Monday, December 22, 2014

Gary Bettman's NHL

Here are a few observations about Gary Bettman's league.

In Gary Bettman's NHL, when a hero (in every sense of the word) returns for his final on-ice farewell, the league's network opts instead to show the Pittsburg Penguins play an out-of-conference team. Nevermind that Saku Koivu transcends the game. Nevermind that the fans greeted him with another, emotional ovation. No, for some reason, a run-of-the-mill out-of-conference game gets top billing on the NHL Network.

In Gary Bettman's NHL, on that same night, a referee witnessed a deliberate boarding play that injured Montreal's top scorer. Yet, despite witnessing the intentional (and successful) attempt to injure a star player, neither referee called a penalty against Clayton Stoner.

In Gary Bettman's NHL, his league decided not to pursue any punishment whatsoever against Clayton Stoner, even after the video evidence clearly showed attempt to injure, and success in that endeavour.

In Gary Bettman's NHL, fans are sold a package that purports to show every game, home and away, with your choice of the home or away city's broadcast. This is fine, except for Montreal fans who, night after night, only have the option of watching the OTHER team's hometown broadcast. Sabres at Canadiens? You only get to watch MSG. Canadiens at NYR? MSG. Ducks at Canadiens, where, by the way, the Habs will be honoring their former Captain? Fox Sports San Diego.

In Gary Bettman's NHL, real fans are slaves to the southern teams that make no money, have little success, and have tenuous (at best) fan-bases. Every time a Montreal fan buys a Habs hat, some of that money goes directly to the Phoenix Coyotes, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, etc, in a perverse form of corporate welfare to support money-losing franchises.

In Gary Bettman's NHL, the league commissioner works so hard and diligently to maintain his unethical ownership of one of the league's franchises, that he is blind to all other franchises. Gary Bettman was so fixated on keeping a money-hemmorhaging team in a non-sensical place like Phoenix ARIZONA, that he was blind-sided by the sudden departure of the Atlanta Thrashers for Winnipeg.

Perhaps this is the key. The Thrashers' move to Winnipeg, of all places, where there is actually hockey played, and there are actually hockey fans, was a nightmare scenario for Gary Bettman. Perhaps we should encourage him to maintain ownership of, and work desperately to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix. Then he will be oblivious to the plight of the other southern teams until it is too late and they have already packed their bags for Quebec City, Hamilton, etc.

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