In his weekly Monday Morning QB column for The Gazette, Jack Todd calls NHL commissioner Gary Bettman “hockey’s worst enemy”.
Writes Todd: “Bettman is now the author of three lockouts and the disastrous expansion into the Sun Belt, egomaniac, a man who would rather destroy the National Hockey League than form a workable partnership with the players. Under his watch, the NHL has already lost more games to labour disruptions than the three other major North American team sports combined — with no end in sight.
“This is why we are staring into the face of a winter without NHL hockey. Because Bettman, a pint-sized Grinch with a pea-sized heart, has no passion for the game. He does not like or respect the players, he has no use for the journalists who cover the game, he doesn’t care a fig for the thousands or tens of thousands of people who have lost their jobs or had their hours reduced because of the Bettman lockout.
“Above all, Gary Bettman has nothing but contempt for the millions of fans who provide the financial engine that drives the game. Bettman talks about ‘our wonderful fans’ but what he means is ‘the suckers who keep buying tickets, no matter how badly they are treated.’”
You can read Todd’s entire column by clicking here.
Larry Brooks had a good column in the New York Post in which he wonders why NHL owners aren’t putting more heat on Bettman to end the lockout, noting that New York Knicks owner Jim Dolan pushed NBA commissioner David Stern toward a basketball settlement last November after New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has urged NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to end the football lockout.
Wrote Brooks: “The NHL needs such a hero or two (or four or five) to emerge from the ranks of the Board of Governors in order to put a stop to the madness in which hockey is enmeshed. When the board meets in New York on Dec. 5, the NHL’s survival as we know it will depend on practical men flexing their vocal cords in opposition to the cabal of militants who have seized the agenda and seem intent on committing what the Sabres’ Ryan Miller referred to on Friday as ‘brand suicide.’”
Brooks added: “It’s hard to believe the owners of the Maple Leafs, who stand to lose at least $100 million if the season is flushed, will stand by silently as the league seeks nothing less than unconditional surrender from the players. It is impossible to believe the owners of the Canadiens, Canucks, Flyers, Red Wings, Penguins and Blackhawks will continue to cede authority.”
You can read Brooks’s entire column by clicking here.
To read a Q&A article on where the NHL lockout stands now, click here.
Below is video of an interview Bettman did with CBS Sports during last season’s playoffs.
(Photo by Chris Young/The Canadian Press)