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Bettman Only Driving The Bus

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

... Now, the outside impression of Bettman, leader of the National Hockey League for two decades, is that these things are actually possible; that he is "the man," the first word and the last word when it comes to law and order within the closed little clique that is the group of owners.

To be sure, there is some of that.

But there has been more than a little mythology built up around both Bettman and his role, especially when it comes to negotiating with the players -- if that's what you can call what's happening now as the owners roll steadfastly toward a third lockout under the Bettman regime.

This perception of Bettman as the only thing standing between the fans and hockey utopia suits the public and many corners of the media nicely, especially in Canada, where Bettman is seen as the direct cause of all that ails hockey, not to mention being responsible for hard to clean spots on the rug and acid rain.

Let's be clear about one thing: Bettman may be driving the bus, but he's getting directions on where the bus is headed from the 30 owners who sit behind him on that bus.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink


awould's avatar

The owners pay Bettman to get sh*t on so they can stay clean.

Posted by awould on 09/11/12 at 02:35 PM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

Oh, so when we all booed Bettman whenever he was presenting the Stanley Cup, we really were booing the owners and in turn making them upset, so they’re really just concerned about locking out the fans?  We were fooled.  Thanks Gary… Ass

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 09/11/12 at 03:33 PM ET


The Canadian media leads the fans up there by the nose.  Bettman has done more for hockey than any previous commissioner.  The sport is at it’s highest in terms of popularity.

Canada is a small country, there would be no NHL if it had to rely solely on Canada. The players would make peanuts without US franchises.  Conversely the league would suffer without all the Canadian talent. 

It’s been a successful arrangement for decades.  Unfortunately hockey is only regional in the US, unlike Canada where it is universal. 

Like him or not Bettman is trying to bridge the gaps in the US market.  Since hockey will not be missed by most in the US it gives the owners a stronger hand.  The NFL and NBA players had to pull in their horns, what does that say about the NHL.?

Don’t get me wrong I’m all for the players but reality can sometimes be a b!tch.

Posted by 13 user names on 09/11/12 at 05:34 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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