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Morning Line

As bleak as things look now there's a good chance he might get the last laugh on his critics.

Perhaps a deal gets signed and in the not too distant future the league's Phoenix mess is a memory, the New York Islanders are selling out the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and the NHL returns to full houses in Quebec City and is eagerly anticipating a second team in Southern Ontario.

Hockey could become an established fixture on a burgeoning NBC Sports Network and the players might find themselves richer than they could have ever dreamed, with their 50 per cent (or so) share of a potentially $5-billion revenue pie driving the league's average salary to $3.6 million, more than triple what it was coming out of the 2004-05 lockout.

David Stern is getting out and will be acclaimed for what he's done for the NBA. If Bettman gets out at the right time and the league continues on the path he's put it on his enemies might have to find it in themselves to say something good about him -- even Donald Fehr.

-Michael Grange of Sportsnet where you can read more on this topic.

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

Comments

Mandingo's avatar

Perhaps a deal gets signed and in the not too distant future the league’s Phoenix mess is a memory, the New York Islanders are selling out the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and the NHL returns to full houses in Quebec City and is eagerly anticipating a second team in Southern Ontario.

Maybe aliens will land and give everyone on earth eternal life and the ability to eat anything they want and not get fat.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 10/26/12 at 10:47 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

IF being the operable modifier. And IF my aunt had testicles, she’d be my uncle.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 10/26/12 at 10:54 AM ET

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IMO the Atlanta/Winnipeg thing gives me the hint that Bettman might be willing to move a crappy non-trad team or two into a better market.  Not Phoenix because the league has dumped around 50 mil into floating that stupid franchise over the last 3 years, but I can see Anaheim and/or Dallas moving for sure.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/26/12 at 11:14 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

I want some of the stuff Grange is smoking. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt that giddy and silly. And if Mandingo’s aliens could keep me from getting fat (well, fatter) once the munchies set in, that’d be good too. smile

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 10/26/12 at 11:35 AM ET

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i wonder if the NHL fired Gary B, if the players may then be open to making more concessions.  It almost seems like the NHLPA is more upset with gary then they are with the owners.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 10/26/12 at 11:58 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

i wonder if the NHL fired Gary B, if the players may then be open to making more concessions.  It almost seems like the NHLPA is more upset with gary then they are with the owners.

As things have gotten more contentious, I’ve been thinking that one of the possible outcomes of this is that Gary is made the sacrificial lamb not only to the players but to the fans.

Hell, he doesn’t even have to go away.  The NHL could announce that Gary Bettman is stepping down to take an “independent advisor” role to help Bill Daly transition into the role of commish. Gary Still pulls the strings, but the fans see the guy who the Luntz Group pointed out was more “blue-collar looking” as being the guy in charge.

I’m not willing to commit to that theory just yet, but it’s one of those things that wouldn’t surprise me.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/26/12 at 12:05 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Heck, give Bettman any title other than Commissioner. Just don’t allow him to make decisions regarding the game or be seen in public.

My choice for the next commish would be Ken Dryden.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 10/26/12 at 12:09 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

Bettman better go to the background, for sure.

We know that he (just like his buddy David Stern) loves being booed, but the next time he’s in public things might get really dangerous.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 10/26/12 at 12:16 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Maybe aliens will land and give everyone on earth eternal life and the ability to eat anything they want and not get fat.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 10/26/12 at 10:47 AM ET

From your lips to Mxyzptlk’s ears.

Posted by calquake on 10/26/12 at 12:27 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

My choice for the next commish would be Ken Dryden.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 10/26/12 at 12:09 PM ET


As long as it’s not Bill Daly either.  Or Jimmy D for that matter.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 10/26/12 at 01:01 PM ET

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Wishful thinking, but Bettman is going nowhere. He has made the most powerful owners in the league buckets full of money.  As much has he is reviled by many, the owners need him to draw the heat, and I think he likes it. It probably gives him the power and attention he never had as he matured.

Grange is usually full of it, but I think the NHL is so hard on getting the share down to 50/50 because they probably have a plan to move a few teams into better markets and they want that boom to go into their pockets.  They are trying to convince the players to take less of the pie because the pie is shrinking when in reality they know they can get a hell of a lot more bang for their bucks by re-locating or even heaven forbid - expanding by 2 more teams over the next CBA.

The fans may hate it, but since when do we matter? Once they are at 50/50 it won’t matter for the next CBA because that will be the default position no matter how much profit the owners make. This is the best chance to go down to 50/50 because if the league’s revenue keep growing there is no way they can convince the players going forward to give up more.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 10/26/12 at 01:13 PM ET

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He has made the most powerful owners in the league buckets full of money.

Apparently not, since they’re all crying poor.

Posted by Garth on 10/26/12 at 01:22 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

Garth - it depends on from which side of their mouths the owners are talking.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 10/26/12 at 01:55 PM ET

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They cry poor, but we know differently. There is a ton of money left on the table and Gary knows it. The first domino fell with the Islanders moving to Brooklyn this week. That leaves viable markets in Southern Ontario and Quebec or Seattle for the NHL to re-locate to or heaven forbid expand to. I believe that this is going to happen over the next CBA and Gary wants the owners to maximize every dollar out of this next round that’s why it has to be 50/50 from the start.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 10/26/12 at 02:28 PM ET

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Apparently not, since they’re all crying poor.

“All”?

Interesting.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/26/12 at 06:32 PM ET

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Interesting.

Not really.  As an entity, the members of the NHL are crying poor.  If you can point to an owner who isn’t supporting the league’s claims that they aren’t making enough money I would love to read it.

Posted by Garth on 10/26/12 at 06:46 PM ET

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He has made the most powerful owners in the league buckets full of money.

Apparently not, since they’re all crying poor.

As an entity, the members of the NHL are crying poor.

Do you notice a difference in the second and third comment there?

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/26/12 at 07:26 PM ET

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Do you notice a difference in the second and third comment there?

Do you notice that it was me who said that they are making a lot of money and that it is the league who are crying poor?

Do you understand that I was pointing out that they are crying poor while taking in record revenues?

Do you honestly not realize that one of the big *#$%@& points I’ve been making is that the league is full of shit when they cry poor?

Do you not have a basic understanding of the side you are arguing against?

Jesus…

Posted by Garth on 10/26/12 at 07:45 PM ET

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Do you understand that I was pointing out that they are crying poor while taking in record revenues?

You said “Apparently not, since they’re all crying poor.”

My point is that they are not all crying poor.  Are the Leafs crying poor?  The Wings?  The Rangers?  The Canadiens?  The Flyers?  The Bruins?  The Blackhawks?  The Canucks?

No.  They are not.

The NHL, as a league, is saying that adjustments need to be made to the basic financial structure.  Not that ‘all the owners’ are crying poor.

Big, big difference.

Do you honestly not realize that one of the big *#$%@& points I’ve been making is that the league is full of shit when they cry poor?

Right, but I’ve yet to see you actually make the point.  I’ve seen you say it over and over again, but repetition is not validation.  I think it’s pretty obvious that there are 8-10 teams who do pretty well, considering.  I think there are 4 or 5 teams that struggle to break even.  I think there are 15-18 teams that are guaranteed to lose money every year.

So, when the NHL talks about needing some changes to the financial structure, it’s not to help those 8-10 teams specifically (although it will), it is to help the other 20-22.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/26/12 at 08:17 PM ET

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Right, but I’ve yet to see you actually make the point. 

Just because you don’t accept it doesn’t mean I didn’t make it.

Posted by Garth on 10/26/12 at 08:51 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Boy I’m not having any trouble understanding Garth’s point.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/26/12 at 09:07 PM ET

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Just because you don’t accept it doesn’t mean I didn’t make it.

I don’t accept or refuse it, Garth.  You have an opinion, and that’s fine.  What I haven’t seen from you is anything that gives your opinion much substance.  If you have some particular insight or information that has resulted in you feeling the way you do and you want to share it, by all means.

Merely saying stuff like ‘Apparently not, since they’re all crying poor’ over and over again isn’t exactly what I’m referring to.

Boy I’m not having any trouble understanding Garth’s point.

Why are you conflating understanding what he is saying with thinking what he is saying is supported by facts?

I don’t think Garth’s position is all that opaque.  He thinks the NHL is lying about everything money related, pretty much.  What I’m waiting for is for him to say something a little deeper than that which lends credence to that opinion.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/27/12 at 03:06 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Why are you conflating understanding what he is saying with thinking what he is saying is supported by facts?

You don’t have the truth here; I don’t think you’re in the position to criticize his position.

HiHD’ed

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/27/12 at 08:47 AM ET

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Merely saying stuff ... over and over again isn’t exactly what I’m referring to. ...What I’m waiting for is for him to say something a little deeper than that which lends credence to that opinion.

Well I guess I’m the kettle, so that would make you the pot…

Posted by Garth on 10/28/12 at 08:07 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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