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Poll: New Commissioner (19 member(s) have cast votes)

Has Bettman ruined the league?

  1. Yes (6 votes [31.58%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 31.58%

  2. No (13 votes [68.42%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 68.42%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#1 joepuckster

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 05:20 PM

Who should it be?

Bettman's gotta go!! He has ruined and continues to ruin this league. *THREE LOCKOUTS* under his reign as commissioner!

Fire Bettman!!!

http://www.FireBettman.com

#2 DL44

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 05:54 PM

Who should it be?

Bettman's gotta go!! He has ruined and continues to ruin this league. *THREE LOCKOUTS* under his reign as commissioner!

Fire Bettman!!!

http://www.FireBettman.com


I disagree.

What about the parity in the league now.
League has never had so many competitive teams.
The hard cap.
The national tv contract.
Overall record revenue.
Record attendance.
Record ratings.
Winter Classic.
HBOs 24/7.
How about player safety initiatives.
NHL charitable causes.
How about setting up rules committees for improving game play. I figure since he gets blamed for the instigator rule he should get all the credit for the rule changes out of the lockout right.

CBA negotiations are CBA negotiations... The players weren't going just hand over a hard cap without a fight.
By saying Bettman should not have lockouted the players is saying the Owners should have caved in during negotiations and given up on getting a cap and rollbacks.... Yeah that would of been great for the league.

I see it as a necessary evil... Sure it sucks for fans... Oh well.
Some people are so butthurt over a possibility of a lockout its hilarious to me... Like Bettman is breeching their rights somehow.. its like a weird sense of entitlement.

And its only been 2 lockouts technically.

#3 Crzydrvr

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 07:16 PM

I love the complete non-bias in this opening post /s

I'm a young guy, I've personally never seen the likes of Messier in his prime, Gretzky in his prime, Lemieux in his prime, Roy, Orr, Bourque....I could care less about the 94-95 lockout, I can't remember that far back. All I can judge Bettman on is what he's done through my conscious life up to this point. And personally, I feel he's done just about as well as anyone could have hoped for.

Don't get me wrong, because there are a lot of things I feel could be improved. But Bettman has done a lot of good things in hockey as well. He's brought parity to this league; while the finances aren't always equal between fellow teams, on-ice it is the complete opposite. He's also brought along the silver generation of hockey, and he's turned this league from a multimillion dollar business to a multibillion dollar one.

He's also gotten lucky on some counts; Shanahan's rules summit in 2005 changed the game towards a faster, more exciting (but not necessarily more offense-oriented) brand of hockey. The league's benefited from the upward development trajectory of many young stars. At one point the NHL faced a crisis because there was a lack of young talent coming up, but ever since 2003 the talent pool in each draft has only increased, creating a league filled with marketable young guns who will be around for years to come.

Bettman isn't perfect. But he's a smart (if somewhat dwarfish) businessman who knows how to use his cards. He deserves some blame for the looming lockout, but only as much as the owners, the players, and Fehr do.

#4 403Loyalty

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 08:44 PM

Bettman is great for the league bad for avid fans in canada and some parts of the usa with things like the Shootout. that said can he be fired for being horrible on the mic?

#5 C_worthy

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 09:39 AM

Nice unbiased poll there, Mr OP.

Some questions for you: were you around prior to Bettman? Do you remember Ziegler and what the league was like under his watch? Do you have anything to add to the conversation, other than the fact that you don't get to watch hockey during a lockout and that makes you mad? Do you think that there should be a minimum post count before people can start new threads?

#6 Crzydrvr

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 11:09 AM

Do you think that there should be a minimum post count before people can start new threads?


I thought there used to be one, back when I first signed onto the original message board....what happened to that?

#7 returnofthejets

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 11:37 AM

Bettman's basically in a position he can't win in in the fans eyes, no matter what he does many will see him wearing the horns. I don't have any great affection for him and a few of the things that have taken place under his leadership, but the majority of his actions have strengthened the league.

I was around before him and it's hard to even judge that era as the world was a completely different place. The league needed someone who could transition the league with the times as the times were shifting sports into major business. There's also two sides to these current negotiations, and of course the players would love to keep playing under the old structure until it's resolved as it was strongly in their favour, I agree with the NHL and Bettman that if no deal is in place you have to lock them out to keep hold of your ground...but of course I want a deal done in time first.

#8 DL44

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 12:36 PM

The Blame Bettman phenomenon is quite an amazing thing...
It's quite the study in lightning rod psychology... just a tonne mis-directed anger and negativity thrown his way.

And its been going on for YRS.


The original one and one of the most telling of how people will blindly jump on a bandwagon of hate just for the sake of it in a cloud of ignorance:

How Bettman used to get blamed for the Instigator Rule. I think that really started the mis-directed Blame Bettman hate train pattern we see continue today... (actually still hear it today!)


But its not all peaches and cream.... that would be just as ignorant:

--The most significant negative thing that the owners (sorry, i mean Bettman)did that stirred mass anger was the early-to-mid 90's franchise musical chairs... A bunch of fanbases were left heartbroken...
SO that's understandable... They needed someone to focus that pain, and blame.
That type of emotion will always continue with a negative association that can't simply dismissed...

Hell the lone voter at this point for 'Bettman ruined hockey' is a very old Jets fan... DUH.

#9 swtrooper

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 08:20 PM

Tired of the stupid unrealiable suspension crap, tired of the shootout/points for losing, 3 lockouts in his tenure.

Needless to say still bitter how in the 99 finals how quickly he scooted out of the arena after Hull scored that goal in the crease and probably wanted to crown a winner cause it was past his bedtime. Not to mention the absence of anybody in the "war room booth".

If you dont like an old persons opinion then well done steak you! See how much more he ll well done steak this league up, let alone all the Canadian teams that should have a franchise.

#10 Louis23

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 09:13 PM

They are all to blame. This whole thing is a freaken joke. Selling their well done steaking tickets over 100$/each minimum. And then they cry about revenues and can't split them. I could careless about such stupidities considering ALL of these people make millions, which is about 30X the salary of what normal people do. They should all feel extremely lucky to be in such a stupid business and at least pay respect to us, the fans. They have ruined the honour of playing pro sports. Playing for an NHL team should be an honour by itself meaning that you're amongst the best in the world. It's easy to see how they live in a total different world, totally disconnected from reality. And it's not to blame the players at all, if you're offered millions to push a puck into a net then nobody would refuse it. I am blaming the whole system in pro sports. I am blaming the owners. I am blaming the league. I am also blaming the players, but to a lesser degree. I guess we might have to pay once again for these greedy millionaires.

I liked the proposition of Fehr to play the season even if no deal is reached by then. If they cancel another season we should definitly boycott the first game of next season, and EVERY arena should be empty for the season opener. :lol:

Pipe dreams maybe, but seriously, all of this bullnavajo fry bread is ridiculous. They should be ashamed. I have to work 2 full days just to buy a freaken ticket to see my favourite team. Yet they are going to cancel OUR season?

#11 Crzydrvr

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 09:15 PM

Tired of the stupid unrealiable suspension crap, tired of the shootout/points for losing, 3 lockouts in his tenure.

Needless to say still bitter how in the 99 finals how quickly he scooted out of the arena after Hull scored that goal in the crease and probably wanted to crown a winner cause it was past his bedtime. Not to mention the absence of anybody in the "war room booth".

If you dont like an old persons opinion then well done steak you! See how much more he ll well done steak this league up, let alone all the Canadian teams that should have a franchise.


1. Suspensions are the job of our director of player safety Brendan Shanahan. Not Bettman.

2. The bonus point rule was agreed on by the majority of the NHL in the rules summit in an attempt to inject more excitement into the game. Whether Bettman put in a "yes" vote for it or no, we'll never know. Even if he did, it wasn't just Bettman.

3. The lockouts are a result of the owner's opinions. They can choose to not renew the CBA and attempt to negotiate a different one. Bettman works for the owners, he doesn't make the choices, he just advises them on legal riffraff. Not Bettman.

He hasn't "well done steak"ed this league up. If he did, it wouldn't exist. Instead, its value is @ 3.3 billion in revenue. He is obviously doing something right despite all the hate.

How would we have more Canadian teams? The only viable ones are the 6 that survived the 90s (still waiting on Winnipeg and that measly 15000 seat stadium :\). America gets the teams because they have more people. Us? Calgary has a population of just 1 million. Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa have even less than that. The 3 big market teams in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal are the lucky ones because they have both the fanbase for hockey AND a decent sized population.

There are two ways of building a consumer base. 1 is to, as you seem to prefer, put teams in known markets regardless of size. Guarantees that they'll be customers, despite having a smaller population. Winnipeg is a good example being that their population is just 660,000 yet they remain a hockey-crazed market. The downside being that there's less merchandise revenue potential due to the smaller population of Manitoba compared to other regions.

Method 2 is to put teams in places with an overwhelming population density. New York, California, Texas etc. While the actual hockey market is smaller percentage-wise, the hope is that with an overall larger population, even if a lesser percentage of the people are actual fans, the number of actual potential customers remains larger than a smaller market (i.e. 10% of 8,200,000 is still more than all of Winnipeg combined). The downfall being that if the team is not established or is in a different (or poorly thought out) market, the fans will still turn away.

Both methods are viable ways to place teams. There are failures with both methods (Phoenix, Atlanta, Quebec, the old Jets) and there are successes with both methods (Calgary, Edmonton, Dallas, San Jose). In the end, the biggest and quickest way to grow a fanbase is by winning. Dallas is in the deep south where no one would have thought to put a team, and they weren't successful at first, but after Mike Modano came in and the team started winning, the city eventually warmed up to the Stars and now they're easily a success story. Keeping a market viable requires luck, patience, a good organization filled with smart businessmen, and young stars that appeal to fans of all ages.

Sure, Bettman's being totally biased towards America. He's born in New York for crying out loud. But he isn't just being shortsighted in his expansion policies; he's trying to grow the game in places where ice is not found in the hopes that eventually hockey will become a mega sport. He really has no choice in this; the NFL, the NBA, the MLB all did this long before Bettman's time which is why you find the NHL having to catch up on everything from TV revenue to marketing.

Instead of keeping hockey a regional sport, why not expand it? In the US, the NFL can continue to remain "American Football" because it's got so many people living everywhere the league can turn a massive profit just by staying within its borders. Hockey can't do that, not in Canada where our entire population doesn't even match ONE of our neighbours' larger states. By turning a portion of the economic superpower of the world's consumers into our fans, we can increase the overall cash flow into the league. Quite a justified decision in my opinion; he's a businessman, businessmen need to make money to keep their jobs, here's a good way to make money.

#12 Flyerfan52

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 10:22 PM

That measly 15,000 seat stadium is sold out (@ full price) & has a waiting list for season tickets. Compare that to prices & ticket demand in the Gnomes experiment after 15 years in Phoenix where they can't give away tickets for a contender.
There are cities where people care about hockey & those where it ranks 8-10 or worse. You can have a consumer base of 10 million but that doesn't mean you'll find enough hockey fans to fill an arena. There needs to be demand. People that grew up with football, baseball, basketball, etc. still view our sport as something they might spot watch every 4 years (just like few care about luge).
In places like Phoenix the Gnome was counting on the snowbirds to fill the arena. Gosh, most have an attachment to a team besides the Coyotes & will attend only those games.

Bettman is trying to pretend the NHL matters to the average American or that they will try our game & get hooked on it. Atlanta proved that wrong twice.

#13 Crzydrvr

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 10:52 PM

The NFL, NBA & MLB put their teams in proven markets to build/expand. There are enough locations they could relocate franchises with a good chance of sellouts when they felt like it. Then they could sell another franchise to a Baltimore or the like where the demand grew after losing a team. The NHL has few locations like that.

The demand leads to the big TV contracts. Even in proven hockey markets viewership of the SC playoffs drops unless there is @ least 1 name/established team contending.

Bettman is trying to pretend the NHL matters to the average American or that they will try our game & get hooked on it. Atlanta proved that wrong twice.


And how did they get such a vast number of viable regions for fans? They expanded. Long before the NHL thought of going deep, they were already building fanbases all over America, not just in the northern and northeast portions of the country. They marketed well. They willingly put their products/players on the newfangled television 10 years before the NHL did so. That's 10 years difference the NHL still hasn't made up.

Obviously the NHL DOESN'T matter to the average Amerk. That's why Bettman is TRYING to make it matter. I don't like or dislike the Gnome either way, but I give him credit for trying to make it work. If it weren't for the American dollar during the 90s and early 00s, we would have been a lot deeper in sh*t. There's a lot of potential cash that the NHL really hasn't tapped into, and Bettman is pushing it almost to a fault.

The big problem is that Bettman has always been working from behind. The Big 3 have always had a lead in terms of fanbase and popularity. Some poor business choices back in the expansion era only exacerbated the gap. What Bettman has been doing since his tenure started (going South and going for size rather than proven markets) was already done by the other leagues long before Bettman showed up in his little suit and platform shoes.

There will be pains, and false starts. There will be failures. I get that. Bettman hasn't had a perfect tenure, far from it. But he's done a lot for the grassroots and the game has really seen a spike in even non-traditional markets like California. Nothing ever works perfectly, I mean, Atlanta failed twice for what it's worth. But the idea that Bettman is trying to pull through is sound and has its merits. If the NHL was just a Canadian business, do you think it would be as lucrative as it is now? The profit machine relied on the strong American dollar to survive the lean times, and as far as indirect revenue goes, the US has a MONOPOLY on potential sponsors and bigtime businesses that the NHL relies on for advertising revenue and partnership deals. Canada just can't compete fiscally because our country, while amazingly beautiful and fantastic in many ways, doesn't have the money to prop up a major sports league on its own.

Look at the CFL. I'd say in terms of quality it isn't much lower than the NFL (at least not in the NHL-AHL gap sense) yet while average NFLers earn million dollar contracts, even the best CFLers earn less than half a million. If the NHL wants to keep its talent, it's going to have to pay up. And they can't do that without having to try and fight for a piece of the pie in big, bad America.

#14 swtrooper

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 06:52 PM

You make alot of excellent points crzydrvr.Im from the US but I dont like the fact that he s trying to expand in outside markets and try to push hockey on people who may not care about it. Phoenix has their players hanging at malls to give away tickets, Atlantas arena was empty so much that the PA system echoed. In 06 Conf finals you could easily buy a ticket for a game in Carolina unless you were from Buffalo.
I understand he s trying to expand the popularity of hockey, but in my opinion I think it belongs and would make more money in the areas that love the game, would pack the arena, and buy tons of merch.
One other thing,I could care less about the other three major sports. I love hockey and the popularity of it amongst others means nothing to me. I would rather see 100 people in an arena that would scream their heads off during a game then an arena packed with people who could care less about the sport. Just my opinion.

#15 Flyerfan52

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:17 PM

How would we have more Canadian teams? The only viable ones are the 6 that survived the 90s (still waiting on Winnipeg and that measly 15000 seat stadium :\). America gets the teams because they have more people.


That measly 15,000 seat stadium is sold out (@ full price) & has a waiting list for season tickets. Compare that to prices & ticket demand in the Gnomes experiment after 15 years in Phoenix where they can't give away tickets for a contender.

Waiting for that explanation.

#16 403Loyalty

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:30 PM

Waiting for that explanation.



I think for bettman its not a fact of canadian markets NOW selling out but to expand the league in markets with large population it sometimes will take time and effort and loss of revenue till it picks up ( if it ever does) in some markets Hockey has sustained ( Dallas, Carolina ) but in others its more of a process and its hard to just pack it up after a bump or two .. or in pheonix's case i dont think there has been a year without a bump.

I dont think bettman has pulled the option to relocate off the table but he would perfer to get those already placed teams to do better and then have brand new franchises emerge in canada. I think for bettman its a mix of ego and stubborness and a desire to succeed.

#17 Crzydrvr

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 10:39 PM

Waiting for that explanation.


It's not that I don't think that Winnipeg will be successful (actually, I think they will just like any Canadian team at the current Canadian dollar) but rather I just like to make sure. Winnipeg hasn't proven anything after one season. Get back to me in years 7-8 and I'll give out my solid opinion then. There is a legitimate reason why they were forced to sell out the first 5 seasons just to gain approval from the board.

And I REALLY don't like having ANY major league franchise have a 15,000 seat stadium, but that's just me. However, I will admit that with today's advancements, getting a good contractor to tack on 2000 or so seats is not impossible and would push the MTS Centre to average capacity among NHL teams, in which case I would immediately consider it a big win.


You make alot of excellent points crzydrvr.Im from the US but I dont like the fact that he s trying to expand in outside markets and try to push hockey on people who may not care about it. Phoenix has their players hanging at malls to give away tickets, Atlantas arena was empty so much that the PA system echoed. In 06 Conf finals you could easily buy a ticket for a game in Carolina unless you were from Buffalo.
I understand he s trying to expand the popularity of hockey, but in my opinion I think it belongs and would make more money in the areas that love the game, would pack the arena, and buy tons of merch.
One other thing,I could care less about the other three major sports. I love hockey and the popularity of it amongst others means nothing to me. I would rather see 100 people in an arena that would scream their heads off during a game then an arena packed with people who could care less about the sport. Just my opinion.


I can respect that opinion, a lot of it makes sense to me too. However, like I said earlier, there is a lot of untapped potential in areas of the US. We could just keep it regional and be guaranteed success, but that wouldn't expand the scope of hockey. I buy into the philosophy of "I love hockey, so I'm willing to give others the opportunity to try it out as well." If they don't like it, move on. Bettman's biggest weakness is keeping Phoenix in Arizona despite all the proof that it isn't a hockey market. But it IS a big state, and like Calif and like Florida it has quite a few transplanted Canadians.

I know I don't want to be the only one to play the game, and I think every place has something unique to offer to the sport. Just like how the Finns blend grit and skill, like how the Russians bring amazing puck skills, the Americans have something to bring to the game as well. But keeping it in Canada and Minnesota alone (to use an example) would prevent us from finding out exactly what it is.

Sports is something that transcends borders, appearances, status. It's the great equalizer. If hockey is to remain an international sport, it's got to expand its reach to places where hockey maybe isn't the 1st (or even 8th) thing people think of when they want to get active. There's a big reason why American football doesn't get respect internationally and isn't considered an Olympic sport.

#18 gsp393

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 06:58 AM

This is ridiculous. As much of a pain in the chicken tikka masala bettman is to canada (aside from giving us another franchise) he is great for the league. He has done wonders with the sport and should have ultimate job security. Lockouts aren't all his fault, if you didn't notice he has all the mouthbreathing billionare owners behind him, and the nhlpa asks the world for there side as well.

#19 swtrooper

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 10:18 AM

This is ridiculous. As much of a pain in the chicken tikka masala bettman is to canada (aside from giving us another franchise) he is great for the league. He has done wonders with the sport and should have ultimate job security. Lockouts aren't all his fault, if you didn't notice he has all the mouthbreathing billionare owners behind him, and the nhlpa asks the world for there side as well.

I know the lockout isnt all his fault, but when you have two sides battling over a problem, it is his job to get it straightened out so there is a season. He is overall responsible for what happens in the NHL!

#20 C_worthy

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 10:24 AM

I know the lockout isnt all his fault, but when you have two sides battling over a problem, it is his job to get it straightened out so there is a season. He is overall responsible for what happens in the NHL!

He is hired by, and paid by, the owners.

It is his job to create a healthy league for his bosses.

And IMO he has done a pretty good job of that.

As for avoiding lockouts, that is not entirely up to him (the PA is also involved)