Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The boot for Bettman?

There has never been a commissioner of a major North American sports league this inept, yet the league's board of governors keeps employing him, keeps giving him another chance to sink this once-proud, once-vibrant league to new depths.

Bettman is on a 14-year run of bad ideas.


At 6:31 a.m., January 30, 2007, Anonymous Baroque said...

We can always hope. Or, my favorite paragraph:

Bettman is set to begin his 15th year as commissioner Thursday, and like most hockey fans I feel the need to mark the occasion by popping a bottle of champagne, chugging the entire thing in an effort to drown my misery and then smashing the empty bottle over my temple to black out the memories.

At 7:06 a.m., January 30, 2007, Anonymous David Johnson said...

This one is good too:

"And, since fighting has been curbed, the "new" rivalries haven't really taken because a hockey rivalry without fighting is like non-alcoholic beer."

Though it isn't so much fighting as the intensity and passion. There are far fewer hard battles for the puck along the boards or in front of the net to create that intensity, which often led to fights. Detroit and Colorado didn't have a rivalry because they played each other a lot, they had a rivalry because they hated each other and their games were intense, and yes, contained the odd fight or two.

And yes, Bettman has to go to save hockey because I can't think of one good thing he has done for the game. Another 4 years on Versus is all we really need to know.

At 11:29 a.m., January 30, 2007, Blogger MattD said...

I just posted my thoughts on the piece. I agree with the overall point, but not some of the arguments he makes.

At 12:21 p.m., January 30, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also agree with the general point of the article, and find several passages amusing, such as the one quoted above.

There is a lot more that could be done to improve the on-ice product, and one thing I haven't heard enough about is the idea to alter the powerplay situation so that any goal would end the penalty. Could boost shorthanded goals and make things more exciting.

At 4:00 p.m., January 30, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

"And, since fighting has been curbed, the "new" rivalries haven't really taken because a hockey rivalry without fighting is like non-alcoholic beer."

This says more about the fans than the game. Minnesota/Wisconsin, Minnesota/North Dakota, Boston University/Boston College, Maine/New Hampshire, Michigan/Michigan State, none of these rivalries need fighting to be very intense. College sports probably has some inherent advantages in producing rivalries, but pro sports manage just fine. If hockey fans need fights to get intense about a game or a rivalry, they should find another hobby.

The Detroit/Colorado rivalry is intense because they met in a couple of conference finals in a row, and some off of Claude Lemieux's play. The fights came about because of the intensity of the rivalry, not the other way around.

At 4:22 p.m., January 30, 2007, Blogger Nick said...

The Detroit/Colorado rivalry had something to do with the fact that both teams at the time were quite good and were meeting in the playoffs a lot, but the rivalry really came down to Claude Lemieux busting up Draper's jaw in a cheap hit on the boards and McCarty later going to town on him.

The rivalry wasn't about watching Sakic/Yzerman go head to head.

While it's fun to watch all the scoring in the NHL over the past two years, I'm nostalgic about watching Probert and Kocher play as well. Teams had guys that could hit, intimidate, and protect superstars... Nowadays you brush up against another player and you get called for hooking. Give me a break.

At 7:37 p.m., January 30, 2007, Anonymous Numbers Freak said...

Wetzel misses some pretty big issues. He says "The league is now overexpanded and overpriced, misplaced and misdirected. It is less exciting, less interesting, less traditional and more difficult to follow for the non-obsessive fan." But Bettman's bosses don't necessarily care about any of that.

Bettman gets judged on two things:

(1) are team valuation up, and continuing to grow?
(2) are revenues up, and continuing to grow?

The answer to (1) is yes, and yes.

The answer to (2) is, again, yes and yes. Now that the cap system locks player costs to gross revenues, *net* revenues - and profits - will grow for most owners. For the minority that don't benefit... well, a minority can't fire Bettman.

I'd say we're stuck with Gary for a while longer.

At 4:39 p.m., February 14, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bettman must go! He has diluted the league and tried to make it the NBA... he has no respect for the history of the game or league!!


Join together to get rid of the man who is ruining hockey!!!!


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