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Bettman Doesn’t See The Whole Picture

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Everyone on the ice gets it. If a player doesn’t, if he repeatedly errs, he is out of the league. It is impossible to win on a consistent basis or on a grand scale without respect for the risk and reward equation that serves as the fundamental principle in every winning NHL locker room.

Yet, they are unable to compute this elementary fact of life in the boardroom on Sixth Avenue that serves as headquarters for Canceler-in-Chief Gary Bettman and his scrambled vision of hockey, in which he is willing to throw the figurative puck up the middle over and over again with only the faintest hope of connecting.

Bettman is willing to take the monumental risk of canceling yet another season as opposed to the meager rewards of limiting players to seven-year contracts and refusing transition rules that might cost NHL owners comparative pennies weighed against the cost of the second canceled season in the last eight years of his regime.

This is a man, quite frankly, who would first be shown the bench by Rangers coach John Tortorella, then scratched, then placed on waivers by Blueshirts general manager Glen Sather for the purpose of a buyout.

For Bettman is not an individual with whom a team can achieve success. He is not an individual who can be relied upon to see the entire rink, to process the big picture, to recognize that the business of hockey is not personal.

read on

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

Comments

Avatar

He is not an individual who can be relied upon to see the entire rink, to process the big picture, to recognize that the business of hockey is not personal.

I see Bettman as the exact opposite. He’s a guy that ONLY thinks long-term and big-picture and is blind to small-fry details.

Take Phoenix. If you’re thinking 50 years down the road and looking at national population trends, that market makes a lot of sense. If you’re looking 5 years ahead and at the leisure interest of its current population, it’s hilariously stupid to have a team there. But Bettman can’t bother himself to calculate the losses needed to get a team in Arizona from here to there.

Same with the decision to engage in another lockout. Sure, somewhere down the road, Toronto will grow so fast that every team goes red and a reduction in player share will stave that off another decade. But that isn’t such an imminent problem that he needed to open the door to a devastating war right this second. Just the changes to revenue sharing—and nothing else—puts everyone but Columbus and the aforementioned Phoenix in the black.

Posted by larry on 12/23/12 at 01:38 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

All I want for Xmas is Gary Bettman hung by the chimney with care.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 12/23/12 at 02:21 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Take Phoenix. If you’re thinking 50 years down the road and looking at national population trends, that market makes a lot of sense.


Hahahahaha…. Holy feck! Now that’s some funny arse shat!

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 12/23/12 at 04:13 PM ET

Avatar

Take Phoenix. If you’re thinking 50 years down the road and looking at national population trends, that market makes a lot of sense.

I think LA makes that argument a bit tougher to make, though.

LA’s 2 or 3 times bigger than Phoenix will ever be, the team has been there for 46 years, and in 2009 they were 22nd overall in attendance, 16th in 2010.

Yes, when they got really good they started selling out their games, but that’s true of pretty much any non-traditional market.  If a team there was best-in-conference good for a few straight years they’d get a 10-20% bump in attendance.  Which would disappear within weeks of the team not being that good.

That’s why I hate the way Bettman has set up the financials of the NHL.  It relies on teams in non-traditional markets being at least decent for the structure to succeed… and the only way to give those teams a chance at being good enough is to have a pretty narrow cap-floor… which means either big market teams have to be severely limited in what they can spend or small market teams have to go 8 figures red every year in hockey ops… which leads to lockouts and labor unrest.

It’s just a bad way to have designed things.  I know why he did it.  He’s chasing the big domestic US TV contract.  I just think he was an idiot for thinking that was going to ever really happen.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 12/24/12 at 07:10 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

It’s just a bad way to have designed things.  I know why he did it.  He’s chasing the big domestic US TV contract.  I just think he was an idiot for thinking that was going to ever really happen.
Posted by HockeyinHD on 12/24/12 at 06:10 AM ET

And he’s more of an idiot by not giving up on his little pipe dream. Stubborn little garden gnome, he is.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 12/24/12 at 11:44 AM ET

Stevis's avatar

Market size is not equal to population.  Market size is the number of people who give a rat’s hinder about your sport.  In the US, with baseball or football and probably even pro basketball, population is a 95% accurate proxy.  With hockey, it’s just not.  Winnipeg was a better place to be that Phoenix when the original Jets left, the entire time they were gone, and it is now.  Most of the Winnipeg market cares while like 2% of the Phoenix market does.  It’s lunacy to think any other way, but it’s what the Lockout Loonies have thought for 20 years now.

Posted by Stevis on 12/24/12 at 02:09 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Market size is not equal to population.  Market size is the number of people who give a rat’s hinder about your sport.

That’s market reach, actually.

 

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/24/12 at 03:02 PM ET

Stevis's avatar

[quoteThat’s market reach, actually.]

Fine, then, that’s the term of are we need to use and the one we need to be talking about.

Posted by Stevis on 12/24/12 at 03:35 PM 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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