Monday, February 14, 2005

NHL Burns – Bettman Fiddles

A couple of weeks ago I was sitting on the Ranger bench watching my oldest son and my six year old grandson skating on the Garden ice. It was a Ranger promotion for season ticket holders and a guest. So there was my grandson along with a couple of dozen other Ranger sufferers enjoying the ice that has been denied to our heroes, the Rangers. Yes folks the word is denied, brought to you by the architect of the NHL demise, namely Gary Bettman, NBA refugee.

What has Gary Bettman brought, or is it wrought, to the NHL? As starters he changed the name of the conferences from Prince of Wales, Patrick, Adams and Norris to North, South, East, and West - how imaginative. He probably doesn't even know who Patrick, Adams, Norris were. Or what they represented? But that was minor. Remember the fiasco of 1994. The Rangers had won the cup after a 54 year drought. The Rangers not only excited New Yorkers, they excited the nation. They were responsible for bringing in new fans. They made the covers of national magazines and they were running neck and neck with pro basketball, after baseball and football. That must have scared Bettman because he called a lockout. Yes, at the height of popularity Bettman shut down the NHL. The lockout prevailed long enough to have a shortened season and put hockey back fighting bowling and pool in the TV ratings. If anything of importance besides the decline of the NHL I haven't seen it.

Now we have the ultimate lockout. Could someone explain to me why we hadn't had daily or weekly meetings instead of the sporadic ones that have been going on? Simple, Bettman wants it his way or no way. The players have made a concession. A 24% across the board salary reduction. Not enough says Bettman. OK, but use it as a start for a negotiation. Can't do because Bettman wants a hard salary cap and will settle for nothing less. Where are the rest of the NHL owners? Where are the Great Gretzky and the Great Mario? Two super stars who helped drive up these escalating salaries. Their silence is deafening. I guess both of them are thankful they have franchises in cities that shouldn't even be in the league. NHL burns while Bettman fiddles.

ICINGS: Neil Smith and his wife are breaking up after 15 years together. I say together because Smith's lawyer says that they aren't really married because they wed (?) at some exotic island and for some reason it doesn't count. So Smith wasn't married. That fits. Some people say he was never the Ranger GM.....Back in the early thirties the NHL owners called for a salary cap of $75,000 per team and a high individual salary of $7,500. The NHL threatened a lockout, the players ignored them completely and kept on playing. Too bad they are unionized today. The players could ignore Bateman and keep on playing. Maybe they should form a new league and call it a players league and not invite Wayne and Mario.



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2 comments:

  • Anonymous said...
     

    I happen to agree with your hatred for Gary Bettman. He has done nothing but bring down the great game of hockey that we all have enjoyed our whole lives. I do not want to take anything away from your comments but "The Great One" (Gretzky) refused his first ever salary boost from the professional sports mogul in L.A. This helped prolong the increases in salaries. The ones responsible for the increases were all who did not follow "The Great One's" lead, which points the finger at all from Mario Lemieux, Fedorov, and Shanahan to Leetch, Coffey, and Messier. So before you make a comment that considers anything bad through "The Great One," look up the facts because he is called the great one for a reason.

    Remember I agree that Bettman is working on destroying the second sport of his carrier as commissioner.

  • Anonymous said...
     

    I happen to agree with your hatred for Gary Bettman. He has done nothing but bring down the great game of hockey that we all have enjoyed our whole lives. I do not want to take anything away from your comments but "The Great One" (Gretzky) refused his first ever salary boost from the professional sports mogul in L.A. This helped prolong the increases in salaries. The ones responsible for the increases were all who did not follow "The Great One's" lead, which points the finger at all from Mario Lemieux, Fedorov, and Shanahan to Leetch, Coffey, and Messier. So before you make a comment that considers anything bad through "The Great One," look up the facts because he is called the great one for a reason.

    Remember I agree that Bettman is working on destroying the second sport of his carrier as commissioner.

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