Gary Bettman is a snake.
The NHL has had such a resurgence the past couple of years, especially in New England, where the Bruins have experienced months of being the favorite major sports team in the region. Ten years ago, ish, the Bruins were so far below the Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics that it was sometimes easy to forget that they even existed.
But an exciting team and a Stanley Cup run changed all of that. Then, Garry Bettman changed it again by causing another lockout. Because hes an asshole.
How can a league experience four work stoppages under on commissioner and have that man still be the commissioner? Isn’t there something so wrong with that situation that it should lead to his termination, even if he had done everything else perfectly (which he hasn’t)?
It wasn’t like it was just Boston that suddenly started to regain its interest in hockey, either. It was the entire country. This is from the NHL’s Wikipedia page (it’s credible, I promise):
“In 2009, the NHL enjoyed record highs in terms of sponsorships, attendance, and television audiences”
Translation: The league is as popular as it has ever been, we’re making tons of money, we have marketable stars, our games are selling out and we’re moving to new heights. We contend with the NBA and the NFL on occasion, the Winter Classic is a huge event and kids are starting to play hockey again. Teams in major markets are good, which generates interest around the country. We’re killing it right now.
So why is there another work stoppage? Why? Baseball had had labor peace since 1994, the NFL avoided missing games last year, the NBA got it done last year and the abbreviated season was actually a lot of fun. Why can’t the NHL just fall in line and take care of its business? They’re already missing games, and we’re being deprived of the answer to questions like “Is Tyler Seguin ready to become a top-10 player” because Bettman is a greedy prick.
Meanwhile, players like Seguin are playing overseas (which means they could get hurt and cripple the Bruins season, if it ever happens), ESPN is suddenly laughing at the NHL by picking up KHL games and broadcasting those (when ESPN wanted nothing to do with the NHL in the past) and the NFL and the NBA are filling the void. Fans who would have loved to watch hockey are going to watch football and basketball, and they’ll survive.
They also might not come back. I’ll come back, because I’m a sucker and can’t imagine just ignoring a professional sports league (besides the WNBA and MLS). But I know some people who won’t. They’re tired of the league becoming mainstream again and then blowing it by being greedy and being unwilling to compromise
Now Bettman is trying to frame the players as the bad guys, but everybody knows who is really at fault here. It’s you, Commissioner. You’re the reason I can’t watch hockey, and somehow you still have a job. I wouldn’t hire you to run the drive-thru at my local McDonald’s.
I never thought anyone could make Roger Goodell look good.