Right now, Kevin is on vacation in Atlantic City wasting countless sums of money at blackjack and poker tables. In the meantime, some of the best and brightest from the hockey blogosphere will keep things under control. Today, BMR is proud to introduce Sean Leahy from Going Five Hole as your linguistic overlord for the day.
Hi folks. Your fearless leader Kevin is currently "making it rain" in Atlantic City right now, so I'll be blog-sitting today (Wipe your feet!). While Kevin is probably sitting at a Blackjack table right now with his good buddy Jeremy Roenick, I'd like to share my thoughts on everyone's favorite Commissioner, Gary Bettman.
Yes, yes I know, you don't like Gary Bettman. Heard it all before.
"He's an NBA guy." Sure, yes okay.
"Bettman isn't in it for the fans." Blah, blah, blah.
Let's put this to rest right now people: Gary Bettman is not going anywhere.
Ok, are we done? Can we stop whining about him? I'm not a Bettman-apologist, I'm just a realist. I don't agree with many of the things that's happened during his tenure as NHL commissioner, but I've come to terms that ultimately, Bettman's status as commissioner is up the owner's, with whom he works for and not the fans.
If you are one of Gary Bettman's 30 bosses, you've got to be pretty happy with the little guy. He's seen revenues go into the billions and expanded into non-traditional markets which (so far) have worked for a number of years. Bettman also "won" the lockout for the owner's, implementing salary cap restrictions for each team, thereby allowing the teams to generate more profits.
The bottom line: Gary Bettman is making the owner's, his bosses, money and they have to like that.
Sure, during his tenure there's been two work stoppages, including one that wiped out an entire season, but there's no use bitching, because he will be commissioner next year and the year after and the year after and so on. As long as the owner's pockets are fattening, Bettman will still be charge of the NHL and there really isn't anything we as fans can do about it.
What we can do as fans is continuing supporting the game we love and continue throwing out ideas to improve the league and the game in general. Fans hated ties, so the shoot-out was born. Fans wanted open-ice hockey, so the red-line was eliminated. Our voices are being heard and the NHL is probably the most fan-friendly league out there. It's really up to us to help improve the game. If we want to see NHL'ers in the 2014 Olympics in Moscow, I think we could make it happen if fans were loud enough.
You may hate Gary Bettman to no end, but it's time to move past that. Time to concentrate on something feasible. Time to start picketing against those ugly new Canucks uniforms.