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Bettman feels “terrible” about impending lockout, but owners have their reasons

Sep 13, 2012, 5:33 PM EDT

Gary Bettman

And then it was Gary Bettman’s turn to explain why the NHL is headed for a lockout.

The commissioner took to the podium Thursday in New York shortly after his NHLPA counterpart held a press conference touting the union’s position.

According to Bettman, there’s unanimous support from the owners for not starting the season without a new CBA in place. Which is to say, unless the players move off their position, there’s going to be a lockout when the current agreement expires Saturday.

In justifying the owners’ demands, Bettman referenced the NBA and NFL, whose players recognized the need to “retrench” and accept a reduction in revenue share.

Bettman’s also not willing to apologize for trying to rework the current agreement, arguing that agreements have terms for a reason.

Regarding the NHLPA’s latest proposal, Bettman said it was unacceptable to the owners because it did not result in “a reduction in real dollars” of player salaries.

When asked how the owners could justify signing players to contracts and then asking them to take less in real dollars (i.e. losing money to escrow), Bettman reasoned that there was no “perpetual entitlement” to the 57 percent share of overall revenues the players currently receive.

He also questioned the union’s revenue growth projections in its proposal, suggesting they were unreasonably optimistic and, as a result, misleading.

When asked if he has a message for the fans, Bettman would only say: “Nobody wants to make a deal and play hockey more than I do. This is what I do. This is what my life is about…This is very hard and I feel terrible about it.”

Here’s the full presser:

Related: NHL vs NHLPA — Breaking down each side’s proposal

  1. pajabroni - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    If he loved hockey as much as he says he does, HE WOULD STEP DOWN. How many lockouts need to occur on this man’s watch?

    Press “Thumbs Up” if you dislike Gary Bettman

    • jernster21 - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:47 PM

      Why would he step down? The owners love this guy – he’s the guy that everyone gets to hate while conveying the message for 30 owners, and clearly he doesn’t mind playing the role…hell, give me 8 million a year and everyone can hate me and boo me every time I hand off a Stanley Cup…what a rough life.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Sep 14, 2012 at 12:16 AM

      Obviously you’re far from the only one who thinks so. I thought Elliotte Friedman put it well here:

      http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/opinion/2012/09/bettman-should-consider-stepping-away-from-talks.html

      Gary should step away and never, ever step back.

    • yvrmike - Sep 14, 2012 at 11:24 AM

      Just wondering where Mario Lemieux is in all this. Hey Mario don’t forget where you came from and start supporting the players. If you dont start supporting the players you will look like an idiot.
      And stop putting that olive oil on your face.

      • chizmo - Sep 14, 2012 at 11:48 AM

        Taking a shot at Mario? Really? Why would he need to support the players when he is now on the other side? Would you have all of the former players currently working in NHL front office also come out in support of the players? How about former players who are now coaches? Should they revolt against the ownership that pays them?

        Way to make a completely ridiculous comment, followed by a pointless personal insult. It really makes you sound intelligent!

      • yvrmike - Sep 14, 2012 at 3:55 PM

        Chizmo (below)- Before you write something please think through what you are gonna write
        Example genious – Mario is an owner – did you know that?
        Former players that work for NHL teams are just employees not owners, they can have opinions but they may be fired by someone like Mario for having a different opinion than him.
        Another x-NHL player / owner is Ron Francis and he and Mario should step up and ask Bettman to be fired.
        Why should they step up and ask Bettman to be fired you say. Just ask yourself this question. Where would they Ron and Mario be today if they did not play hockey?
        A shot at Mario you bet, Id say it to his face. Im all for the players bud.
        Is it olive oil or canola oil?

    • habsfaninnb - Sep 14, 2012 at 6:21 PM

      I’m Canadian living in Oklahoma, would like to know if anyone knows is there any of the major junior hockey played that can be viewed on the Internet.

  2. bjbeliever - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    you can tell he’s lying, his lips are moving

  3. phillyphan93 - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    This dude is the worst!

  4. elemeno89 - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    “Nobody wants to make a deal and play hockey more than I do. This is what I do. This is what my life is about…This is very hard and I feel terrible about it.”

    Gary Bettman is like a spoiled teenager. The only deal he is willing to make is what he wants. If he doesn’t get it, then he can just lock out the players. He got the cap he wanted in 04. He got the salary rollback he wanted in 04.

    I watched this presser live and i wanted to punch my laptop. When asked what part of his deal would work out in the palyers favor he threw the question away talking about some bs relating to multiple champions, and 29 teams making the playoffs (not a toronto call out, sorry boys). how is that part of the deal that works well in the palyers favor. if anything the past CBA facilitated those things, not what the new CBA will do.

    this guy is a joke.

    this guy is a liar.

    this guy is a greedy piece of s***.

    • tealwithit - Sep 14, 2012 at 12:00 AM

      So… You think Bettman just called all the owners together one day and said “Hey guys, wouldn’t it be great to have another lockout? Come onnn, it’ll be fun!”
      Let’s think rationally here for just a minute.

      • elemeno89 - Sep 14, 2012 at 9:06 AM

        no i dont think that. but i do believe as “owners” of a small market team, bettman did have influence over teams such as nashville and florida, to create some sentiment that they are playing their players too much. especially after the off season spending spree by fla (who struggled to get to the floor) and nashville who commited over 110 mil to their franchise player, only to have a ntc in his contract. those teams who have a reason to complain about losing too much money, can have a big influence on the big guys.

  5. stratomaticfan - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    “you can tell he’s lying, his lips are moving”

    -as are many of the owners….if they were concerned about keeping salaries down, they wouldn’t hand out the mega contracts that they do. If they come to a reasonable agreement (without rollbacks), and act in a fiscally responsible manner on all new contracts, they will only have short term issues and will eventually fix their own problems.

  6. pajabroni - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    Hatred for Gary Bettman is the one thing Pittsburgh and Philadelphia fans can finally agree upon.

    • mpg44 - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:03 PM

      Throw the NJD in the mix as well , never would have thought we would all have common ground.

    • lordfletcher - Sep 14, 2012 at 9:48 AM

      Oh sure, bettman relocated the Penguins and Flyers and Devils didn’t he? Everyone hates the man

      Get in line with some of the towns and cities that really were affected.

      • pajabroni - Sep 15, 2012 at 3:09 AM

        That original comment has nothing to do with the towns and cities hurt more so than Pittsburgh, Philly and NJ. Your sarcasm is unnecessary. Every city is affected, not just the small market ones.

        THINK ABOUT ALL OF THE VENDORS and GAMEDAY EMPLOYEES now trying to find jobs to feed their families now that the league is not playing games.

  7. sjtorpitt - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    Then make a damn deal you greedy bastard!

  8. paperkid96 - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    Can I have my $800 for Winter Classic Tickets back now?

  9. hockeyflow33 - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    It seems like the perpetual entitlement he refers to belongs with the owners and not the players. If I was one of the players who signed a deal recently I’d be furious that they were agreed to in bad faith. I’ve always considered Jacobs, (owns the B’s), to be the vilest of scum, but I have no problem including the lot of them now.

    The sad thing is, I’ll still go to as many games as possible.

    • jernster21 - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:17 PM

      The funny thing is though that the Bruin’s owner (chairman of the board, btw) is the one that primarily crafted yesterday’s proposal for the owners, and he’ll be one of the owners that this impacts the most! They’re actually going to have to do work and potentially move players/contracts after this is all done. So while it might help them save/make more money, it’s actually going to hurt the team itself – obviously making the bigger priority pretty clearly.

    • tealwithit - Sep 14, 2012 at 12:04 AM

      The players and their agents aren’t idiots. They knew there was going to be a renegotiation of the CBA when they signed those contracts. No chance they really thought the owners were going to let them stick with 57%, especially after the NBA and NFL each agreed to new terms.

      • tatdue - Sep 14, 2012 at 5:37 PM

        It’s not about the 57% – The players have offered to move on that….it’s about Bettman and the owners wanting to welch on existing contracts that is the problem….The Goblin Turd and the owners add up to zero class on this move…or the move of locking out the players and putting a lot of innocent people out of work in the process to accomplish this classless act!!!

      • tealwithit - Sep 15, 2012 at 4:45 PM

        Okay, we get it. Bettman’s the antichrist and the owners have no class. Thank you for bringing the petty name-calling and gratuitous virulence, once again.

    • manchestermiracle - Sep 14, 2012 at 10:12 AM

      The owners will be counting on that sentiment. After they have yet another lock-out they’ll be hoping there are lots of fans just like you. I don’t blame you, but I don’t see this cycle ending any time soon unless hard-core fans (those who spend their hard-earned dollars to attend games) step back and hurt the league where it really counts: In the wallet. Take a page from the big-money side and take a break from the game. Arenas with more empty seats than filled ones will be the only message owners and players hear. And, to me, the only “sad thing” about all this is the inability of the NHL and all its participants to resolve their differences and play some damn hockey.

      • truebluefred - Sep 14, 2012 at 3:04 PM

        Well spoken! In this economy walking the grocery store last night, I was trying to decide if I wanted to drop $7.99 on a pound of coffee which has become a luxury. As a die hard fan, where is our representation at the negotiating table? All the tickets and jerseys and “officially licensed” products we spend our hard earned money on – when’s our vote coming? I’m with manchestermiracle – empty a few seats, buy one less Sidney Crosby jersey – let the NHL and Players know that people who PAY their enormous salaries, enable their advertising revenues, open their cable contracts and buy their swag have had enough and are taking our meek disposable income elsewhere. Don’t “feel bad for the fans,” Mr. Commissioner, do your damned job – we’re YOUR Board of Directors and I for one WILL reinvest my extra cash elsewhere. This condescending “for the fans crap” doesn’t go over as well with hockey fans as it may with other professional sports. If I went to work and decided to shut the company down for a year because I couldn’t get labor to work with management, I would get tossed out a window.

  10. ndrick731 - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    Hey Gary please drop dead and go to hell you piece of garbage and take the greedy owners with you.

  11. id4joey - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    Who does this guy report to? Who pays his salary? Who pulls his strings? Bottom line he’s accountable to the owners as Fehr is accountable to players. No?

  12. icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    What’s this going to be 3rd lockout in the last 18 years? Thanks Gary. Job well done. I hope the wallets take a healthy dent.

  13. aventador12 - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Epic FAIL. I can’t believe this is happening. BOOOOOO!

  14. pooinyourface - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    love all ur comments…Bettman is a destroyer

  15. paperkid96 - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Damn. Started throwing up 40 seconds into that video.

    Shouldn’t there be significant in fighting in that meeting? There are profitable teams that now will lose money because of the lock out. Why isn’t there a single owner that has the balls to speak out? The unprofitable teams are the problem. Sorry to the fans of those teams but those business models dont work and they need to fold or move like any other real world business.

    Yes, I know I’m stating the obvious. Had to vent.

    • rsl22 - Sep 13, 2012 at 8:29 PM

      Why would there be in-fighting? If they are profitable teams now, imagine how much more profitable they’ll be when they cut salary cap by 17% and roll-back all the terrible contracts they’ve doled out?
      Montreal makes money, but you think they like paying Gomez? Rangers happy paying Redden?

      What I don’t understand are teams like Minnesota, Tampa, or Buffalo, who complain about being a small market, but then have more spent on player salary than Pittsburgh, Washington, Rangers, or Detroit.

      • paperkid96 - Sep 13, 2012 at 9:11 PM

        If a team makes 50 million a year and they don’t play they wont make 50 million. That’s 50 million lost and that’s what would have me pissed as a profitable owner. The losers won’t ever get smarter if the winners keep propping them up.

        Get rid of the salary floor. Get rid of the NHL minimum wage. Require loser teams to have a business plan to become profitable in 3 years (how most franchised businesses do it) and everyone wins. That business plan should include owners rights to move the team to a market that will support them.

      • tealwithit - Sep 14, 2012 at 12:11 AM

        paperkid – Come up with a business plan to become profitable in three years? Two-thirds of the league’s teams are losing money, and you really think it’s as simple as “They just aren’t trying hard enough”?
        The salary floor is in place for a reason, and that reason is parity. Nobody wants to see the same teams in the playoffs every year (except maybe the fans of those teams.) That doesn’t benefit the league and it’s not fair to the rest of the fans.

      • tatdue - Sep 14, 2012 at 5:53 PM

        @tealwithit – Why do you say things that are absolute lies???? “Two-thirds of the league’s teams are losing money” is an absolute lie….not once has even the Goblin Turd tried to say anything as absurd as that…..There are only a handful of teams losing money and the worst one is owned by the NHL (I wonder why that is?) All the Turd has claimed is that the teams that did lose money collectively lost 240 million, which of course is why he is demanding over a billion back the owners way (over the course of their proposal)….

      • tealwithit - Sep 15, 2012 at 4:58 PM

        Forbes: “During the 2010-11 season the league posted operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $126 million, 21% lower than the previous year. Main reason: Player costs increased 11%, to $59 million. Last season 18 of the league’s 30 teams lost money even before they had to pay bank loans or write down assets, compared with 16 the prior year.”
        Here’s the list: http://www.forbes.com/nhl-valuations/
        Operating incomes are the numbers you want to look at. Given what I’ve heard from NBA and NHL execs, Forbes’ numbers tend to run a little high. So I’d probably allow for +/- $5 mill.

  16. vibes98 - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    I have been going to and watching hockey games since 1972. That being said, there is a TON of money spent BEFORE the $100 mil contracts are even signed. Players need to stop the bs. They make more money in a season than any of us see in a life time. Start looking at BOTH sides of this if you want to watch the game for 40 yrs or so. Ohhh yeah, it’s all bettman’s fault. Jeez

    • paperkid96 - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:49 PM

      With that said, the NHL/ Money losing team owners have to accept some responsibility for individually poor business models. Eventually you can only cut costs so much without damaging the final product. Time to generate more revenue.

      • tealwithit - Sep 14, 2012 at 12:20 AM

        Raising revenue without cutting costs means raising ticket prices.
        Sure, they can generate revenue through other avenues, like TV deals and sponsorships, but every team has a staff that spends their days working to do just that – and clearly that’s not cutting it.

      • tatdue - Sep 14, 2012 at 6:04 PM

        @tealwithit – Not cutting it eh? How about 7 years of record revenue??? How about 3.3 Billion in revenue??? Not cutting it….What’s not cutting it is you and your stupidity, what rock did you crawl out from under? I’m not normally this much of an ars but man your stupidity bugs me…put your suspenders on and go gripe about the weather or something but please quit talking about this stuff because you clearly don’t know what you are talking about……

      • tealwithit - Sep 15, 2012 at 5:42 PM

        Haha. I live in San Jose – 75 degrees and sunny year-round. As far as my stupidity… Look, I’m not teaching myself all of this off the internet. I do know what I’m talking about, but I tend to struggle with articulating my opinion and bringing all relevant facts and figures to back it up (I’m kind of like Romney in that way), without ending up writing a small book on a PHT comment thread.
        But I’m working on it. Because I do feel like I have a different perspective on this situation than a lot of people, given the hours and hours I’ve spent talking to someone who went through this with the NBA years ago and is more than a little familiar with the NHL’s issues. So when I talk to him and learn things that I can’t find anywhere on the internet, I feel the need to share that with other people, in case they are like me and want to know everything there is to know. I’m not at all trying to make it sound like I’m special and or smarter than you. I know I’m no business genius… I just talk hockey with one a few times a week and do my best to learn from his experience and insight. Anyways. I just want you to know where I’m coming from. Hostility makes me sweat.
        p.s. Record “revenue.” $3.3 billion in “revenue.” Revenue does not equal profit. Since 2005, player salaries have seen a substantial increase and operating costs have risen. The owners made a stupid deal last time, and yes, that’s their own fault. They need to get serious about revenue sharing and finding ways to improve the league’s health, other than forcing immediate rollbacks on player salaries. But I also think the players need to recognize that even though they gave up “enormous concessions” last time, the current CBA has actually ended up working heavily in their favor, and they may need to somehow come down to a 50-50 split over the course of the next one. CBAs have expiration dates for a reason – Things change over the years, and the terms of the deal usually need to be re-evaluated and amended. But both sides have to be willing to come to the table to get it done.

  17. spongebobsportspants - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    Hey Gary, kill yourself.

  18. mpg44 - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    A message to the NHL and NHLPA …… Go F@$K yourselves!!! This message brought to you by the fans who are done with your crap!!

  19. revansrevenant - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    That sentence is a lie. With the possibility of three lockouts on his watch, I can say with a virtual certainty he doesn’t feel terrible about it. He’s capering in delight the moment he gets away from cameras. Why? Because he obviously loves lockouts more than he loves hockey.

  20. jimw81 - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Well, I got my old hockey tapes and DVDs all dust off.

    Bettman,Jacobs, leapoid and daily were behind the lockout from day one. They never want to have a partnership in these talks. They Did what they wanted to do from the start and accomplished it. Plus the bog is controlled by pro-bettman people.

    If nhl never comes back, I hope in the next CBA it’s written in black and white that Gary Bettman and Bill Daily Must stay away from anything related to NHL.

  21. alexb64 - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    Unanimous? Bull.

  22. deadrabbit79 - Sep 13, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    Since i cant stomach basketball i guess i will be watching a lot more of the new 4th sport….MLS Soccer and Barclays Premier League. Goooooo Red Bulls!

  23. n8zegr8 - Sep 13, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    O.K, so I watched the entire video, as well as the past 6 seasons, and from everything given into consideration (especially the state of the economy, and the natural rising prices of the player’s payroll due to a larger revenue), the ultimatum for this lock out is necessary and border-line essential. I assume, because I do not know the exact numbers, the players will be paid a very fair amount (seems around an average of 2 million per year). Not to mention the average player’s salaries will naturally increase as the league makes more money.
    Furthermore, the player’s association had been given the better end of the deal for the past 6-7 years, and the contract has now finally came to end after last year’s one year extension. Therefore a new contract is needed to be made, and all Bettman wants is the league to make money, so they can continue flourishing the way it has been.
    Bettman is unable to back down any longer, and cannot be taken advantage of anymore. The players can and will survive making their millions. One thing I am unsure of is, the current 57% of the Leagues revenue that goes to the players, does it go to anyone else?

  24. bubblehead2012 - Sep 13, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    Suspend his pay until the deal is done.

    • tealwithit - Sep 14, 2012 at 12:22 AM

      Yeah that’s been done. NHL execs don’t get paid during this lockout.

  25. blomfeld - Sep 13, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    EIGHT WEEKS TOPS …

    There’s no way people like Bettman, Crosby and the Aquilinis are going to let this thing go any longer than that. For if they do, then they’ll be playing with “real” fire and they’re all going to be badly burned in the process. Hockey won’t be destroyed outright, however the damage to the game and balance sheet will take a generation to repair, if it can be repaired at all. Regardless, these people know that and so look for the season to start well before Christmas.

  26. bluessince1991 - Sep 13, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    I would like to see ESPN sign a tv deal with the KHL. I’d rather watch that if these greedy owners cant get their crap together. The NHL is going to lose a lot of star power at some point to the KHL because these players are are getting fed up with the owners shoveling out tons of cash only to ask for it back because they can’t afford it anymore.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Sep 13, 2012 at 11:56 PM

      So you can watch a league that’s run by oil barons built on cronyism who don’t always play their players on time, if ever? Yeah, that’s an improvement.

  27. xaf605 - Sep 13, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    When do i get my season ticket money back and dont forget about all the people that rely on the part time job at the arena that are just trying to make ends meet

  28. sharksfanatic - Sep 13, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    For those of you that are on the players side 100% need to also consider the impact to the fans if the owners don’t do what they can to control cost. Their major cost is player salaries. Owners will try to recoup this cost through higher ticket prices as well as other things. Remember, this really is a business. The money has to come from somewhere and that translates into higher cost to the fans. Higher cost+higher prices.
    They need to try to keep ticket prices as low as possible so as many people as possible can afford the game.

  29. biffnasty - Sep 13, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Nice work Gary ! Greatest commish ever. Haha I can not believe that this tool will have presided over 3 strikes and he still has a job. How is this possible. This man hates hockey and the fans that love the sport

  30. websurfer1961 - Sep 14, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Who is going to hurt the most if when the lockout occurs, the owners because the players can go overseas to play and make money that way.

  31. johnwwt1976 - Sep 14, 2012 at 12:51 AM

    Douche bag Bettman!!!!!!

  32. tealwithit - Sep 14, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    Guys. Really? We’re still blaming it all on Bettman?
    “Acquiring big-ticket corporate partners and negotiating CBAs are his primary jobs. His job is to increase the franchise value of the owners. That’s it. He’s largely done that, especially for the top-tier franchises, as is reflected in his salary. He has a high salary because he has been good for the owners; otherwise, he would be commissioner of the Arena Football League. Bettman has the charm of a heavily starched shirt, but he is smart and relentless. He organized and professionalized the offices of the NHL, increased revenues and helped oversee the new-media infusion that has made this the best time, in terms of media access and information, to be a fan of the NHL.” – John Buccigross
    Bettman doesn’t get paid to be a representative for the fans. He gets his marching orders from the owners. If the owners didn’t want a lockout, there wouldn’t be one. And yes, the owners are overspending and they do need to have rules in place to protect them from themselves, but that’s because they’re competitive. They want their team to win a Stanley Cup just as much as the fans do. So, while they’re all about “the overall health of the league” during CBA negotiations, as soon as the deal is in place and hockey resumes, they’re going to do everything they can to win under the terms of the new agreement – which means outbidding each other and exploiting loopholes, if that’s what it takes. And as a fan, win-at-all-costs is the kind of attitude that I want driving the organization that I’m financially and emotionally invested in.

    • blueswincup - Sep 14, 2012 at 10:35 AM

      Seriously, a sports commissioner’s job is NOT to pander to the owners wishes. It is to take care of the game and it’s integrity and make sure neither the owners nor the players do things to bring shame on the game. Lockouts and strikes are shameful in pro sports with all the money involved. Plenty for everybody.

      For example, the best commissioner of the past decades of any sport was Paul Tagliabue. He didn’t take crap from the owners of the NFL. He got them to see past their own greed and come up with decisions that were good for the game. No lockouts, no strikes, labor peace defined Tagliabue’s NFL regime. He wasn’t perfect but he always had the good of the game at the forefront of what he did and he was able to influence the owners and players to come to agreement without embarassing themselves.

      Bettman does not do this one bit. He simply does what the owners tell him to do. He isn’t supposed to do that. He is supposed to see beyond the owners greedy wishes and protect the integrity of the game. Who is complaing right now? It’s not the players, it’s the owners. This current agreement works and should simply be re-upped for another 10 years. The game is healthy, fans love it, and the action on the ice is fantastic. The owners are throwing all this away and Bettman is just along for the ride. He is a HORRIBLE commisioner.

      • mhazz84 - Sep 14, 2012 at 11:15 AM

        A thousand thumbs up to this.

      • tealwithit - Sep 15, 2012 at 6:02 PM

        I agree with you on the first paragraph… Can’t comment on the second… Have to disagree on part of the third. The current agreement doesn’t work, and I think everyone has come to the point where they can at least agree that changes need to be made. Players probably won’t admit that, considering they’d love to continue playing under the current deal – but 57% is just too high, especially after the NBA and NFL just came down to 47-51%. They also need to close some of the loopholes.
        Bettman sees himself as a lawyer, first and foremost, and a representative of the league. The players have a rep of their own to look out for their best interests. I’ve never shadowed the guy, so I really don’t know what all his job consists of, or what kind of pressure he’s under, or how he comes to his decisions. I can’t imagine being in his shoes, though… That’s gotta be one of the most thankless jobs in sports.
        But yes, the game itself is great and it’s pulling in more fans every season. Both sides know that the NHL’s progress and growing fan base is on the line, and I really think (or at least hope) that they’re smart enough to make compromises, meet in the middle, and get the season started before December.

  33. lpd1964 - Sep 14, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    I enjoy hockey and this situation is very perplexing. For a sport that is still trying to get a legitimate TV deal, (sorry the NBC thing seems part time to me) why in the hell would you go down the lockout route? Sell your sport, don’t sell it out.

  34. spavs412 - Sep 14, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    What about us the fans? I’ve already paid for my season tickets this yr. Weak sauce can I have my money back?

  35. blueswincup - Sep 14, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    Fans memo to NHL owners:

    Fool me once (2004 lockout) shame on me (Yes, you guys fooled me in 2004. I really thought the NHL was in dire financial trouble that year and you guys would figure out how to make the game viable for decades to come).

    Fool me twice (Nope, not fooled this time. Owners are simply greedy, lying sacks of you know what.)

    F the owners and F Gary Bettman

    I will not be attending any games this year. The sad thing is the owners don’t even care.

  36. mhazz84 - Sep 14, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    I feel like Bettman pooped in my food and made me eat it.

  37. shawniebear7634 - Sep 14, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Dear God-please don’t tell me this means I’ll have to start watching FOOTBALL this season. Sigh.

  38. fortwaynekomets - Sep 14, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    the NHL os done if they do a lockout. I know so many fans who gave it one last chance after the first one.. might as well make the funeral arrangements and dog the grave already.

    HOWEVER, THANK GOD WE HAVE THE A.H.L. AND THE E.C.H.L. !!!!!!

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