A few words on Gary Bettman

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/28/2008 04:37:00 PM |
Canadian Press: Has an interview with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on a host of subjects including the salary cap and playing in Europe full-time in the future.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
A lot of folks like to blame Gary Bettman for a lot of things but what most writers forget to point out is like most commissioners he is in effect an agent for the owners. There are a lot of owners in this league who want to exploit their corporate financial advantage regardless of how much money their hockey operation losses because it's a drop in the bucket to the company overall.

A forty million salary floor is a very bitter pill to swallow for teams without corporate billion dollar ownerships but unless they did this those corporate clubs stuck at a ceiling of fifty six million would be spending close to a hundred million and are more than willing to lose tens of millions for a clear advantage.

The kicker is the league does not talk about who makes or losses money or who shares revenue. They just tell you a few small details about revenue on rare occasion and most of that that only comes from Forbes which is just an estimate by an independant company with no access to any clubs books.

Any club can make a hundred million in revenue, but if your spending a hundred and fifty million in overhead to make that revenue your still losing fifty million which is something the league and those corporations want no part of telling anyone.

Gary Bettman cannot tell teams not to spend when they are allowed to do so.

It's also not Gary Bettman's fault the equipment and training techniques imporved to where the players are bigger along with their equipment. He has had to work with a landscape that is more about the sign of the times. He has gotten many rules adopted to try and improve the speed and entertainment value which I thought we we never see with shootouts, four on four overtime, a goaltenders box, the icing rules.

One of those things Mr Bettman was part of is breaking with Espn which has supporters of that station in the media ripping Bettman but was the right move for a network not willing to give hockey close to it's fair share of programming. Versus is far from perfect with a lot of terrible decisions like not showing finals postgame programs but it would be no better on Espn which is why this was decided in the first place.

I supose it's fair to blame Mr Bettman for the ownership siutuation in Nashville but this goes to the banks and the owners guidelines for acceptance also. If someone is determined to be a fraud and not pay for what they purchase it's tough for a pro sports league to do that kind of pre-investigation of an individuals finances.

One final thing about Bettman, he has to deal with some of the the worst multi-billionaire owners in pro sports in people with giant ego's like James Dolan, Ed Snider, Mike Ilitch the Jacobs family in Boston and the Wirtz family in Chicago among others.

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