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Why Bettman Is Blamed For NHL Problems But Not Alan Eagleson?

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06-21-2010, 02:22 AM
  #1
puckhead103*
 
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Why Bettman Is Blamed For NHL Problems But Not Alan Eagleson?

I've been reading comments over the years by folks who say Bettman has destroyed the NHL...

Critics talked about how Bettman's expansion dream, favoring non traditional hockey markets in the US and allowing the Jets and Nords leave, while saving teams in Phoenix and Nashville......

But I think the problems of hockey today can be linked to when Alan Eagleson ran the NHLPA...

Eagleson, with some more dubious connections with John Ziegler and "Dollar Bill" Wirtz, had a hand to keep salaries low....

Pensions was another matter. Great NHL stars like Bobby Orr and Gordie Howe had pensions where the amount if they would got it today would be near the poverty line...

With Eagleson's greed and conflict of interest created a Bob Goodenow, who with the players support, took on those owners who had kept salaries low and initiated the 1995 and 2004 labor fights.....

Also, Eagleson's action had increased salaries where the owners began to complain about paying too much dollars on players....This led to the selection of Gary Bettman, who vowed to keep salaries in check by instituting a salary cap, which he was successful implementing after the 2004-05 lockout.....

Here is a list of Eagleson's shady dealings...

Quote:
The Money Issues

* Eagleson billed hundreds of thousands of dollars in sometimes questionable expenses to the players' union, plus union funds were put into high-risk real estate investments involving Mr. Eagleson, his friends and associates.
* Eagleson had claimed repeatedly that money from international tournaments went into the pension fund for players. But it appears the money was helped to merely reduce what the NHL and teams were supposed to pay into the fund.
* Although Eagleson claimed that he, his family and associates didn't benefit from international tournaments, evidence suggested otherwise. Eagleson, his family and associates made millions in contracts associated with those tournaments. He was also apparently involved in selling advertising spots on rink boards, and made hundreds of thousands of dollars off that.
Quote:
Disability Claims

* Eagleson allegedly swindled nearly $15,000 in disability insurance money from former player Glen Sharpley, whose NHL career was ended in 1981 by an eye injury.
* There was also the case of former Bruin Mike Gillis, who was looking for help securing his disability insurance. Eagleson told Gillis that it would be a tough case, but if the injured Bruin would give him a 15 percent cut, Eagleson said he would see what he could do. One problem though. Eagleson already knew that Gillis' claim had been approved and the NHLPA chief pocketed $41,250 on that deal.
* Eagleson also allegedly worked to keep disability pay outs low and, in return, demanded kickbacks from the insurance companies.
Eagleson and the NHL owners probably practiced collusion...
Quote:
In essence, Eagleson worked with the league and owners to keep player salaries down. It was pretty easy to do since in those days the union was reluctant to reveal what players were making. Eagleson was basically selling out the very players he was paid to represent.

"It does not take a great stretch of the imagination to believe that when Eagleson, Ziegler and Wirtz led their respective troops into collective bargaining negotiations, the results might have been pre-ordained.

Owners, players and players' wives then celebrated at a posh dinner party hosted by the owners. Everyone would attest to how difficult the negotiations had been, and how fruitful the hard-fought gains for both sides.

To us, it appeared the players never suspected the scenario might have been scripted in advance." Gil Stein, the former NHL executive and briefly president, is quoted as saying in the recently released book by Bruce Dowbiggin called 'Money Players: How Hockey's Greatest Stars Beat the NHL At It's Own Game.'

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06-21-2010, 02:48 AM
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Nalyd Psycho
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Because Eagleson made things worse for the players. It's tenuous at best to say he's responsible for what has happened in the last 20 years Bettman has done.

But, honestly, I think Bettman has done a solid job. C+/B- level, he hasn't hurt the league, he just hasn't done anything great. The problem is, he comes of as a total weasel.

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06-21-2010, 03:10 AM
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Eagle went to jail for good reason, I don't like Bettman but I don't think he is a criminal.

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06-21-2010, 09:12 AM
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What happened in the league is ofcourse not just Bettmans fault but it's easier to point the finger at one guy than start analyzing everyone in the league. It's basically Bettmans job to take the blame.

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06-21-2010, 11:14 AM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Most of the kids who blame Bettman for everything the media tells them is wrong about hockey (as if he has some evil power of mind control over the Board of Governors and ownership) have probably never heard of Alan Eagleson.

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06-21-2010, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Most of the kids who blame Bettman for everything the media tells them is wrong about hockey (as if he has some evil power of mind control over the Board of Governors and ownership) have probably never heard of Alan Eagleson.
Although it's quite fair to call Bettman stupid for not letting Jim Balsillie buy and move the Coyotes. Here we have a owner who actually wants to have a team in the NHL (although in southern ontario) who is not allowed.

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06-21-2010, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by jkrx View Post
Although it's quite fair to call Bettman stupid for not letting Jim Balsillie buy and move the Coyotes. Here we have a owner who actually wants to have a team in the NHL (although in southern ontario) who is not allowed.
No, that was completely the right decision, and it wasn't made by Bettman alone either. You can't have someone circumvent the rules you set.

Balsillie could have a team by now if he had played by the rules for once, instead of being a jerk all three times he tried to buy a team.

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06-21-2010, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanderson View Post
No, that was completely the right decision, and it wasn't made by Bettman alone either. You can't have someone circumvent the rules you set.

Balsillie could have a team by now if he had played by the rules for once, instead of being a jerk all three times he tried to buy a team.
Well Im just saying that Jim Balsillie is the kind of owner the league needs.

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06-21-2010, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrx View Post
Well Im just saying that Jim Balsillie is the kind of owner the league needs.
One who will deliberately and aggressively break the rules of the organization he's trying to join?

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06-21-2010, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrx View Post
Well Im just saying that Jim Balsillie is the kind of owner the league needs.
The kind who violates the rules created by the other 29 owners?

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06-21-2010, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrx View Post
What happened in the league is ofcourse not just Bettmans fault but it's easier to point the finger at one guy than start analyzing everyone in the league. It's basically Bettmans job to take the blame.
true. bettman's only real wrongdoings are: 1. being commissioner of a sports league whose owners collectively want something other than the majority of its fans, and 2. being somewhat transparent about his decision-making.

doesn't make me hate him any less, though.

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06-21-2010, 04:11 PM
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He's an aggressive business man. They tend to bend or break the rules. I rather see him as an flamboyant owner with cash who are willing to put in more effort in a team than let's say the leafs owners.

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06-22-2010, 03:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrx View Post
He's an aggressive business man. They tend to bend or break the rules. I rather see him as an flamboyant owner with cash who are willing to put in more effort in a team than let's say the leafs owners.
But he's not aggressive and passionate, he's disruptive and obstinate.

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06-22-2010, 10:38 AM
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Eagleson was an apprentice to a Sith Lord (NHL owners). He was stealing from the players union with full understanding from the owners, as he was their inside guy.

The owners lost a nice revenue stream when Eagleson was purged and busted. U.S. expansion filled that stream until it was tapped out, then came the salary cap as a means to money (with the escrow part of the agreement being particularly lucrative). The Sith Lord was successful in getting rid of Qui-Gon Jinn (Bob Goodenow) and for a short time managed to get Count Dooku (Ted Saskin) in place with the NHLPA. The players will be reexamining that escrow arrangement when the current CBA expires, so it looks like the Sith is now shaking down the IIHF and Olympics for money to have NHL players attend international tournaments.

Bettman's not in charge, he's the "yes" man that gets the owners their money. People know that now, if not intellectually then intuitively, sensing his dark side aura wrapping around the planet and seeking money in every crevice. Eagleson got his start before the first Star Wars movie came out in '77, so the public didn't understand what kind of entity he was. They understand now, which is why Bettman gets grief.

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06-22-2010, 01:01 PM
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I'm no Bettman fan, as some of you may know from other threads, but to compare him to Alan Eagelson is a stretch, if not absurd.
Eagelson was not a comish but an agent and head of the NHLPA, skimming his clients and the players off money. He was/is a criminal.
Bettman, as far as I know is only a commissioner, who's job is to look out for the owners' best interest. Although I get frustrated, as I consider them short sighted and many times immoral, they are operating within the law.

One can always speculate that Bettman, Stein, Zeigler, and Campbell knew exactly what Eagelson was doing and should have blown the whistle, but again, we don't know for sure, and as long as they kept their hands out of it, they didn't break the law by being silent.

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06-22-2010, 08:45 PM
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Because he looks like The Count from Sesame Street.




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