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01-31-2004, 03:39 PM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacketracket
I don't understand this.

Are you saying that Columbus and Nashville are doing well, for non-traditional markets, or are you saying that they aren't doing well enough, and shouldn't have teams---especially at the expense of the other 3 cities you mentioned?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdSteelOnIce
Not really. More or less an observation that doesn't sit well with me for a couple reasons. And it's no knock on the South or the West -- the more people that appreciate hockey, the better.

It makes me wonder if the only teams that will be able to sustain an interest are the ones in new markets -- and I wonder if/when interest declines, what will the NHL be left with? I guess only time will tell if the fan base is more or less there because of the novelty of it. It could very well be that the new teams are just thinking way ahead of the old group in marketing.

The other thing is, I think it's important to keep some sort of balance between Canadian teams and American teams. It's something no other league has, and for some reason, it just adds interest for me. To see two different countries taking each other on night after night.

It would just suck to see NHL franchises playing a big game of musical chairs -- moving to a new city, getting a new fan base, then having to move the team when they lose interest.

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01-31-2004, 08:11 PM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K215215
In the new Hockey News Bettman says that their possibly won't be any changes in the game. UNBELIEVABLE! He might be the most clueless commissioner in the history of sports. Look, the quality of game in NBA is on the decline to, but the league is not falling apart. One major reason for that is Star Power. The NBA has actual superstars worth the price of admission. If I go to a Cav’s game, Im gonna watch LeBron play with out being grabbed all over the court. I also know that he is gonna score.

The NHL on the other hand has eliminated stars from the game. The game has been neglected to the point where players no longer score. No more big goal scorers, no more stars. Take a look at the NFL as the model league. Every year they retool their game so that it is more fan friendly. The NHL is stuck in Canadian Traditionalist Culture which precludes the league from doing anything. Not only that, it is impossible for the NHL to market any of the stars they do have because the game has become so dull, that it is impossible to get excited to watch a Joe Thornton play because he is gonna get hooked and grabbed in a 1-1 tie.

Gary, I understand you are in your great pursuit of convincing everyone that everything is fine…but it is not. Stop lying to me! The league has NEVER been in worse shape. The product is terrible. Unwatchable. I promise you, the only people left watching hockey obviously care about it enough to know and understand the game and the problem its facing. I consider it a slap in the face for him to say everything is fine. My continued support of the NHL is in hope that the league will somehow figure out how to bring the game back to the heights it reached when I first fell in love with hockey, but I promise you this, I will not continue to shell out money to watch 1-1 ties.

You need to read the WHOLE article before putting someone on the line like that.

Bettman told to the reporter that it's not unanimous that changes or to be clear that a specific change is necessary.

He put an example about officiating that if you ask to the 30 GM's what they can tell you about officiation.

33% will say, they need to call more penalties
33% will say, it's just fine the way it is
33% will say, they call too much penalties that stop the flow of the game.

I understand people want change but if it was that easy , it would have been made long time ago. The passion of the game inside the GM's, coach, players, fans is all there but that doesn't you got a majority of people thinking that the blue/red line is the answer nor the wider net nor the 4on4 60 minutes game.

Im not here to defend Bettman or anyone but I think it was a need to be clarified.

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Old
01-31-2004, 09:02 PM
  #19
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Bettman and his marketing gurus drove the sport where it is. Revert to the product that was in the late 80s and early 90s.

Remove the Instigator Penalty and scoring will increase.

Market the sport under the tagline of
"JUSTICE SERVED cause refs can't do everything"

Seriously, though, allow fighting to that extent and Stars will re-emerge to dominance as in the 80s...less concussions and stick infractions also.

If we continue to put protecting players in the hands of refereeing and post-game fines, the game is going to become more like basketball...FOUL! That would kill the game much more than allowing fighting.

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