Sep 30, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT
If you’re hoping that the latest lockout brings an end to Gary Bettman’s run as NHL commissioner, a detailed New York Times piece on his increasing influence won’t inspire confidence.
The piece points back to an interview with Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider, who illustrated how powerful Bettman has become.
“In the old days, basically the owners ran the league and almost ran it into the ground,” Snider said. “Now it’s Bettman’s league. He’s a great commissioner. Basically he’s the force behind everything we do.”
A common defense of Bettman is that he’s often a figurehead merely representing the owners’ collective interest, yet this portrait seems to muddy that perception.
Jeff Z. Klein provides an abbreviated timeline for his rise in power in the eyes of NHL owners.
- The 1994-95 lockout wasn’t considered a success, yet it taught him to adapt. Bettman altered owner voting rules so that he could only be overruled by a three-quarters majority and also gave himself power to fine an organization for divulging information.
- Ken Dryden described fiscal discussions with Bettman as visiting the “principal’s office.”
- The NHL counter-sued the New York Rangers for seeking a site independent of the NHL universe in 2008. The league won soundly enough that Rangers owner James Dolan has been noticeably quiet during proceedings, according to Klein.
- Finally, it appears that the owners are behind him completely – just like they were during the last lockout.
In other words, Bettman’s as empowered as ever among the league’s owners.
Author Jonathon Gatehouse even provides this account, which might be chilling for Bettman’s greatest detractors:
“If he wins this round, I think he’s emperor for life.”
- Discuss: Blackhawks push series to Game 6 12
- Report: Canucks ask Leafs permission to interview Eakins for head coaching gig 0
- Tortorella takes blame for top players’ struggles 12
- Discuss: Bruins finish off Rangers in Game 5 39
- Brassard says Marchand ‘doesn’t show any respect for his opponents’ 68
- Playoffs tonight: Bruins and Red Wings look to finish things in Game 5 7
- Video: Senators’ captain Alfredsson discusses his future 11
- Penguins put on a ‘clinic’ in semifinal series win over Senators 36
- Report: NHL to present Glendale with Coyotes ownership plan next week 16
- Discuss: Penguins knock off the Senators in Game 5, headed to conference final 74
- Report: NHLPA director Fehr wants to address issue of fighting (114)
- Question for commenters: What, if anything, needs to be done about the officiating? (101)
- Discuss: Bruins rally in third, take 3-0 series lead (99)
- Discuss: Detroit takes 2-1 series lead vs. Chicago (95)
- Discuss: Rangers stay alive with OT win (87)
- Blackhawks stave off elimination
- Video: Highlights: Blackhawks top Red Wings 4-1
- PST: Bayern Munich beats Dortmund, wins Champions League
- PHT: Bruins bounce Rangers, advance to Conf. finals
- PBT: Pacers' Hill: Only God scarier than LeBron
- Hundreds run Boston Marathon's final mile
- MST Monaco GP predictions: Mercedes' time?
- Play Video: Highlights: Blackhawks stay alive
- Play Video: Bickell blasts Kronwall
- Play Video: Toews scores first goal of the playoffs
- Play Video: Howard with a couple of tremendous saves in Game 5
- Play Video: Highlights: Bruins move onto Eastern Conference finals
- Play Video: Lundqvist takes one away from Lucic