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Ron MacLean & Gary Bettman Talk

Ron was on Fan590 this morning and said he felt sorry for Bettman.  The man is under a lot of pressure especially with the Phoenix situation, since he told the owners they would not lose money on this deal.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman, ron+maclean



What a complete nob. Seriously, Gary. What are you looking at in the upper right corner?

Posted by ElCapitan on 06/03/10 at 10:56 AM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

When does this man get purged from the NHL?  Everything about his persona is a disgrace to this game.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/03/10 at 11:05 AM ET


Seriously. I mean…the arrogance and condescending attitue are just appalling. What do the owners still trust this jagoff? What has he done for the game, other than take 15 years to get it semi-back to where it was in 1994? It took Shanahan and his committee to make the rules changes to open the game up the last couple years. What has Gary done, other than create 10 of 11 worst teams in home attendance (with the 11th worst’s owner being approved under Gary).


Posted by ElCapitan on 06/03/10 at 11:11 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Thank you so much for posting this, Paul.  I got to hear plenty about it on Twitter while it was happening.

I think my favorite part of the whole thing was when Gary Bettman argued with Ron MacLean about whether the interview was confrontational. 

I’d like to see this turn into a whole series.  MacLean really had Bettman on the defensive and did an excellent job bringing up what the players bring to the game and what the CBA did.  I was looking at the impact of the salary cap and the escrow and, while I’d still need somebody to explain to me the difference between “real” dollars, Canadian dollars, and how all of that changes the profit outlooks, the numbers I could see is that from 07-08, the NHL spent about $211 million more on players’ salaries and brought in about $100 million less in profits in 08-09.  The players escrow of 12.9% that went back to the league paid them back about $200 million.  Basically, the players swallowed 2/3rds of the profit difference, even thought their “fair share” of the profits is significantly lower than that fraction.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/03/10 at 11:21 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Oh, I’m also not completely sure about this, but I think that, since the players’ escrow is collected by the NHLPA and not done as a withholding from their pay, that it’s still legally considered income, meaning that the players also took on a significant portion of tax payments that the league otherwise would have had to make.

However, I’d love clarification on that issue if anybody has it.  I haven’t been able to find out.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/03/10 at 11:32 AM ET


Why does Bettman insit on talking down to people? His attitude and demeanor is so disgusting, why he must be so condescending is beyond me. Maybe he should take a look in the mirror or explain why his guy Boots DelBiagio is locked up. Had Bettman not lied about the coyotes situation for 2 years maybe people would believe some of nonsense coming out of his mouth now. Fortunately no one with 2 brain cells believes anything this liar is spuing.

Posted by Killerdg93 on 06/03/10 at 12:15 PM ET



I can’t say for sure whether the escrow contributions are in fact taxed by the IRS, but I’m inclined to believe they’re not.  The IRS has taken the view that income is taxable when it is constructively received by the taxpayer.  That is, in order for the income to be taxable, the player must have an unrestricted right to the compensation.  Since they are contractually required to fund the escrow account, I believe the IRS would find the escrow contributions to be taxable income only when any amount held in escrow is distributed to the players, and only taxed to the players to the extent that they receive distributions from the escrow fund. 

In example:  If a player makes $5M per year, and the escrow contribution is 20%, he would receive $4M in compensation, of which $4M would be taxable.  If league revenues were sufficient to return half of the amount held in escrow to the players the following year, he would receive a distribution from the escrow account of $500,000, which would be taxable in the year he received the distribution.

Posted by iwearstripes on 06/03/10 at 12:48 PM ET

Moq's avatar

Actually, I think Ron MacLean exhibited poor preparation and mixed a lot of fruit to paint a purely negative picture of the league. The franchise run-through was especially egregious, and the “player’s angle” seemed like his own personal views rather than factually based.

Posted by Moq from Denmark on 06/03/10 at 12:51 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by iwearstripes on 06/03/10 at 10:48 AM ET

I think that’s where the holdup is.  From what I read, the NHLPA is who is actually required to make the payments back to the league if player salaries exceed their threshold for percentage of league revenue.  Since they’re a union, the escrow payment could be considered a due, but not an actual contractual requirement, since it’s decided by committee and the union is the one under contract to do so, not the individual players.

I guess that begs the question as to whether a player is forced to belong to the NHLPA in order to get an NHL contract.  From a common-sense view, I would say that it is and the escrow payment should not be taxable, but I’ve learned that common sense can be taken for granted in legal and tax matters.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/03/10 at 01:06 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

I just finished reading Net Worth. Bettman sounds like an NHL commissioner. That’s not a compliment.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 06/03/10 at 01:30 PM ET


I agree with Mog.

If the CBC really wanted to represnet the “players’ angle” they would have let Don Cherry do the interview.

Posted by Cubanpuckstopper on 06/03/10 at 02:44 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Mog, Ron’s taken that approach with Bettman every year since this little “tradition” of interviewing him during the Stanley Cup Finals began over ten years ago.  Bettman knows what he’s getting into, so this wasn’t an ambush interview.  Bettman just has a bit of a truth impediment.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/03/10 at 02:54 PM ET


Agreed. Go to YouTube guys and watch Bettman’s previous interviews w/Ron. They are the same every year. He asks solid questions that nobody else will, Gary acts smug and condescending, they laugh at the end, and scene!

Posted by ElCapitan on 06/03/10 at 03:39 PM ET

bitterguy's avatar

does anyone actually believe bettman about anything he says?  that sign off is a microcosm of bettman’s style and personality - maclean apologizes for the confrontational nature of the interview and bettman contradicts him, in a snippy way.  he’s a total napoleonic dick, always contradictory, and completely lacking in charm.  he’s incapable of being honest or heaven forbid conciliatory.

and i hope he gets his ass handed to him by the owners for the phoenix debacle, but it’s sadly not going to happen.

Posted by bitterguy from san francisco, ca on 06/03/10 at 03:40 PM ET


Another point to remember is that the players would never agree to an escrow if they are taxed for the escrow part of their income.

Posted by Kel on 06/03/10 at 09:58 PM ET

Luongo-is-my-hero's avatar

Gary needs to learn to wait his turn to talk. so many times he cut off ron when he was talking in order to change the subject.  I don’t know how many times I wanted to falcon punch Gary in the face during that interview.  So rude and condescending.

Posted by Luongo-is-my-hero on 06/04/10 at 12:06 AM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

If only there were more “reporters” willing to hold the little midget’s feet to the fire.

If you look weasel up in an encyclopedia I bet there is a picture of gary.

Just when I thought that bud selig was the worst commissioner in sports…..gary makes a late push to take the title.

Posted by Down River Dan on 06/04/10 at 04:13 AM ET

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