Archive for the ‘Gary Bettman’ Category

This entire post isn't going to be "Wah wah Gary Bettman needs to go" but he's in here hence the photo.

This entire post isn’t going to be “Wah wah Gary Bettman needs to go” but he’s in here hence the photo.

It’s July. Still. God this month drags for what feels like an eternity. I have no passionate feelings about anything so it’s hard to find a writing topic. New divisions? Whatever. The Minnesota Wild crying poor? Meh. Mikhail Grabovski remaining unsigned? Yeah, what is up with that? NHL GMs, man.

When the passion isn’t there, you can’t force it. That’s how you wind up with a ninth season of Friends and marriage. So instead of forcing it with one of those aforementioned topics (Seriously, if Grabovski winds up somewhere besides the NHL, this league should be embarrassed), I’m doing one of those things about ways to make the NHL better that will never happen but whatever it’s fun.

Some are obvious, some maybe aren’t, some are probably dumb, some are definitely things you’ve heard before. So here’s some stuff about hockey to distract you from your life and job for a few minutes. Read the rest of this entry »

The failure in communication I can see is not between the NHL and NHLPA. Both seem to have a reasonable idea of where they are and where they want to end up. Donald Fehr’s assertion last night that the sides are close is consistent with some good analysis of the collective bargaining process.

Nah, the failure in communication is internal, with what the NHL says, and what the NHL does.

Gary Bettman’s press conference last night was definitely something to watch. I’d never seen him that animated before, and anecdotes of him getting angry and stomping out of the room during negotiations seem a little more plausible. The problem is that when he speaks, he’s just been totally disingenuous, and his later actions tend to be inconsistent with his words.

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That smile. Gary Bettman is a saucy fellow.

It’s Thanksgiving in the land of Uncle Sam, and after yet another setback in NHL negotiations, the hockey world refuses to smile back at Gary Bettman. Not that it ever did; but it certainly seems more palpable on a day of thanks.

With people taking to the twitter machine to broadcast what they’re thankful for to the world, it is clear that nobody — literally nobody, except for maybe 30 or so very wealthy people and a couple of internet trolls — is thankful for Gary Bettman. Here is a (very) small sample of said sentiment.
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(Andy Marlin, Getty Images)

I’ve been wondering since the start of the CBA negotiations why Bill Daly was the person speaking for the NHL. He’s never seemed like the ideal communicator from a PR perspective, as he occasionally comes off as condescending and can be overly blunt, flippant, or laughably obtuse at times. He’s been casually dismissive of the NHLPA and their offers, making it seem like the NHL as a whole is the same way. Frankly, I’ve felt that he often damages public perception of the NHL more than he improves it and I wondered why he was doing all the talking instead of Gary Bettman.

Then Bettman did an exclusive interview with the Winnipeg Free Press and it became eminently clear why he’s been staying out of the limelight. When he talks, ammunition for the players comes pouring out of his mouth.

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I have long since abandoned hope that this season is going to actually happen.

That whole thing started when I wrote a column for Puck Daddy saying I was somewhat optimistic that, given the frequency with which both sides of the labor battle were meeting prior to the NHLPA’s counterproposal — and that only came after a prolonged period of retiring to their respective corners and staring angrily at each other while firmly not-negotiating anything at all — and like three days later there was some sort of public pissing match. In retrospect I should have thought the league would swat that offer down as being far too logical and therefore unacceptable, like Dikembe Mutombo in his prime.

And the disgust on both sides seemed only to mount in the days leading up to and indeed immediately following the expiration of this past, dearly departed collective bargaining agreement. Now were Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr not only glowering at each other in meeting rooms, they were both throwing up their hands to the media like, “Do you believe I have to deal with this friggin’ guy? He’s being TOTALLY unreasonable!”

And so it was that the sides haven’t met in quite a while. There was kind of no point to it, if you want to be really pragmatic about it. Here’s how that kind of meeting would go:

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Up until the NHL’s Gary Bettman era, pro sports didn’t deal with a whole ton of work stoppages. It was somewhat rare to be locked out by one of the big four sports leagues. But, since he came around….yikes.

The NHL has missed more games than any other league over the past two decades, and is on track to miss more. That’s meant that a good number of players were around for two lockouts;  heading into the third of Bettman’s tenur, there are a total of 14 who will have been a part of all three.  Read the rest of this entry »

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mourn the passing of the NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement, which expired last Saturday, the fifteenth of September in the year of Our Lord Two-Thousand-and-Twelve. Although we knew that it was gravely ill for several months, many of us had held out hope that it might, somehow, be extended. Now we realize the futility of these hopes, and it is time to say our final farewells to the CBA that was.

It was a good CBA, full of joy and laughter. Whenever things seemed bleakest, it was always ready to cheer us up with a hilarious UFA contract or a comically one-sided trade. It was generous, too, giving ever-increasing profits to owners, cheap ELCs and bizarrely-averaged cap hits to GMs, enormous contracts to players, and unprecedented parity to fans. Truly, this was a CBA that thought always of others, sharing its largess widely and taking little for itself. The desperate rush of teams and players to sign contracts in the final hours of its life is a moving tribute to its kindness and popularity.

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