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Devellano: Don’t blame Bettman, he’s just the messenger

Sep 21, 2012, 4:29 PM EDT

Jim Devellano

Jim Devellano thinks Gary Bettman gets a raw deal from fans and media.

Devellano, the Red Wings’ senior vice president and alternate governor, said as much (and much, much more) in an exclusive and extensive interview with Island Sports News.

According to Devellano, the commissioner is only doing what the owners direct him to do and doesn’t deserve to be everyone’s favorite whipping boy.

“Don’t forget too that these owners aren’t dumb guys and they are very aggressive men who run multi-million and multi-billion dollar companies,” he said. “They want results and don’t want to hear excuses and complaints as to what their employees may want.”

Devellano also believes the Flyers broke an unwritten rule by presenting an offer sheet to Shea Weber and forcing the small-market Predators to either match a massively front-loaded deal or watch their captain walk away.

But we won’t steal all the good parts of the interview. Go read it yourself.

PS — He also calls the players “cattle” and the owners “ranchers.”

  1. theawesomersfranchise - Sep 21, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    It’s always true, Selig, Bettmman, Stern, Goodell all do the bidding of owners

  2. lostpuppysyndrome - Sep 21, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    “Remember it is just the NHL that is on strike, not any other league. Fans of the game should go see their AHL, ECHL or other minor pro team, or more importantly, to the best of your ability, support your local junior and minor hockey teams. Show these kids how much you really care for hockey. The NHL situation will get sorted out, but its complicated – I’m in the middle of it and its complicated for me too – and may take some time. Until then, go out and enjoy the game at the grass roots level and have some fun.” Amen.

    Good article.

    • habsman - Sep 22, 2012 at 6:58 AM

      I agree with all you said, but remember, it’s a lockout not a strike. An important distinction.

  3. chiadam - Sep 21, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Calling the players “cattle” should be helpful. Sigh.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:57 PM

      He lumped himself in there too. Read the article.

  4. mpg44 - Sep 21, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    We don’t just name Bettman . We blame all the owners, Bettman , Fehr , and almost all of the players. Go ahead and keep going on the path that you are …. With each passing day , gone is your 3.3 billion in revenue !

  5. jimw81 - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    hey Devellano, No one put a gun to the heads of the owners of Nashville regarding Weber, they did it to themselves.

    • barkar942 - Sep 22, 2012 at 1:03 AM

      Personally, I thought it was a totally underhanded move by the Flyers and Mr. NBC-Comcast Snyder. The Nashville ownership had their backs to the wall with a gun pointed by the Flyer’s owner at their heads.
      If Nashville had walked, they would have appeared weak to their fan base, so they chose to resign Weber and take a massive financial hit that could bankrupt another smaller market team.

  6. nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    Jimmy, they aren’t dumb guys? Perhaps, but if they really think running a major league sports club or league is the same as running a widgets factory, they sure aren’t the brightest bulbs in the chandelier.

  7. trick9 - Sep 22, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    Bettman is just guy a guy being paid 8 million per season to take the fault for all the mistakes. I mean this lockout is all because of owners being greedy, and yet all the fans are busy blaming Bettman.

    That works pretty well for the owners, considering that there is a lockout but 99% of the hockey fans can’t name 10 owners if they are asked to.

  8. manchestermiracle - Sep 22, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    Bettman is the point man the owners are hiding behind. That makes Bettman a legitimate target and the owners a bunch of cowards. Same could be said about Fehr and the players. Caught in the middle are the folks who pay the bills. Whether they (secretly) wanted it or not, this lockout may just be the impetus to force contraction on the league. Oh, and a few years of much less revenue while disenfranchised (pun intended) fans do exactly what Devellano suggested and find other leagues and teams to follow. Is it just me or are many of the names involved in this fiasco more than apropos? Bettman (bet, man), Fehr (fear), Devellano (devil)….Hmmm….Betting that fear will win for their side. Pretty devilish tactics.

    • jimw81 - Sep 22, 2012 at 1:08 PM

      the only difference btw fehr and bettman is that fehr acknowledges his mistakes and never walks away from them.

  9. footballer4ever - Sep 22, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Non hockey fan here. The title most appropiate should be: “Don’t blame Bettman, he’s just the puppet”

  10. dannythebisforbeast - Sep 23, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    Underhanded by snider?? How about collusion among the owners.

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