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Bettman and Fehr address media, don’t provide much hope for “world’s greatest fans”

Aug 23, 2012, 1:00 PM EDT

The NHL and NHLPA sat down for around 90 minutes of CBA negotiations this morning in Toronto. League commissioner Gary Bettman addressed the media shortly thereafter, followed by union head Donald Fehr.

As reported on Twitter by journalists in Toronto, here’s Bettman:

And now Fehr:

And that’s about enough rhetoric for today.

Bettman, Fehr, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, and union No. 2 Steve Fehr will reportedly hold another small meeting Tuesday in hopes of finding some common ground on the core economic issues.

PS — If there was a money quote from today, it was the one from Bettman about the NHL recovering from the last lockout thanks to the fans. That’s some serious media fodder right there.

  1. cweez2 - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    World’s greatest fans? Funny way of showing it.

    • elemeno89 - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:38 PM

      bettman will be toast if there is another lockout.

      • imleftcoast - Aug 23, 2012 at 5:07 PM

        Who is supposed to tell the owners what the economics are? We’re a month from a lockout? This is a repeat of the last strike. I can’t believe the owners are doing this to us again.

      • elrock7 - Aug 23, 2012 at 9:38 PM

        Bettman wont be toast when, not if there is ANOTHER lockout. He is the owners puppet, does exactly what they say.

        If he had half a brain he would quit rather than try to negotiate a deal that the owners say they want, but clearly their signing actions state otherwise.

  2. madtolive5 - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    “What I’ve always told people: If I take the ice and it’s completely silent, then I’ll know I’m in trouble

    Looks like he is going to have his second silent Stanley Cup presentation….

    • sabatimus - Aug 23, 2012 at 3:59 PM

      It won’t be silent: the fans will show up and boo him and throw batteries.

  3. barkar942 - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    I fully supported the owners the last lockout to try to reel in rampant costs. This time around, both sides better give a little and settle. If there is no hockey, I will just cancel my Comcast cable since I will have nothing of interest to watch.
    Mr. Snyder- are you listening? Hello? Is anyone there?
    I watch hockey! No hockey- no cable! Less money for you to throw around with offer sheets that drive up the player costs that you and your owner buddies are complaining about!
    And, Mr. Snyder, isn’t it a conflict of interest for you to own Comcast and the Flyers and to also own the TV partner, NBC? I should think you would want to settle!

    • laurely515 - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:25 PM

      Really, Ed Snider is the guy you’d get pissed off at? I feel like he, more than any other owner, would be cool with losing money just to watch the Flyers play.

      As for any conflict of interest, I’m pretty sure Snider being Comcast’s chairman benefits the whole NHL more than anything; they did just sign a pretty lucrative TV deal.

      Seriously, find someone else to whine about.

    • jimw81 - Aug 23, 2012 at 2:01 PM

      are you a Nashville fan who cried because u almost lost weber?

      how is this snider fault? he’s basically doing the opposite what bettman wants to accomplish. handing out 6yr contracts and tried to give suter,parise and weber over 400 million over 15 yrs.

      stop connecting snider to this madness. yes, he did tell bettman to leave espn for vs. at the time it was right because espn was more interested showing competitive eating contests than showing nhl at that time.

      Snider makes most of his money off the parking revenues and xfinity live in south philly these days.

      NBC started the NBC sports channel because they were told to do it by NFL to prop up NFL product. do see why CBS and FOX are investing in their cable networks and putting on more nfl stuff on?

  4. mmazzzzzz - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    The owners mess things up financially by throwing around huge overblown contracts, then want a do over. The only ones who lose are the “worlds best fans” AGAIN! Screw you bettman

  5. hitem396 - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    joker said long time ago “its simple. we kill the bettman”

    sut da fvvvvp and just play damn fkin hockey games!!!! how long do we hav to worry about lockout?

    3lockouts in bettman era? yes it is simple.

  6. trom09 - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Every time I read or hear something about the negotiations I get more depressed. This just makes me sick. After that comment about having the worlds greatest fans, Bettman must enjoy being hated. We can step all over the fans again and they’ll come right back, no problem.

    The small market teams cannot take a lockout right now, especially if the entire season is lost.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:35 PM

      I wonder if the small market teams aren’t the ones pushing for a lockout. I’m no financial expert but it seems that the longer a lockout goes, the less the owners have to pay the players. For teams that bleed cash, a chance to delay the season might be something they desire. This is why they can demand the split to drop below 50%.

      • trom09 - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:46 PM

        That may be true, but a lockout will destroy the casual fan’s interest in the sport and do the same for some hardcore fans. If a team is needing fan support now, they will really need it if an entire season is lost.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:54 PM

        I suppose one silver lining to the lockout is it will expose which teams have the fewest “true” fans and throw a bit more wood on the relocation/contraction fire. The NHL knows I’ll be back, but because revenues are mostly gate-driven, maybe we can finally see the Panthers, Coyotes, Lightning, etc moved elsewhere when no one shows up.

    • getadealdonealready - Aug 23, 2012 at 4:23 PM

      I don’t think the league can handle it as well. It is the 4th most popular pro sport, and in danger of irrelevance if they miss any part of the season. The fan base is small but loyal, but how much will they put up with and keep coming back! I’ll take my money and go support the HS and College game!

  7. cweez2 - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:24 PM

  8. sjsharks66 - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Gary Bettmen is an ass. These best fans in the world are not fans of you! They’re fans of the players. Not the greedy money hungry owners who think their players get paid to much.

    Strap on your skates for 82+ games a season Bettmen and see how much money you will want.

  9. lsxphotog - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Once again, Gary Bettman shows the kind of ignorance he possesses as the league commissioner. “We believe that we are paying players more than we should be.” FOOL! You vote on the cap and then the owners make and sign the contracts…STOP MAKING OFFERS FOR MORE MONEY THAN PLAYERS “should be” making…get this quack out of here. There probably won’t be a season next year or, at the very least, it won’t start on time…

    It sounds a lot like the owners proposal was not something they’re willing to come off of. They’re going to force the players to accept a sour deal to keep a season.

  10. jaredphi - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    ^Link to a petition I created asking the Board to fire Bettman.

  11. hitem396 - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    1month lockout – i can wait
    2months lockout – i can wait if bettman get tossed out from the league

    1yr lockout – light fans would never back, even heavy royal fans like me would need serious time to come back to nhl

  12. dannythebisforbeast - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    this is why NHL will always be a distant fourth. I actually watched most of the playoffs without my team in it for first time in awhile. Go pound sand Bettman. I’d say fire him but the next guy would be more inbred than him

  13. dannythebisforbeast - Aug 23, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    And you rebounded because hockey is great sport, with great unselfish players who give maximum effort. Not for anything the owners do without them you have nothing. if you can’t control your spending. FOLD.

  14. stakex - Aug 23, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    A month ago I would have thought a lockout was impossible. I mean how could the owners or the players want to do that dance again and risk serious (perhaps irreversable) damage to the NHL brand?

    Flash forward to today, and it almost seems like a lockout is unavoidable. I am pretty mcuh speachless about that….

  15. xaf605 - Aug 23, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Had the worlds greatest fans

  16. sippindasyzurp - Aug 23, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    I still remember back in April or May when Donald Fehr was saying ” the CBA doesnt expire till Sept 15, we have lots of time to negotiate”… Well were 3 weeks away and both sides have sat down for a total of 4 hours the past 2 days and will meet again next tuesday… Don’t worry there is still lots of time people!! haha…

    I don’t side with any party in this situation because they are not the ones hurting, it is us FANS that lose out the most!

  17. somekat - Aug 23, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Don Fehr: “we remind the nhl that the only league that works (no stoppage) has no cap, and that is the mlb.”

    What a idiotic quote. Not only is that false (Who won the world series in 94?), but it’s just a bad compairson. What group of owners would want to follow the MLB model? All high level free agents go to a half dozen teams. Another half dozen teams are terrible, with no real motivation to get better. Team ca literally, and do regularly, spend their way to a title. If you aren’t willing to spend your way to a title, the chances of winning one are tiny.

    Overall, I’m on the players side on this one (I wasn’t in the NBA or NFL issues recently), becuse the owners proposal was just ridiculous. Especially when you consider the concessions the players gave up last time this happened. But saying idiotic things like this, make it hard to believe if the owners happen to say “the NHLPA is being unreasonable”. With comments like that, I don’t see how any reasonable person could say they were wrong.

  18. sabatimus - Aug 23, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    Gary Bettman: “its difficult to make progress when you don’t know what are the fundamentals.”

    That’s lawyer-speak for “I know the fundamentals and refuse to listen to them.”

  19. jimw81 - Aug 23, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    The question everyone should be asking is does bettman know the fundamentals of hockey?

  20. tfaltin - Aug 23, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    If I had “the best” of anything, I wouldn’t take it for granted and try to chase it away. You’re taking us for granted, Gary.

  21. gbar22 - Aug 23, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    You know I always find it kind of funny when people rant on and on about they will never watch the game again if there is a lockout BUT the truth is if you’re really a die hard of any sport you’re going to come back the minute your beloved team is back on the ice. You can’t help yourself if you really love the game and your team. Yes you rant now because you really don’t want a stoppage and you’ll be mad but you will be back. Fans always come back because it’s where there heart is and the owners know it in any sport.

  22. capitalspearljam - Aug 23, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    seems to me they really dont care about a lock out or any of us fans who pay good money to go to games,pay for center ice to see every single game, buy jerseys…… you would think they would be locked in a room until a deal is reached.. just as bad as our govt.. cant get a damn thing done

  23. sportmentary - Aug 23, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    Only a dummy wouldn’t be able to capitalize on the greatest NHL season (From a US fan perspective). Bettman and Fehr seem to have figured out a way to do the impossible by turning success into imminent failure. What a bunch of clowns.

  24. babar61 - Aug 24, 2012 at 8:44 AM

    Time for bettman to go. 3rd lockout on this guys watch. It is inexcusable. We lost a year of hockey last time and they should have had something worked out that would last long term.

  25. cowboyscanada - Aug 24, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    Go Habs

  26. lsxphotog - Aug 24, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    As it was mentioned by other people before, the NHL is a business, and it has to be viewed that way. The players want what’s best for the game because they’re the only ones here who actually have a passion for winning the greatest trophy in sports – kids who grew up with the dream of one day hoisting the Cup. The owners see the Cup as dollar signs and nothing more. That’s why it’s difficult for the players and the fans to side with the owners because they really are on different pages.

    Bettman wants to be more like the NFL and NBA because he knows he’ll make more money that way. Gary also doesn’t share that passion that the players have, and he makes it blatantly clear any time he talks about hockey. He talks about it as if he’s reading what to say from a sheet of paper, because most times he is. So he’s nothing more than a business man controlling a league where the players and fans are more passionate than any other. Let’s be honest, hockey fans and players are a different breed ENTIRELY…we aren’t just sports fans, we’re hockey fans who know the traditions, passion, and war that goes on to win. (Not a game once every Sunday for 16 weeks or a showboat basketball game that has hardly anything to do with a “team”)

    When it comes down to it, I honestly think it’s in the best interest of hockey and the NHL to get Gary Bettman out of there. He has clearly shown over his career that he makes extremely terrible decisions…we’re well on our way to a THIRD lockout with him and he’s done nothing to try and bring the sides together because he’s committed to the owners. (Don’t forget that the NHL lost nearly all TV exposure a while ago too.)

    Get someone in there who was a player…or a coach…or a GM. Someone who knows the other side of the sport – the passionate side.

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