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20 Years Of Gary Bettman

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Bettman’s era has brought some important positive changes to the league. Revenues have quintupled in size and player payrolls followed suit. The NHL played a series of regular-season games in Europe and Japan, broadening its global appeal. It created the successful Winter Classic, the annual outdoor game played on Jan. 1 that has caught the imagination of the U.S. TV viewing public. Television revenues have grown significantly as have league sponsorship deals. He helped stabilize wobbly franchises in Edmonton, Calgary and Ottawa through the Canadian currency-assistance program and enabled Minnesota and Winnipeg to get their franchises back.

Still, Bettman’s legacy will be forever coloured by the rancour and animosity of three lockouts. During the second, in 2004-05, the NHL became the only major professional sports league to lose an entire season to a labour dispute. So in spite of salary growth, many players regard him as a villain.

“The hockey has grown a lot in every which way so I think for the most part, he has been very successful – and obviously, we all appreciate that,” said the Anaheim Ducks’ Teemu Selanne, one of only a handful to play during Bettman’s entire reign.

“We – the players – are very lucky to have the lifestyle that we have. But if you ask any player, nobody’s happy that he also had three work stoppages. Obviously, that’s the only minus we are looking at from his part.”

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Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman

Comments

Down River Dan's avatar

He helped stabilize wobbly franchises in Edmonton, Calgary and Ottawa


I like to think the Canadian dollar being up $.25 against the US dollar and not anything Gary did is responsible for the non wobbly franchises.

Posted by Down River Dan on 01/26/13 at 11:35 AM ET

Avatar quote]I like to think the Canadian dollar being up $.25 against the US dollar and not anything Gary did is responsible for the non wobbly franchises.

Funny how you reinvent history for your own purposes. Bettman was responsible for the dollar stabilization program that subsidized Canadian markets when the CD was significantly lower in value.  Bettman was responsible for saving Ottawa in getting a local owner and not moving the franchise when it was in bankruptcy.  Bettman was also responsible for saving the Oilers from moving to Houston.  Lastly he restored the Winnipeg franchise when he easily could have denied the move based on the inadequacies of the market and arena.  But you can continue to pretend he hates the Canadian teams and has undermined Canada at every opportunity, even if it isn’t true.

I am happy to see a more balanced view of Bettman being portrayed in both the US and Canadian media. Gary is no saint, but he isn’t a villain either and it is about time the media gave both sides of the story.

Posted by timbits on 01/26/13 at 12:16 PM ET

HockeyFanOhio's avatar

Lastly he restored the Winnipeg franchise when he easily could have denied the move based on the inadequacies of the market and arena.  But you can continue to pretend he hates the Canadian teams and has undermined Canada at every opportunity, even if it isn’t true.

So, my question is this.  If the market and arena are inadequate why move a franchise back there?  They had the Jets before and lost them.  One of the main criticisms I have of Bettman is that he has moved teams to markets that won’t support them in a failed attempt to expand the league.

Posted by HockeyFanOhio from Central Ohio on 01/26/13 at 06:03 PM ET

Avatar

I think Bettman has done a great job.  If he were a Canadian from Toronto the Canadian media would too.

They can’t stand the fact that it took a sharp guy from NYC to get hockey on track. 

How about we go back to all the stooge commissioners thay had in the past.  And hey Mr Canada, what happens when the Canadian dollar drops in value again?

The man you hate put a plan in place in case that happens again.

Posted by 13 user names on 01/26/13 at 07:29 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

So I guess when the coyotes ultimately are moved to Quebec City, gary will be considered a “genius” for this move also?

Gary was , is , and always be a failure. The enconomy improved in Canada,  and the league went along for the ride.

The list of his failures is too long for me to go into now. Give me a coyple days to father my notes and I will gladly debate anyone on this matter.

Gil Stein was incompotent but he didn’t stick around long enough to screw things up.

Most of you were not born when ziegler was commish, so when some of you say gary isn’t as bad as previous commisiners , I wonder who you are comparing him to?

Posted by Down River Dan on 01/26/13 at 07:52 PM ET

creasemonkey's avatar

“I am committed to eliminating, to the extent possible, the distractions and focusing the attention on the game.”

This is his quote from the beginning of his term and he has failed miserably. He may have had other small victories along the way, but this is a major, big time, horrible failure.

Posted by creasemonkey from sweet home san diego on 01/27/13 at 03:10 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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