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Bettman calls report suggesting owner discontent a “fabrication”

Nov 19, 2012, 11:14 AM EDT

Gary Bettman and Ed Snider AP

On Saturday, Flyers owner Ed Snider called a report in the Philadelphia Daily News “erroneous.”

On Sunday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman called it a “fabrication.”

According to the report, which relied on anonymous sources, Snider had “soured” on the NHL’s lockout strategy and was pushing behind the scenes to resolve it.

“It was a fabrication,” said Bettman in an exclusive interview with the Winnipeg Free Press. “Ed Snider is the one who told me about the article when he found out about it and he was terribly upset. He’s in Europe and it was his idea to put out a statement. Anyone who doubts the resolve of ownership is either uninformed or (being) intentionally misleading.”

The reporter, Frank Seravalli, stands by his story.

Regardless of the report’s accuracy or inaccuracy, calling it a “fabrication” won’t garner Bettman much support in the media, which is traditionally protective of its brethren and has been quick to defend Seravalli.

  1. flyeredup - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    C’mon Gary, shut this league down!

  2. tmoore4075 - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    And the Coyotes were not in financial trouble back in 2009. And the Coyotes were not close to going back to Winnipeg. And the move of the Thrashers was pure speculation. I understand why he deflects this stuff but the more you are found out to not be truthful the more you are gonna get hit by the media later.

  3. fortwaynekomets - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    so who’s rooting for Notre Damm football?

  4. travishenryskid - Nov 19, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    It’s hard to believe that there wouldn’t be certain owners who are incredibly displeased with Bettman. He’s hurting the sport right now, and even if they get the deal Bettman wants, only certain franchises really benefit. I really Bettman gets the boot when this is all over.

    • ron05342 - Nov 19, 2012 at 12:28 PM

      All indications and past history has shown the owners are in love with Bettman. Is your opinion that Bettman gets the boot wishful thinking on your part? Because he’s been there 20 freakin’ years and that isn’t going to change until he wishes to retire. That is quite obvious.

      • hockeywithdrawal - Nov 19, 2012 at 1:09 PM

        Hard to say it’s completely wishful thinking. Part of Bettman’s job entails maintaining a certain level of respect and trust for and from the league’s participants….all of them. He has lost the respect of the players (never had any FOR them anyway) and the fans (again…never had any FOR them anyway) and as such can only be minimally effective at a good portion of his job. He should be gone, he is doing the sport no good.

        Case in point…it was already hard to enjoy any presentation of the Stanley Cup BEFORE this, the booing of Bettman was so loud. Think about how it will be going foward. Now, imagine you are watching the presentation of the cup with a child, who asks who that man is, and why everyone hates him.

        The only real answer there is “because he deserves it”.

      • travishenryskid - Nov 19, 2012 at 1:27 PM

        To answer your question, yes, it is wishful thinking.

  5. id4joey - Nov 19, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    A report fabricated by the PA no doubt. Well, maybe not but it wouldn’t be the first time a story is fabricated to wreak havoc within the ranks of the opposition.

    • elvispocomo - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:08 PM

      I doubt it’s either pure fabrication or a negotiating ploy driven by the NHLPA. From what I’ve heard of Seravalli, he’s not the type to make things up or play one side or the other.

      Maybe some Philly fans can contribute (I wouldn’t demean any fanbase by calling flyeredup one of them, whether from Philly or not) to what they see of his articles being local and if they fit that profile or not.

  6. pastabelly - Nov 19, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Bettman is one of those guys who believes that he is always the smartest man in any room that he is in. At the end of the day, he will go down as the commissioner responsible for the most serious labor problems the league has known. If this season winds up getting lost, it will be a total fail for Bettman. But that’s his strategy and the strategy of the owners in locking out the players.

    • valoisvipers - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:31 PM

      When Bettman is in the room with Herr Fehr and his gang of high school dropouts it does make him the smartest man in the room even if you and I are in that room too.

      • elvispocomo - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:39 PM

        Well, you got one part of that statement right. When you’re in a room even the lightbulbs get dimmer.

  7. valoisvipers - Nov 19, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Fabricated or not, Gary only needs 7 owner’s support as the league owns the Yotes and Gary gets that vote and mine.

    • tatdue - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:10 PM

      Then that makes you an idiot too!…..

      • valoisvipers - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:32 PM

        Back at ya Tatoo. The truth hurts eh.

      • tatdue - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:18 PM

        That come back just showed your age…..Be sure to stay in school kid, high school might not be everything but it’s something…..Oh ya the “8 owners thing” – “just remember that having common knowledge is not the same as having common sense” – Hang on to that it might help you out when you’re done with school….. ;)

      • valoisvipers - Nov 19, 2012 at 10:53 PM

        @tatoo You are right on again. I have been out of high school for forty years and counting. So go tell your Boss the plane boss the plane. Are you a close friend of miss mud? You know, birds of feather flock together. So flock off A-hole

    • elvispocomo - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:11 PM

      So which team are you an owner of then? Ah, I see, you aren’t an owner, so him having your support is as useful as tits on a bull.

      The 7 owners (considering Phoenix) is true enough though, and one of the major stumbling blocks to any owner driven change of stance so long as Jacobs and the others who support what’s going on now continue to keep voting the same way.

      • valoisvipers - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:27 PM

        Having teats not tits on a bull would make him quite rare and therefor very valuable.It is safe to say that I own as many teams as you do but at least you(unlike tatoo or what ever his name is) did get the point of my post being Gary only needs 7 owners to bull the players and it’s PA around the ring by their noses.It is Gary that wields the Excalibur Sword and that friends is etched in stone.

      • elvispocomo - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:40 PM

        I meant it when I said tits – you wouldn’t screw a bull just because it had nice breasts would you? It certainly wouldn’t help you milking it.

        But since you’re fond of correcting metaphors, here’s something for your Excalibur comment:

        No matter how much he swings Excalibur it won’t do anything but chop off the heads of dissenting owners and star players. Without star players the NHL loses more revenue than any lockout and enough unhappy owners means potential for a revolt, so he’d be wise to use his pen to do his talking instead.

  8. bmscalise - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    The sad part is – the “resolve” GB refers to is a resolve not to back down, when the owners really should be “resolved” to make a deal. And the same could be said of the players. The language is really apparent and demonstrates the toxicity of these negotiations from the get-go.

    Both sides approached this CBA as a “war” – rather than an opportunity to improve circumstances for both partners in a symbiotic relationship. So “war” and its consequences are what you get. Neither Bettman nor Fehr can imagine any other way to approach an issue than kill or be killed.

  9. valoisvipers - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    @elvispocomo No I wouldn’t screw a bull if it had nice tits as I wouldn’t want your sloppy seconds.

    • handsofsweed - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:30 PM

      And….that’s IT? That’s ALL? You get completely pieced-up by two different people and that comment is all you’ve got? Sit down, son. Put a bag of frozen peas over your purple, closed eye socket, grab a beer and call it a day. There will be better days ahead, once you heal up and figure this thing out.

      • elvispocomo - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:36 PM

        Haha! Might be a good time to re-evaluate his game plan, I agree.

    • elvispocomo - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:35 PM

  10. jimw81 - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Classic Bettman Bully tactics. I live in the philly area, Seravalli is one of a few good reporters that covers the team on a daily basis. he isn;’t bias like larry brooks who can’t write a article finding any faults with NHLPA.

    • elvispocomo - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:55 PM

      I was asking about Seravalli’s reputation in Philly further up the comments. Good to hear he does have a reasonable expectation at having some truth in his article – regardless of whether it was misunderstood or just Snider telling more than he meant.

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