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Columnist wonders which owners might be getting nervous

Oct 8, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

Mike Ilitch, Gary Bettman AP

The act of fining of Detroit Red Wings exec Jim Devellano will probably keep dissenting opinions underground, yet Bruce Garrioch caught up with an anonymous “insider” who believes a big chunk of the NHL’s owners are becoming uneasy about the lockout.

“My guess is you’ve got about 10 teams that are pretty nervous right now,” The insider said. “But (Bettman) has the power of the executive committee behind him.”

Pivoting from that point, Garrioch focused on some of the ownership groups that lose the most from a work stoppage.

  • He starts with New York Rangers owner James Dolan, who takes advantage of a “license to print money” at Madison Square Garden. (Also, there’s the story of the lawsuit between the Rangers and the league, which agent Allan Walsh would love to elaborate on.)
  • Garrioch describes Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson a “dove,” yet also points out that his interests will experience a double-whammy because of lost games and lost opportunities to sell beer.*
  • Also, richer ownership groups/big markets such as the Buffalo Sabres and Philadelphia Flyers.

Even so, this quote summarizes the situation – at least for the moment.

“The dissenters are being quiet and waiting to see how far (Bettman) can (make) Fehr go,” The insider said.

And so the game of chicken continues.

* – No mention of people imbibing because of the lockout, though.

  1. bcsteele - Oct 8, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    So ready for Bettman to be gone. So many of us on here have questioned whether the owners are really in this together since day one. Get and deal done that’s fair and give the fans their game back.

  2. tmoore4075 - Oct 8, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    I know Bettman works for the owners but this is a situation where Bettman needs to lead the owners to a fair deal. The last time was simple, they wanted and needed a cap. While some big clubs probably were ok with no cap it was best for everyone to get one and losing a season was probably worth it overall. Not saying it was worth it for us since we missed hockey but I digress…This time though missing a season doesn’t gain you anything and Bettman needs to make sure that doesn’t happen.

  3. quizguy66 - Oct 8, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Fans should boycott Molson and let them know that this is why.

    -QG

  4. ballparkprints - Oct 8, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    The NHL players union president has a history of dealing with these lockouts. The owners need to read his resume and the ones that are nerves better start panicing

  5. ballparkprints - Oct 8, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    The NHL player’s union president has a history of dealing with these lockouts. The owners need to read his resume and the ones that are nervous better start panicking. I’m a life long (since 1958) hockey (NY Ranger) fan and I support the players, wish them well, but 6 less teams would make for a better product…

  6. atwatercrushesokoye - Oct 8, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    First off Bruce Garrioch is a horrible journalist, he was let go from Hockey Night in Canada cause in his segment he was always “hearing rumblings” of these outrageous trades that no one else had ever heard anything about.

    And while I truly hope that the owners cave and Bettman gets relieved of his duties, Bettman stacked the deck in his favor after the 94-95 lockout, he had the rules changed so he only needs 8 teams to agree with him and his position in order to keep this thing going until he gets exactly what he wants.

    So while it’s great the Garrioch’s “insider” (most likely Garrioch himself) says there’s 10 nervous teams, that’s still 13 short of being able to do anything about it.

  7. acieu - Oct 8, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    Effing unions ruination of humankind. Stomp on the miscreants Gary. Kick Fehrs pasty white ass!

    • wretchu - Oct 8, 2012 at 12:59 PM

      I assume you’d be fine going back to working 12 hours days in unsafe mines getting paid in tokens by the company and only being able to spend those tokens on housing and goods provided by the company you work for, right? And your kids? Yeah, they’re doing the same work too. What, you want weekends off? Screw that. You’ll get some time to go to church, but otherwise get your lazy butt to work. Get a crippling injury on the job? Sorry, jack, but now you’re fired. Have fun trying to find a new job.

  8. murtdurt - Oct 8, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    I think there are other ownership groups that are in the same boat that haven’t been mentioned. The penguins ownership of Lemieux and Burke (the latter who is a multi billionaire) do not care how much money the make or about forking over the money for players as evidenced by the Crosby signing. Also the owners of the Canucks, oilers and leafs are in the same boat.

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