Bettman has become ‘hockey’s worst enemy’

bettmanweb

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)

206 Comments

  1. Habfan17 says:

    I usually enjoy and for the most part agree with Jack Todd, but not in this case.

    I don’t think Bettman or the owners are the problem. Yes, I think that if they intentionally signed players to the contracts this past summer with no intention of paying them at full value, they are completely wrong. However, on the issue of entry level contracts and free agency, I think that with the time and money they invest in their players, they should be able to reap the benefits and so should us, their fans as long as possible.

    Having said that, I think the solution is not that difficult and that they re making it so. I also think the players are out to lunch and that Fehr is the one that actually orgistrated the lockout. he had to know that is exactly what the owners would do and that was his goal when he refused to start negotiating a year ago under the pretense that he wasn’t up to speed yet. Unfortunately, Fehr counted on having fan support and that is not the case.

    So now the mediators step in. Here are some ideas for them and the leaders of both sides;

    Go to 50/50 next season. Operate under the cap that would have been in place under the old CBA for what is left of this season. There are no payments to replace the lost revenues from the lockout on either side. To get to 50/50, allow each team to buy out two contracts up until a week after the draft. These would not count towards the cap. Have every player waive their no trade / no mouvement clauses up until one week after the start of free agency. These moves will allow teams to move salary if need be to get under the new cap and to get a fair return in any trades. With the contracts that are expiring at the end of this season, teams should be able to get under the cap. This would also allow players to get paid the full value of their contracts and not drag out the arriving at 50/50 for 4 seasons and then having the CBA expire again.

    Eliminate front loaded contracts and signing bonuses and have the actual salary count towards the cap, not an average.

    Entry level contracts would be for 4 years. UFA status could be obtained at age 29, or earlier if a player is released. Players are coming into the league at an earlier age and teams should not be penalized by losing them. The players do have the benefit of having the NHL salary instead of the AHL salary or junior.

    Have a tiered contract length. for players under 25, they can sign a contract that would take them to age 32. So, if you are 20, you could sign for 12 years. Players between 26 and 32 can sign a contract to age 35. Players 31 and up can only sign 3 year contracts.
    Players that sign at or after age 35, then retire would not have their contracts count against the cap as they do now. This will give the owners the controls they need and the players will still have the ability to move in their prime, have security and sign bigger contracts.

    Take 1% from the owners side after the 50/50 split for revenue sharing. Players do not have a say in where teams are placed so in this case they should not bear the cost.
    Habfan17

  2. B says:

    Jack Todd writes that Donald Fehr is his hero.
    Wow! … ‘Nuff said.

  3. Kooch7800 says:

    Todd Bert sums it up pretty much bang on
    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=410327

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  4. HabinBurlington says:

    RT @Real_ESPNLeBrun: ‘Federal mediator now involved in NHL/NHLPA labor talks.’ Fed Mediation service involved last time, Bettman cancelled

    the season three days after Fed Mediation and Reconciliation service got involved.

    Couple tweets from Pierre LeBrun

  5. HabinBurlington says:

    Looks like Federal Mediators are getting involved.

    http://www.fmcs.gov/internet/itemDetail.asp?categoryID=39&itemID=23887

  6. Hobie Hansen says:

    If losing the season meant losing Bettman, I’d be all for it.

  7. commandant says:

    Some Hudon highlights #10

    A shootout goal that is a beauty
    http://www.rds.ca/zone-video/#cat=52&videoID=116461

    A nice assist
    http://www.rds.ca/zone-video/#cat=84&videoID=116531

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  8. L Elle says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nKBKPcycFE

    The brains of the NHL go round and round.
    round and round.
    round and round.
    The brains of the NHL go round and round,
    all day long!

    The lawyers of the league will squish squish squish
    squish squish squish
    squish squish squish
    The lawyers of the league will squish squish squish
    all day long!

    The players of the league are sheep sheep sheep
    sheep sheep sheep
    sheep sheep sheep
    The players of the league are sheep sheep sheep
    all day long!

    The babies of the league go waah, waah, wah,
    waah, waah, wah
    waah, waah, wah
    The babies of the league go waah, waah, wah,
    all day long!

    The fans of the league are very fed up, very fed up
    very fed up
    The fans of the league are very fed up, very fed up
    all day long!

    The brains at the NHL go round and round.
    round and round.
    round and round.
    The brains at the NHL go round and round,
    all day long!

  9. shiram says:

    Molson is building a new 10000 place arena in Laval that should open in 2015 , with 3 sheets of ice, inclusing an olympic sized rink. The new arena, Place Bell, will be close by the Montmorency Métro station.
    Molson said that one day he’ll have good news about moving the Bulldogs, but not today.

    French piece : http://fr-ca.actualites.yahoo.com/lnh-canadien-un-toit-%C3%A0-laval-en-2015-181436509–spt.html

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The City of Hamilton will rue the day they didn’t make a deal with Andlauer sooner with regards to the Bulldogs. THe Junior team i fear will not do so well in Hamilton and eventually that will be 40 nights a year empty at Copps.

      Exciting news for the Hab fans in Laval. Do you think in a regular NHL season they will draw well?

      • shiram says:

        It’s tough to say, but I’d probably be going to a few Bulldogs game this year, if they were just a subway ride away. They might find a market for those that can’t afford the tickets at the Bell Center too.

        • Bripro says:

          This peeves me off. The Armada are in Blainville-Boisbriand, north of Laval.
          Yes, Laval is the second biggest city in Quebec, but the south shore has a population base of over 1 million, and there are no plans for a big arena here.
          Whichever game I want to watch, it’s 75-120 minute drive. And that’s without traffic.
          It would be nice if they catered to us a little.

          • shiram says:

            I think the proximity to the subway station was a key factor in this decision and might be a reason why the new arena was not built elsewhere.

      • Cal says:

        Actually? Not a chance.
        Montreal is becoming less and less of a real “sports town.” Aside from the Habs, the Als and the Impact, no one really goes to any games in developmental leagues.
        They will face the same empty arena as they do now, except it will be newer.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Fredericton was probably the best location, but I suppose travel costs make that hardly feasible. However, the Jets seem to so far be happy with playing on the East Coast.

        • Bripro says:

          Sorry Cal, but I don’t agree.
          You just named three professional sports franchises, and all three do well to very well.
          I believe it depends on location.
          The Montreal are, including north and south shore, have a large population base, and the location will dictate whether it will succeed or not.
          I expressed frustration before at the thought of another arena in Laval, but when you think about it, it’s the logical choice. The population base from that region is large, and very hockey-crazed. I don’t see how it wouldn’t succeed.

          • Cal says:

            There have been all kinds of junior and other types of teams in Montreal for ages now. They never get any kind of fan support besides family and friends. Metro trains don’t enter into this. IT’s just the way fans in Montreal behave. Anyone remember the Laval Titan? No? That’s because they didn’t last either.

          • Bripro says:

            But it’s different now. The demographic in Laval is different and as Shiram pointed out, with the new subway line up there, they’re easier to get to.
            No one wanted to go to Verdun, but they kept a full house for years.
            Ultimately, you need to put a winning product on the ice.
            The Armada is doing well, and I would see a junior Canadiens team doing well there as well.

  10. habsfan0 says:

    NHL lockout.
    Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay resigns amidst corruption allegations.
    Toronto Argonauts win Grey Cup.
    Toronto Mayor Rob Ford ordered removed from office because of conflict of interest infraction.

    Next thing you know, somebody will say world will end on December 21,2012.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Decertification looks like it might give the players leverage but it also opens up a lot of hotbed issues. Guaranteed contracts, pensions, health benefit packages, minimum salaries and roster sizes all come into play. It becomes a double-edged sword. Dropping out of a labour agreement means you can threaten an anti-trust case. It also means you are playing without a labour safety net – all the rules change overnight.

      As well, Bettman and the owners have shown that they can play hardball. If the players decertify, they may win the battle but the subsequent war could last for years and even go nuclear. Payback will become the issue of the day.

      The top 10-15% of the players would be fine but everyone else is going to be in a very tough spot. The sport itself may take a decade to recover.

      • commandant says:

        I think the idea of decertification is not to go right to the endgame but to force a settlement.

        Both sides have much to lose in court.

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • mrhabby says:

        Hey Steve. The NFL tried decertification along time ago and the courts threw it out and ruled that the players application was a shame. I can’t see it being allowed to happen in the NHL as this is just scare mongering and putting pressure on the NHL to bend. It would be a disaster for all parties involved as you said.

        • commandant says:

          Not exactly.

          The courts refused to hear the preliminary injunction to stop the lockout ruling in the NFL’s favour on that issue. The courts NEVER HEARD the full trial.

          On top of that the precedent in the 8th circuit is not binding on other US courts, never mind Canadian ones.

          Remember that despite this ruling the NBA didn’t want to go down the decertification road and settle 14 days after trial.

          Decertification and an Anti-Trust Claim remain the great unknown in the legal world and professional sports leagues. As the professor from Tulane said, anyone who tells you they know what will happen in a decertification/anti-trust suit is either delusional or a liar.

          http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/opinion/2012/11/answers-to-nhlpa-decertification-questions.html

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
          http://lastwordonsports.com/

          • mrhabby says:

            Thought for sure the nfl turfed the application. Regardless its one hell of a nasty slippery slop.

    • Bripro says:

      I wonder if a ruling would be honoured in every court across North America. It seems that it would end up being so complicated and time-consuming that, assuming the players did succeed, by the time all is said and done, the season would be over.

      • commandant says:

        It will be at least 3-4 years before the process is over. Again I don’t think the main goal is to go through the whole process.

        The NBA settled 14 days after decertification in November 2011

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

        • Bripro says:

          You would think the NHL would learn from this and call the players’ bluff. That’s what I see as a Butthead manoeuvre.

          • commandant says:

            I don’t know that its a bluff. There is legitimately LOTS to lose (potentially) for both sides.

            Here is the best way to imagine it.

            You are Donald Fehr.

            You have a Bomb that you know will explode and when it explodes will devastate the financial playing field.

            However the rocket you have attached to this bomb is 50/50 to launch. Half the time the engines will work and the Bomb will destroy the owners business.

            The other half the time, the rocket doesn’t launch, and you blow yourself up, and your union loses a ton in the process.

            Now if you are Gary Bettman, “calling that bluff” also has a 50/50 chance of killing your business.

            Now what do you do, play the 50/50 chance, or settle?

            Go Habs Go!
            Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
            http://lastwordonsports.com/

          • Bripro says:

            I guess I should have clarified.
            As you say, the NBA settled after 14 days, but I don’t see Bettman as being a reasonable man, and I think his ego would dictate:
            “You want to play that game? I can play it too.”
            That would be the concern that I would have.
            If he was to hold out for the entire process to unfold, we could be looking at the total dismantling of the NHL, since it could take years.

          • commandant says:

            Ultimately its not Bettman’s decision. I doubt the owners would allow Hockey to sit on the sidelines for 3 or 4 seasons.

            Go Habs Go!
            Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
            http://lastwordonsports.com/

  11. HabinBurlington says:

    Today would have been Ernest Coombs birthday, Happy Birthday Mr. Dressup. I have to believe Casey and Finnegan if leading each side in the current CBA talks, would already have a fair deal for both sides done.

  12. Price07 says:

    a) Jack Todd Sucks

    b) Both the owners and players are greedy and i’m not a fan of either of them right now

    c) Not sure if it was only Bettman’s idea, but his idea of expansion to markets that cause the league to struggle enough that they need to have lockouts every 7 years, makes him an idiot

    in conclusion: there is not one person or one side to blame, they are all to blame and deserve our disapproval.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Lots of posters lament the expansion to ‘non-hockey markets’. Of course, it works both ways. Expansion to these markets has also created an extra 150 player positions.

      Contraction will never take place. It would be fought tooth and nail by the NHLPA. That’s why markets such as Quebec City, the Toronto GTA and Seattle are so vital for both sides.

      Outside of Phoenix, there really isn’t a true dead market in the NHL. There are some issues surrounding poor manaegment, out of date arenas and discounted tickets, but all present markets have shown that they can sustain NHL teams. I think the sunbelt lament is a bit overdone.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        It was also a huge moneymaker for the owners. Those one time balloon payments to the existing teams were probably the greatest motivating factor to the owners.

        That is perhaps one of the reasons Bettman is now trying so hard to find a way to help the expansion teams. They paid their franchise fee and are looking for perceived “fairness and equality”.

      • Cal says:

        The thing is, back in the 90s, the Canadian dollar was about to be replaced by the American quarter. (Actually the value was US $1 = $1.65CDN) All of the Canadian teams were in jeopardy. Now that the dollars are close to equal, Canadian teams are prospering again.

    • SmartDog says:

      To paraphrase from Alice in Wonderland…

      “Everyone has lots and none should have prizes!”

      I agree with that. The owners have kept backing Bettman who obvoiusly doesn’t care about hockey or hockey players. And look where that’s taken us. And the players ousted a cooperative leader and then hired Fehr and THEN let him sit on his hands for a year and do nothing.

      They all messed up. It’s like watching Gomez lead the rush. You know it’s only gonna go in either despite him or if someone bounces the puck off his ass.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  13. ed lopaz says:

    I thought so-called “liberal minded” people like Todd were supposed to be tolerant, even handed, and vehemently opposed to name calling and belittling people.

    I find this very ironic considering how Todd writes about Bettman.

    This is for you, Todd. “Why Name Calling is Despicable”

    “I’m not holier-than-thou. I’m not a Boy Scout. But, like my grandfather told me once, “it doesn’t matter how the other person behaves in a fight; in the long run, it matters how you behave.” Calling someone a name is a lazy person’s resource. It takes away all of their collected knowledge, their education and their manners, putting them in the same class as barbarian trolls who don’t know any better.
    Read more at http://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/why-name-calling-is-despicable/#moQrsgbJIG9Uq81U.99

  14. shiram says:

    Another tough loss for the Bulldogs yesterday, keeps me wondering about the kids we have there, can’t be too many top 6 NHL prospects in that pool, and also wondering about the system being used, supposedly the same we’ll see the Habs use eventually.

    • Blondie says:

      I wouldn’t fret about it too much. They have a whack of rookies right now still adjusting and trying to find their way. The talent level in the rest of the league is also raised as a result of the lockout. I’m sure they’ll be fine.

      Granted, the Habs won a cup in ’86 with 11 rookies, including the coach, but that sort of thing doesn’t happen very often.

      • shiram says:

        I’m not worried about having alot of potential NHL’ers, but am worried about having little if any top 6 talent on the farm.

        • Blondie says:

          It would be nice to see a little more finish to be sure. Maybe after a season or two some will start to excel as Plekanec did.

          • shiram says:

            Gotta keep positive, but it’s galling to see the Bulldogs having similar issues to the Habs of last season.

          • commandant says:

            The 2010 and 2011 drafts were both defence heavy, with 7 out of 12 players drafted being defencemen.

            The remaining 5 show

            - 1 player in the Czech League (Pribyl)
            - 1 player in the QMJHL (Archambault)
            - 1 player in the NCAA (MacMillan)
            and 1 player we gave up on, 7th round pick John Westin who was not given a contract.

            The only forward in those two we drafted, and is currently on the Bulldogs is Brendan Gallagher, who has shown good potential for Hamilton.

            In addition the 2009 1st round pick, Leblanc, is injured, as is the Bulldogs number 1 centre, Geoffrion.

            So it really isn’t a surprise.

            The majority of forwards we have taken (Galchenyuk, Collberg, Bozon, Vail, etc… are still a little bit away from Hamilton).

            Go Habs Go!
            Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
            http://lastwordonsports.com/

          • shiram says:

            I guess reality just sunk in, Habs won’t be getting much help at forward from the farm for some time.

          • commandant says:

            They have added Holland and Bournival via trade though, so all is not totally lost.

            Plus you have picks like Qualier starting in the AHL, and Kristo should be there soon.

            But yeah overall still weak.

            Which is why Galchenyuk is all the more important, but he is unlikely to ever be a Bulldog

            Go Habs Go!
            Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
            http://lastwordonsports.com/

  15. The Dude says:

    They all should ask Ken Dryden to mediate this stalemate………..

  16. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Although Buttman does appear to be an odious little fellow, I can’t believe he’s not the owners’ tool. Fehr strikes me as only slightly less creepy. Verdict? We’re effed.

  17. HabinBurlington says:

    Now that CFL is over, TSN will have a much bigger allotment of dead air to fill. Given they are significant owner of the Leafs, much smaller percentage owner of the HABS, will this perhaps cause them to become a little noisier as owners?

  18. habsnyc says:

    I do not believe that insulting either side adds to the discussion. While I disagree with the some of the tactics employed by both sides of this lockout, I still respect the NHL and NHLPA leadership. I am stunned that the Gazette sees fit to publish insulting diatribes against either side. I am looking for information and insight such as that provided by Mr. Stubbs and there is no value add in what an opinionated columnist provides.

    Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Agree with you, even if I agree with Todd (which in many respects I do) the lack of professionalism from his article is immense. However, that is his style, and most likely will continue to be. Seems more appropriate for a Toronto/Calgary/Vancouver SUN type tabloid paper.

    • Cal says:

      Columns are not “news articles”. They are opinion pieces that The Gazette may or may not agree with. The point is to get you to read and discuss it. You’ve discussed it. They’ve won. Todd gets another column to write in crayon next week.

    • wjc says:

      Ever heard of good cop…bad cop….now apply it to journalism. Some editor might suggest one take the role of bad guy and pick a side. Get people, talking and riled anything to fill dead paper space.

      wjc

  19. habstrinifan says:

    If:

    a)As reported most NHL teams were losing mone;
    b)Huge terms/salary contracts were signed by many of those
    teams wihin the past wo years;
    c) Many of those same team owners made the signings as ‘pre-
    emptive’ gambits fairly assured that they WOULD NOT HAVE to
    honour those contracts, salary wise;
    d) Many of those same teams owners had their accountants advise
    them that operational losses for a full season under the existing
    salary structure would be greater than closing shop temporarily;

    THEN:
    It isnt a stretch to believe that the lockout strategy was:
    a) Hope the players cave early;
    b) Be firm re substantial reduction of labour costs;
    c) Close up shop for the year…because it would have a neutral fiscal
    effect on may 70 to 80 % of the teams.

    Based on all we are seeing from the league, I think this was planned as A GAME CHANGING retooling by the majority of owners. And while teams like Montreal and New York with hockey-first owners-management went along for the ride…. most of the teams are now dug in.

    Analysis: Unless the players give… the season is over. It is quickly becoming too late even for ‘healthy’ teams.

    • Cal says:

      Players will begin to decertify and suddenly a deal will materialize.

    • commandant says:

      A and D are MAJOR assumptions

      I’m not sure what has been reported is supported by concrete fact.

      In fact in the case of 3 teams with factual numbers published (due to court orders and audits) the numbers in Forbes were absurdly wrong.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • wjc says:

      Is it a stretch to realize what the players strategy was Habstrinifan

      1. Hope the owners cave early
      2. Be firm on unrealistic demands.
      3. Close the NHL down for a year with unrealistic demands.

      I think the players planned this all along, by dragging their feet on getting negotiations started.

      Of course Montreal is above any criticism no matter how this plays out. They are just along for the ride….giddy up Molsen

      Analysis: Unless the owners give….the season is over.

      wjc

  20. bwoar says:

    Jack Todd, ugh. Reactionary tripe as usual.

  21. JF says:

    So what happens next? I haven’t even logged in to this site for the last few days. There’s just nothing to talk about. I keep hoping to hear that more meetings have been scheduled, but there has not been a word out of either side since Wednesday. Neither seems to feel that there is any urgency in the situation. Hockey has completely dropped out of the news, has all but dropped off the sports channels, and looks as though it will soon drop out of the sports world altogether. It is almost beyond belief how monumentally blind and stubborn the league has been in this dispute. They’re watching everything they’ve built in the last few years melt away without lifting a finger to stop it.

  22. habsfan0 says:

    Toronto Mayor Rob Ford found guilty of conflict of interest and ordered removed from office.

    This is MUCH more interesting than Grey Cup game.

  23. Cal says:

    Woops! Typical Monday! There was a glitch not allowing the lyrics, but it is corrected:

    http://calsnhllockout2012songparodies.weebly.com/1/post/2012/11/november-26th-2012.html

  24. frontenac1 says:

    Countdown to WJC…….30 days amigos!

  25. AliHaba says:

    Alex Galchenyuk 25 games 41 points +6
    Tim Bozon 27 38 +21
    Charles Hudon 21 29 +12
    Olivier Archambault 26 26 -3
    Brady Vail 26 25 -1
    Erik Nystrom 28 25 +6
    Magnus Nygren 26 16 +8
    Danny Kristo 10 14 E
    Darren Dietz 24 13 -18
    Sebastian Collberg 34 12 +6
    Mac Bennett 13 11 E
    Mark MacMillan 12 10 E
    Daniel Pribyl 14 7 +5
    Dalton Thrower 13 6 +3upper body
    John Westin 23 3 -9
    Josiah Didier 12 2 E
    Colin Sullivan 11 0 E

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I still find Pribyl an interesting prospect. I am very hopeful that perhaps he could come over next year and play a year in the CHL. I have to wonder if perhaps Avtsin had come over to Canada and played a year of Junior hockey if this would have helped with his transition. A chance to play the North America style game with kids of his own age, size and strenth per se.

      I realize Avtsin has had some tough luck injury wise, but I do think coming to North American styled hockey and being introduced to it at the pro level must be difficult. Especially at the age he was. It is almost better perhaps for a player like him to either come over for CHL or don’t come over until approx. 21 yrs. old when you have had experience playing against men, even if in the European context.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Ali, thanks again for doing this for us. Great to have such a summary. I watched Bennett Saturday night against a very big Cornell squad. He’s not very big but seemed to play his position well. Looked like he has some playmaking ability and made several clean crisp passes in all zones. That said he seems to be cut from the Weber/Diaz mode.

      ———————————–

      • AliHaba says:

        Thanks for the thanks. This little exercise every Monday is about all that keeps me interested in hockey. Would much rather be chatting about Habs’ comings and goings. Why oh why can they not get this settled?

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I still can’t help but think the biggest hurdle is the ego battle between the two leaders. It is only my opinion, but I feel this is much more about the legacy of each of these guys as successful in their field (bargaining/negotiation) than it is about finding common ground.

          Thanks also for your weekly snapshot of our prospects.

  26. Bripro says:

    Dear diary. It’s now monday morning, and I’ve recovered from a surreal weekend where hockey took a back seat and (get this) a professional sports team from Toronto (of all places) won a championship.
    To resume, on friday night, as I’ve written many times, we play our usual round of poker or Wii golf (trust me, a little light-headed play is needed with no hockey).
    Scott, the proprietor of our venue, thought he had locked his keys in the house. We tried to get in, but all doors were locked.
    “Odd… I never lock the back door. We’re locked out!”
    So I jumped the front balcony, and peered through the patio door to find four people sitting around our poker table. Three of them I had never seen before, but one look vaguely familiar. A wee little man with a bad temper. It was apparent that this man doesn’t like to lose.
    A greying man with a California tan was staring him down with a sheepish grin on his face, until the wee man blurted out:
    “Craig, you play like Jeremy and Ed here! Stop bluffing and stop trying to blow smoke up my a**. Note: he has no butt to speak of.
    “The point of this game is for all of us to make money, but for me to make the most. Is this not why you invited me? I told you at the time that whoever would be victim of my collateral damage, too bad for them!”
    The slender balding man stood up and proclaimed : “I have to go to the depp. Does anyone want anything?”
    The wee-gestapo responded: “Just make sure not to let those players in here! We’ve locked them out because I felt like it. You don’t want to upset me. Make sure I’m not disappointed!”
    “Yes, Gary!”
    So Scott pressed the speaker-buzzer…..
    “Yes?”
    “Uh, Hi. My name is Scott and I believe you’ve taken over my house and my game.”
    “So?”
    “Well, we the boys would like it back.”
    “Too bad. It’s my game now!”
    “What do we have to do to get our game back?”
    “Bring me a proposal, and I’ll consider it….”
    Shawn, Steve and I looked at each other… “that sounds vaguely hollow, don’t you find?”
    To summarize, we never made it in. They’re still sitting in a house that doesn’t belong to them, playing with cards that don’t belong to them, eating food that was prepared by willing bodies who thought that we would return for more, but who now sit at home collecting state-funded social assistance, because that little weasel insisted on having his own way.
    Dear diary, please refresh my memory.
    Where have I seen this before? It sounds so very familiar.

  27. HabinBurlington says:

    Not a good game for the Dogs yesterday losing 4-1. Dogs outshot the Monsters but had little else to show.

    http://www.hamiltonbulldogs.com/pressbox/news/?article_id=144

    • Marc10 says:

      A stronger AHL is quite the baptism of fire for those kids. Here’s hoping we can dig up a crafty veteran up front to help them out.

      Man this lockout blows. I’m confident there will be NHL hockey in January as no one will want this thing to go nuclear. That should help the kids out by removing some top flight talent from the American League… Until then, it’s going to be tough going!

      • wjc says:

        How does removing top flight talent help the “kids” in the AHL.

        I would think the extra challenge would help them in the future. To hell with the standings.

        Playing better competition will make them better. ka-beesh.

        wjc

      • Chris says:

        Taking the longer view, I still think that part of the reason the 2003 NHL draft yielded so many top-flight players is that guys who normally might have been in the NHL two years after they were drafted playing sparingly against men much stronger and faster than they were instead got the chance to play against guys closer in skill to where they were at 18 and 19 years old.

        So many players in that draft got a year of learning how to dominate at the AHL level that they then were able to make a smoother transition to the NHL.

        I don’t think people realize sometimes how big the step is from junior hockey to the AHL, let alone to the NHL. We focus on guys like Skinner who thrive playing for bad teams which have the luxury of playing them 20 minutes per night and letting them make their mistakes.

        Guys drafted to the teams with passionate fan bases (most Canadian teams, New York, Philadelphia, Detroit) don’t usually have that luxury. If the management team is confident, they can take the long view and ease those guys into the line-up. But some teams throw the players to the wolves and then throw them under the bus when they face those inevitable struggles.

        Missing a year of hockey stinks on a lot of levels, but the improved development opportunities for Montreal at a time when the franchise is loaded with good young prospects is a very thick silver lining on the dark cloud.

        The lockout will pass, and Montreal will hopefully be one of the teams who reap the most benefit from it over the next few years.

    • Cal says:

      It looks like it will be a long year for Dogs fans, but it will be a great learning experience for the 1st year pros there. Others who have been in Hamilton awhile will be frustrated. The biggest loss so far has been Pateryn.
      It would be good for their confidence to win a few in a row, but I’m afraid it will only get harder as the season goes on.

  28. HabinBurlington says:

    So what happens next in the CBA talks/negotiations/waiting game. Will the PA use their WMD (weapon of mass destruction) and decertify? Will the owners do nothing until their BoG (Board of Governors) meeting Dec. 5th? I heard a lawyer on a Toronto sports radio show this past Friday say that he thinks the league needs to file some kind of suit in New York before the PA decertifies. I will be honest and say i didn’t hear the details of what is involved in this court filing by the league, but the lawyer made it sound like the league should do ASAP, as a preemptive strike to decertification.

    All I do know, is I get the feeling the ball is in the owners court right now to either counter offer the players last offer or at least restart talks.

    Why do I get the impression nothing will happen until the Dec. 5th meeting, I am not convinced Decertifying will happen but who knows….

    • wjc says:

      May I respond: Burlington guy,

      Next negotiation will take place when one of the two parties says, we need to talk.

      Will union decertify….only as a last, last, last resort, this could blow up in your face and there is no guarantees. Good as a threat though, but good luck if it is used. Could drag on in courts for years. Everything is a could, might and a maybe, not in Fehr’s best interest.

      Owners could be meeting daily for all we know. Could/should be in constant strategy mode. You are told what is going on, only if it benefits them. A lot of secrets, careful planning, strategy.

      The ball is laying in the corner not being used. Owners (my speculation) have billions of dollars at there disposal as a strike/lockout fund. They have accumulated money over the past 6 years for such an emergency. So wait they will, until the deal is right one for them going forward.

      December 5th is a meeting that is publicized, the rest are covert.

      wjc

  29. English is not a Crime says:

    Bettman “has become” hockey’s worst enemy? That makes it sound as though it’s a recent occurrence. He’s been there for decades now. Right around the time of the Glow Puck and the first half season lost to a ridiculous lockout. It’s only gotten worse ever since.

    • wjc says:

      So Bettman is to blame for the glow puck. Good piece of technology that didn’t catch on. Should blame him for “Center ice packages” and pay per view as well.

      Blame him for every lock out, owners were victims that is why they gave him raises. He now makes around 8 million dollars a year.

      Revenue’s at 3.3 billion dollars per year also point to his failure. The Canadian dollar rising contributed a few million.

      When Gilliet moved in and purchased the Canadiens there was not a single buyer that wanted that franchise….can you imagine that. Lock out had to try and straighten out the fiscal mess. Canadiens sold for a little over 200 million dollars that included the arena.

      Molsen purchased the Canadiens a few years later for $550 million dollars. How is that possible, is Bettman to blame or do the owners think he is the best thing to happen to them and appreciate the job he does and the heat he takes.

      After all Bettman takes all the blame and they remain insulated in their teflon world. Apparently under Bettman’s spell…..give me a break!!

      wjc

      • Bripro says:

        Boy, you’re all over the place with your assessment, aren’t you?

      • English is not a Crime says:

        You’re confusing “good for the owner of an NHL teams’ pocket book/bank vault” with “good for the sport of hockey”. There is a TREMENDOUS difference between the two.

        • wjc says:

          Playing is good for hockey, having financially healthy owners is good for hockey.

          If hockey becomes a poor investment and other owners cannot be found that is not good for hockey.

          We know the players are well compensated and that is good for hockey.

          Owners need more then profit, they need a worthwhile return on investment or they could take there money elsewhere. Not saying this is the case right now, but owners, being owners will demand a good return.

          wjc

          • English is not a Crime says:

            Ignoring head hunters, head injuries/concussions, removing safety features in exchange for quick bucks, moving the game away from those who want it in an effort to bring it to those who don’t care, putting gambling rights ahead of hockey interests (See Pittsburgh arena and Andy Van Hellemond’s tenure as ref head) among many others….. Again, there’s a huge difference between what is good for making the NHL owners rich and what is good for the sport itself.

  30. Cal says:

    In the tradition of balanced Lockout Song Parody Coverage, heeeeeeere’s Donny!
    http://calsnhllockout2012songparodies.weebly.com/

  31. HammerHab says:

    something just occured to me….if there are so many teams losing money, why are the prices to buy those teams in the hundreds of millions?

    ———————————–

    It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

    • Cal says:

      Brand name worth? ;)

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Obviously some franchises in this league will always have huge value (Ranger, Leafs, Habs, Bruins, Flyers), and there is probably a second tier of teams with good but not huge value. However, I think the third tier of teams values may start taking a hit. Particularly if this season is indeed cancelled.

      Phoenix in its present location appears to have almost no value, Atlanta only became of value when the league approved the movement of them to a hockey market.

      Owning a pro franchise appears to always have cache among some extreme wealthy people. But you have to wonder if the well is getting closer to dry as it relates to the NHL.

      It took quite a while for the St. Louis Blues to find an owner, the LA Kings are currently for sale, it will be interesting to see how long this sale takes. Granted there are alot of other teams and things involved in the sale with the Kings.

      As long as the league is around the teams will have some value, but in some of the present locations the value of some teams could actually be decreasing.

    • wjc says:

      Because, they spend millions of dollars on the best lawyers, accountants, financial experts to play with the numbers to tell any story they wish.

      Remember liar’s figure and figure’s lie, owners are a sneaking bunch. Players in over their collective heads, almost feel sorry for Fehr and Bettman. Bettman and Fehr have to come forward and explain this stuff.

      wjc

    • wjc says:

      Because, they spend millions of dollars on the best lawyers, accountants, financial experts to play with the numbers to tell any story they wish.

      Remember liar’s figure and figure’s lie, owners are a sneaky bunch. They didn’t get where they are by being patsy’s. Players in over their collective heads, almost feel sorry for Fehr and Bettman. Bettman and Fehr have to come forward and explain this stuff.
      Nuff said
      wjc

    • HabinBurlington says:

      In fairness Grigs has 43 points in 24 games this season. I personally am glad we chose Galchenyuk, had he been unavailable I would have been happy with Grigs as consolation.

      I am no scout (obviously), but there seems to be intangibles with Gally that I really like. BUt I do think Buffalo will be happy with Grigs in the long run as well.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Nevermind….I need sleep. Wife and kid are sick and apparently I am overtired

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I know he was, my point is that even though Gally is turning out what appears to be great, it isn’t like Grigs is sucking hind t*t.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Sorry brother, I read it wrong…brain is fried I guess.

            I 100% agree with you that Grigs is a good hockey player as well. I do also agree that Gally will be better in the long term and exactly what the habs need

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • HabinBurlington says:

            No need to apologize to me Kooch. We’re good, hey I know Dogs are on big road trip, but how about when they are back in town we try hit a game. Always good to catch the Friday 3buck beer games I figure.

  32. kempie says:

    It occurred to me tonight that Bettman is so contemptuous of the NHL’s fanbase that I could see him trying to sell us a 28 or 32 game season. I bet he thinks it’s possible that fans would go for it.

  33. otter649 says:

    Bettman has been around for three lockouts but there could have been three different commisioners & there still would have been three lockouts as the NHL owners are the bosses of The NHL commisioner and what the owners want or do they use the commisioner as their spokes person………

    • Bill J says:

      Only 8 owners have a say in what Bettman does.

      Owners are fined 1 million by Bettman for talking out of place.

      And you think the owners are the puppet masters?

      Maybe “some owners” but for sure not all.


      Go Habs Go!

      • wjc says:

        Bill J, You fail to mention that behind the scenes they all have their say.

        Speaking publicaly does not work, how is it working for the players.

        Of course the owners are in charge (all of them) they set it up so that an appointed 8 make the decisions by vote etc.

        They were probably nominated by the rest to make the system work instead of tracking down 30 owners everytime they need to decide something.

        Owners did not become owners because they are patsy’s, stooges, or push overs. It is all for one, and one for all. Believe it.

        wjc

  34. Chris says:

    Just got finished watching the first two episodes of Hockey: A People’s History where they were discussing the early roots of the game and the game’s earliest stars that went on to become the first paid professionals: Didier Pitre, Jack Laviolette, Fred “Cyclone” Taylor, Édouard “Newsy” Lalonde, as well as Frank and Lester Patrick.

    What was interesting was that you see that the history of hockey, even back before the NHL even existed, was largely a struggle between owners and players. The Ontario amateur league banned Taylor for life when he turned down the demand that he play for league secretary W.A. Hewitt’s Toronto Marlboros, which Taylor refused based on the idea that he couldn’t afford to move to Toronto without a job.

    Taylor, probably the best player in Canada at the time, rapidly became hockey’s first mercenary hockey player, playing in:

    Portage la Prairie, Manitoba
    Houghton, Michigan (International Professional Hockey League)
    Ottawa, Ontario (Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association)
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Western Pennsylvania Hockey League)
    Renfrew, Ontario (National Hockey Assosciation)
    Vancouver, British Columbia (Pacific Coast Hockey Association)

    Taylor was routinely given ludicrous (for the time) salaries as part of machinations by various owners to try to grow the game or keep him from other owners. While with Renfrew, Taylor was the highest paid athlete in Canada and earned more than the Prime Minister, a familiar trend these days.

    While this lockout grinds along, perhaps it is worth remembering that labour strife, mercenary players and unscrupulous owners are the foundation of the game that we all love. :)

    • Blondie says:

      Time honoured tradition.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Yes the lineage of crooked owners has been maintained in this league and many others. It seems to be an unfortunate byproduct of pro sports. Of course we can also find crooked owners in many other businesses just as we could find less than desirable employees in all walks of life including pro sports.

    • AH says:

      Chris, one of the best books I have read on hockey and its history is “Net Worth”, if you haven’t read it I suggest you do, it’s very good. It details the whole history of player/owner realations, and your right, this game has a consistent long history of the game being held back due to the “power people ” in the game serving their own self interests. The book illustrates mostly the poor treatment the players got from the owners. One of the amazing things in the book is back in the early days, hockey was the most popular spectator sport in the US, due to it being fast, skilled , and of course violent, which is what the American public loved about it. So then the major broadcasters realized this, and approached the owners with the opportunity to set up a tv contract..they said no! I think because they didn’t want anyone in “their business”, (I read the book a long time ago, so I’m not quoting exact details here). Fast forward to today where hockey is what 5th on the major sports list as far as popularity? So you can see this sport has been shooting itself in the foot for years!!!

  35. Blondie says:

    Both good articles, thanks for that Stu. I really don’t think we’re going to see any NHL hockey this year, hopefully they can get it sorted out before the next season is scheduled to start. *sigh*

    At least the rookies on the dogs are getting a higher than usual level of competition in the A.

  36. frontenac1 says:

    Grey Cup 100. One of the most boring games in recent memory and one of the strangest and gauche halftime shows witnessed. Way to Go Toronto!

    • slapshot777 says:

      Still think it was fixed for the Argos to win. To go from bottom feeder to win a grey cup. It wasn’t all because of just Ricky Ray. Just yesterday I believe, it was Mark Cohon talking about the two teams specitically Hamilton and Toronto losing money.

      If this wasn’t a fix than I don’t know what is. Just wait until next year, Hamilton will have their turn.

      To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

      • Blondie says:

        I don’t know about a fix. Toronto thumped Calgary tonight fair and square. They beat the Als fair and square too.

        I think they benefited from the emergence of Kackert, Edmonton thinking Ray was done, and Montreal not thinking Chad Owens could be MOP.

      • frontenac1 says:

        Posted the same thing about a month ago amigo. Bet the Argos today and last week against my Als. I will probably go straight to hell for that but it was just too much of a cinch for me to resist.

  37. --Habs-- says:

    If some extortionist billionaire wants boy toys to play with then I would suggest opening a prostitution ring and and not buy a team that will most likely never make money down south, ask for funding from me in Canada to operate and hold their cities hostage asking for tax money to build billion dollar rinks. Frankly I would be happy with 10 teams in Canada and 10 strategic teams in the US and maybe start thinking of expanding in key European markets. Also I don’t blame the players and here is why! A typical career of an NHL player can be summarized with one word. Its short! Over half of all NHL players play less that 100 games during their career and for approximately 5 percent of players, their first NHL game is also their last. If we look at this from a different angle, long careers are extremely rare. Only 4 percent of players (that’s 1 out of 25) dress up for more than 1000 games. Data includes all forwards, defensemen and goaltenders who played their last regular season NHL game before or during the 2008-09 season. Most owners are around much longer than players.

    Go HABS Go

  38. frontenac1 says:

    WTF! That Corpse was Lightfoot?

  39. Mattyleg says:

    Is it just me, or did it take Jerk Todd an awfully long time to jump on this bandwagon? Normally he’s quicker than that.

    He’s losing his reactionary touch, but he seems to be making up for it with unsupported claims.

    It’s hard to say who I dislike more; the author or his current subject.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  40. Kevy says:

    Todd does have a good point about TSN I’m cutting this channel too

  41. Lizardking89 says:

    I don’t understand all the hate for Jack Todd. I love reading his stuff and had the pleasure of talking to the man for a school project. He’s a passionate Montrealer who speaks his mind and I agree with him 100% when it comes to Bettman.

    I especially loved this part;
    “Bettman likes to cultivate the image of a shrewd, hard-headed businessman, but in truth he’s a blundering fool who will squander tens of millions of dollars out of sheer stubbornness. (See the Phoenix Coyotes).”

    • wjc says:

      If you think Bettman is a blundering fool, then you have to think that Molsen is a blundering fool.

      Todd say’s he is “a pint sized grinch with a pea sized heart. Apparently Bettman calls all the shots. He decides everything, with no input from the Montreal ownership. How convenient.

      Bettman played a big part in the huge revenue’s (3.3 billion dollars). He is then accused of squandering millions of dollars. Pay per view and NBC is probably the reason for a billion dollars or so.

      I like Todd’s columns and make a point of reading him any chance I get, but lately he does not have any balance in his stories.

      It is between the players and the owners and is strictly business. Fehr and the players against Bettman and the owners. Did you notice I said “Fehr and the players”….not just Fehr acts alone.

      wjc

      • joeybarrie says:

        Bettman is catering to the owners of the smaller teams where they can’t turn a profit. Its his fault they are even in the league. But from what I understand, Bettman needs only 8 owners to go in the direction he wants to. I don’t think Molson is stupid, but I do believe Molson could do a better job than Bettman.
        While he may have increased revenues, if he was doing such a good job why does 70% of the league’s teams lose money?
        8 million a year in salary and he can’t even put out an actual product right now.
        I think the owners are learning a good lesson right now, and while they do want to be more profitable, it gone the wrong way.
        Don’t get me wrong. Fehr isn’t helping, and the league will see the damage from this stupidity for years to come.

        • wjc says:

          Joey, figures lie and liar’s figure.

          Bettman has the support of all 30 owners, with 8 involved (nominated) to cover day to day decisions.

          All 30 have secret, undisclosed meetings that are not publicized.

          They are all on the same page and argue it out if they have some disagreements….in private.

          3.3 billion dollars (I won’t go into how much this is) is a lot of money. The owners are holding out for a better cut….plain and simple. The better cut will translate into better profits for all.

          wjc

      • Timo says:

        I don;t think that anyone who has as much money as Bettman or Molson is any kind of fool.

    • joeybarrie says:

      Jack Todd is not a Montrealer.
      He isn’t from Montreal, he didn’t come to Montreal first when he left the USA.
      I don’t often agree with Todd, but this time he is correct. Just about a month or more behind.

      • Chris says:

        “Jack Todd is not a Montrealer.
        He isn’t from Montreal, he didn’t come to Montreal first when he left the USA.”

        I couldn’t disagree with you more on that statement. If a guy who has lived and worked in the city of Montreal since the early 1980′s, well over 25 years, can’t qualify as a Montrealer, then perhaps you need to adjust your criteria.

        This is akin to telling an immigrant to Canada that they aren’t Canadian after having lived in the country for 25 years.

        • joeybarrie says:

          I know many people who have become Montrealers. Jack Todd is not one of them.
          My criteria isn’t based on time, but on the substance and quality of enriching the lives of other Montrealers.
          Todd is Montreal’s Don Cherry…

          • Chris says:

            Your comment stated that he wasn’t a Montrealer because he wasn’t from Montreal and didn’t move there first upon leaving the United States. Perhaps your newly shifted goalposts are a little more inclusive, but we’re missing the point here. Neither you or I get to define who is and who isn’t a citizen of a particular place.

            That is a slippery slope, and probably one we don’t want to collectively proceed down. Todd has been a fairly regular part of the Montreal media for almost 30 years. I’m sure an argument could be made about liking or disliking his contributions, but it would be rather pointless to try making the argument that he hasn’t made any contributions.

            Over 20 years of columns, time spent as the sports editor at the Montreal Gazette and working as a beat columnist for the Expos when they were in the city certainly qualifies as a contribution in my book, even while I find his style of writing annoying at times.

        • Cal says:

          Actually, he’s more of a Greenfield Parker. ;)

      • wjc says:

        Most of the players are not from Montreal….so what?

        wjc

    • Cal says:

      He’s been writing the same stuff for 20 years. This Monday Morning QB column has got to go.
      Every week he writes the same s–t. The only nuance is it’s a different day. **Oh crap! I can be accused of the same thing! Okay then. Never mind.**

  42. mrhabby says:

    I still think there will be hockey this year but…..if hockey is flushed then my advise to Bettman is stay away from Canada. Bettman will surely be public enemy number 1. It will get real ugly.

  43. Habilis says:

    Now I love the Gazette but this is why I no longer read Todd’s stuff.

    Calling Bettman every name in the book is great and all, but it’s like getting angry at a sock puppet instead of the guy holding it. Bettman is simply a mouthpiece for the owners, he’s paid to be the bad guy.

    If you want to attack someone, attack the 30 owners who dictate his every move.

    • Lizardking89 says:

      He did or did you not read the article?

    • wjc says:

      Habis, I agree with you, but would add one thing. Why attack anybody…owners….players, there is a lot of blame to go around.

      If the players take over the game, then the game will be ruined. If the ownership present/future do not see a future in all of this, then it will fall over eventually.

      Owners have to make tough economic decisions and I think the game will benefit from it. Multi-millionaire players do not make motivated players.

      If you won a 25 million dollar lottery tonight, how motivated would you be to continue working, selling, communting. The only example that comes to mind. It would change you and possibly destroy your/my drive to make things happen.

      This is human nature. I do not begrudge the players tons of money, just something to consider.

      wjc

      • danbin says:

        I have to respectfully disagree with your analogy of winning the lottery… Signing a big league contract after spending your entire life working towards that is not the same as having 25 million given to you just for buying a lotto ticket…
        I’ve worked hard my whole life, and when I got a much better paying job, making comfortable money, I sure didn’t lose my drive! I work harder now than ever, and I believe human nature is to take PRIDE in what you do, and do your best to EARN your paycheck.
        I also believe if I signed a contract, and my employer locked me out saying they only want to pay 75% of what we agreed, I wouldn’t be ok with that at all… so I can understand the players plight to have their contracts honored…
        That being said, damn them all! I want hockey back! I want my Habs back!
        Cheers

        • wjc says:

          Hey these guys were born to play hockey, they have natural born talent. You cannot compare me/you to any of this. The pittance we make, does not compare to the millions they make.

          Begrudge them the money, not me. But at some point for some it kills motivation. History proves me right. As a small example, what happened to Derek Sanderson when he hit pay dirt….check it out.

          Players are people (last I checked) and they have weaknesses. 50 million stashed away and all the temptations out there…give me a break.

          Nobody is hungry after a while, not saying there are not honorable hockey/sports guys out there. But, make your millions and realize that people that fund all of this (fans, owners) have to get a return.

          I know fans pay the money to the owner. But once you pay your money owner does with it as he sees fit. The owner has to see a return that is wide enough to make it worth while for him. Franchises should not struggle….SHOULD NOT! With the growth of pay per view etc. the revenue’s will increase and the owners should be able to all make money without giving it away to the players, who at some point should be satisfied.

          wjc

    • wjc says:

      Maybe Habilis meant to say, I do not take his stuff to heart”

      wjc

    • toneez says:

      Bettman works on behalf of the 8 cronies that he has in his back pocket , he is an egomaniac that knows nothing about hockey , all he needs is 8 votes to pass something by the board of governors , I have been hoping that the owners would finally say enough is enough and dismiss him , hopefully with all the damage he’s done this time , the owners will wake up , I find it quite amusing that all owners are noit welcome rto attend the negotiations and the players are welcome to attend , also the fact that Bettman wants complete control over the owners by issuing a gag order , Bettman is a control freak who should be far away from hockey , he doesn’t deserve to be Commissioner of our wonderful sport , Puts teams in markets where they are doomed from the start and then neglects to put teams in markets where they will flourish , 3 locouts and lots of damage and many angry fans , yep its time to fire Bettman can the owners be so nieve to keep him around once this is over ?

      All Habs all the Time

      • Blondie says:

        I think he only needs 8 to keep his job too so yes, yes they can.

      • wjc says:

        This is a play:Just for Toneez….called “conspiracy the truth”

        Act 1: (curtin opens) around a desk sits a fine actor playing Gary Bettman

        Bettman has a black hat and a black mustcache, he sits with his 8 cronies and they are plotting on how to bring down the NHL and how they fooled all the other owners.

        Bettman lets out a diabolical laugh.

        Bettman: I know nothing about hockey and still I fooled them. I have damaged the league and they cannot stop me. Even that do gooder Molsen couldn’t stop me.

        I put teams where I knew they would fail, the rest of the owners in the room break out in gales of laughter.

        Fehr does not have a chance, the players are now in poverty and the fans………. (he spits)

        Curtin closes…..will Bettman succeed, can he be stopped.

        tune in for act 2…….Bettman burns down arena’s and demands a raise.

        wjc

  44. Ron says:

    Stick it Todd ! And ya 1st.

  45. Kooch7800 says:

    all started with the expansion to markets that don’t want hockey

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  46. Habfan10912 says:

    Three work stoppages in his tenure. He probably will have some accountability when this is over, no?

    ———————————–

  47. Mustang says:

    And once this is settled, we can probably look forward to another lockout in 5, 6, or 7 years, especially if Bettman is still around.

  48. Blondie says:

    One would think so but I’ll bet he’s got a nasty early termination clause in his contract that will make it prohibitively expensive to fire him. Plus I think he only needs 8 supporters to keep the job.

  49. English is not a Crime says:

    four….


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