Skip to content

Colin Wilson says Bettman was faking emotion last week

Dec 14, 2012, 11:24 AM EDT

colinwilsongetty Getty Images

Predators forward Colin Wilson thinks Gary Bettman is a good actor. But other than that, he doesn’t have many nice things to say about the NHL commissioner.

Thursday in an interview with the Winnipeg Sun, Wilson accused Bettman of putting on a show for reporters last week when talks between the owners and players broke down.

“When you saw him at his last press conference, that was him showing emotion? And he’s going, ‘I just feel so bad for the fans,’ things like that. No he doesn’t,” Wilson said. “He’s mad that his strategy isn’t working.”

The 23-year-old added: “I still think he came out trying to look mad, sway the media. That’s what they do. Everything they do is strategic. I’m pretty disgusted by it. I really don’t enjoy him. He doesn’t care for the game.”

When contacted by The Tennessean, Wilson refused to back down from his comments.

“[Bettman’s] job is to get the owners the best deal and to have the games being played,” he said, “but at the same time, he’s going to go out and do what’s best for his side, so if he wants to be portrayed as someone who is very caring about the game, he’s going to go out and he’s going to show emotion.

“It’s a strategy. It’s a strategy on our side of things as well. When he’s going out there everything is planned, he knows what he’s going to do. I don’t think he’s going to go out and absolutely lose it on everybody when he’s being paid a lot of money to do his job. So he went out and said what he had to say and everybody came out and said, ‘Bettman really does care.’ So hats off to him. He did what he sought out to do.”

  1. ducksk - Dec 14, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    1. Who is Colin Wilson? 2. Another player shooting his myth off is not going to help things. 3. Don’t think for a minute the owners aren’t making a list of who’s been naughty and nice. Note to players. Let your Fehr speak for you and keep your thoughts to your comrades. Constantly trying to win fan support by sniping at NHL ain’t working. Shut your pie holes please.

    • trick9 - Dec 14, 2012 at 11:45 AM

      He did have a point… do you really think Bettman cares about hockey? Or Fehr?

      • stakex - Dec 14, 2012 at 8:42 PM

        As unpopular as it might be to say, and as much as I hate to defend Bettman, I’m sure he does care about hockey. The success of the sport during his time as commissioner will determin how successful he was.

        While its hard for fans to accept right now, the current system is still broken. The owners were so focused on getting a salary cap last time they didn’t think of the huge loopholes they left (front loaded contracts), and the players share of HRR was too large. Thats a simple fact, and thats why we are in this mess right now. Not because Bettman or Fehr have it in for the sport.

    • rogersjd16 - Dec 14, 2012 at 11:57 AM

      He’s a pretty good 3rd year player. 35 points in 68 games. Anything else?

      • capesouth - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM

        What does a 23 year old know about anything, nevermind business and how to ‘read’ another person, like Bettman? I think he, like most players, is just impressionable and following suit with everyone else.

    • eyeh8goodell - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:38 PM

      Who is Colin Wilson? He’s a guy that actually plays in the league and has some clue as to what he’s talking about. Who the hell are YOU?

      • isithockeyseasonyet - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:08 PM

        Playing the game has very little if anything to do with the business side of things

    • hockeyflow33 - Dec 14, 2012 at 3:33 PM

      If you don’t know who hockey players are maybe you should try watching a few games. It does give us an understanding of why your posts never make sense though

  2. zetaone - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    Now we wait for the retraction and apology..

    • eyeh8goodell - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:39 PM

      Read the second half of the piece……the part where he refused to back down off his comments.

  3. rainyday56 - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    I believe Bettman does care about the NHL and his own long term vision of the league. Who is this lockout hurting the most besides the fans? The big market teams and the elite contract players are the ones who stand to lose the most money over this, and were the ones who made those ridiculous back diving deals heading to the close of the last CBA. Bettman had no choice but to close shop and tell them all to give their heads a shake – behind closed doors.

  4. poonking5000 - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    I think the real problem here is that lousy half-windsor he’s wearing…

  5. stangz11 - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    Oh you think he way faking for PR? How about that press conference that the players held telling everybody “oh the lockout is almost over, we’re really close”? That’s why he was pissed at that press conference. The players had no right to go out there and tell everybody they were close to make the NHL look like the bad guy. C’mon man…

    • eyeh8goodell - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:41 PM

      Why not? That’s what the NHL has been doing since the beginning of this process. C’mon man……..

      • ron05342 - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:49 PM

        stangz11 has it right. You are a fool.

      • eyeh8goodell - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:52 PM

        Very intelligent retort, Ron. How about when the owners released that offer on the NHL website for public consumption…………to make the players look bad for not accepting it. Now go sit in the corner and stare at the wall while the grownups talk.

      • stangz11 - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:57 PM

        Of course. Both sides are going to posture, so to call the other out on it is totally hypocritical. I don’t mind posturing and PR grabs, it’s a part of the game, but what I don’t want is somebody coming out and lying to me saying that the lockout is almost over. And then to say the other guy was “faking his anger”? What are you a mind-reader?

  6. capesouth - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    I don’t think that was fake at all. People are actually frustrated…hello? Wake up, Colin. This is the problem. Everyone thinks one side or the other is “out to get them” so genuine emotion or statements are skewed. Nothing is accepted at face value, which is a sketchy way to do business. No, each side just wants whats best for them. But now, it is becoming an issue where the PA’s agenda gets in the way of running a healthy business. That is what unions do. They want better deals for themselves, but as far as the big picture, that isn’t their concern. The owners are concerned about the big picture and having a viable league going forward. The players see it as the more money they are individually getting, the better..which is false because in reality, the league is going to hell in a hand-basket and isn’t financially stable. Ya, the players may be raking in the dough but that doesn’t make the NHL as a whole financially stable. Let the owners do their jobs, which is running and growing a business. The players are so selfish and dont even know it.

    • eyeh8goodell - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:49 PM

      The big picture huh? LOL that’s rich. All this lockout is about is placing the burden on the players for owner/front office mistakes and bad faith negotiations. Why does the league need a cap on contract length and back diving deals? Because the owners/gm screwed themselves up by offering them in the first place? Who was offering all those outrageous 10 year + deals this summer? The owners/gm’s. How about that offer by Snider to try and pry Weber away from Nashville? Where was all the concern for “the big picture” then? That’s what I thought. The owners want to place the financial burden on the players because they can’t trust themselves to maintain a budget and conduct their business in a fiscally responsible manner. Kinda makes you wonder how they got to be billionaires in the first place. Oh that’s right, they made their money in the crooked and corrupt financial industries that melted down this economy in the first place.

    • barby97 - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:48 PM

      the players have backed way down, they have given up more than the nhl.

  7. capesouth - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    What’s best for the PA isn’t necessarily what’s best for the entire league and long term growth. The players deserve a voice and a say to a degree. Now it is flat out greediness. The old system wasn’t working and the owners are trying to fix it. The PA has to accept that and accept the latest offer. The old way is not working and it’s why so many teams are losing money. That doesn’t matter to the players though, they just want theirs. Unions…

  8. eyeh8goodell - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    I love how some of you call the players “greedy”. The players aren’t fighting to get more, they’re the ones who have already agreed to take less…….much less. What they’re fighting to protect is the league completely bending them over with no vaseline. Try paying attention.

    • travishenryskid - Dec 14, 2012 at 1:01 PM

      Yeah, totally. The owners treat these players like animals. I don’t know how they manage. Their CBA is almost as bad as the NFL’s, that’s how bad it’s getting. Unbelievable, I know.

    • capesouth - Dec 14, 2012 at 3:06 PM

      Try taking off your NHLPA glasses, which are obviously distorting your view of reality here. Just TRY to consider the other side before commenting. The fact you’re still pulling for the NHLPA, when they have had plenty of chances to get a deal done and continue to be disorganized, nevermind a bunch of 23 year old know-nothings spouting off, is ridiculous.

      • hockeyflow33 - Dec 14, 2012 at 3:36 PM

        So because someone is 23 they are incapable of sound reasoning?

      • capesouth - Dec 14, 2012 at 4:12 PM

        When it comes to the business of this issue? Yes. When it comes to watching a press conf and then concluding that the guy giving the press conf was full of sh*t and just trying to trick everyone? Yes. He is incapable of sound reasoning. Maybe incapable is the wrong word…uninformed is probably better. He is capable of understanding but I guarantee he hasn’t done everything he needs to make an informed decision. So, he is just a biased player following the rest of the herd. That doesn’t give him any credibility when it comes to input on the finance behind this. The fact he even made a comment like that proves he is immature and incapable of actually understanding the real issues here. You actually think he, and most of these players sat down, crunched numbers, looked at the books of all these other failing teams, and then came to a accurate conclusion? Come on. No, that’s why they hired Fehr. Which is fine, nobody expects them to know all of this stuff but don’t go spouting off about it and calling the people who do know what they’re talking about liars.

  9. jhunter21 - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    Id say YAH, he does care about hockey a little. His f**king job depends on the success of the game. Majority of NHL players are morons trying to play the owner’s game and it won’t work.

    And how can a 23 year old kid can make any sort of comment towards someone over twice his age, twice his intelligence, and not be told by the NHLPA to keep his mouth shut?

    The president said it best, do right by the fans.

    • hockeyflow33 - Dec 14, 2012 at 3:37 PM

      Because being 62 or 21 has no bearing on someone’s intelligence.

    • barby97 - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:52 PM

      the players are the ones that would suffer most from a bad deal. They have given up much more than the NHL. do right by the fans, sure, but if thats unreasonable, than dont.

  10. millertime30 - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Don’t worry, Colin.. Fans know he doesn’t care about us or the game.

    I’ve pointed to it before, and I will again.. Roger Goodell (for all of his faults) lowered his own salary to $1 during the NFL lockout until a deal was reached. If Bettman actually cared about getting a deal done, he’d be willing to follow suit. (Spoiler: He doesn’t. So he won’t)

    • rockyspond - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:57 PM

      FYI both Bettman and Daly have not drawn a salary since the lockout started. Get your facts right.

      • millertime30 - Dec 14, 2012 at 1:00 PM

        hm. fair enough. hadn’t read that anywhere. i’ll thumbs down myself for you.

  11. blomfeld - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:56 PM


    I went and saw “Lincoln” the other night and you talk about acting ? … Daniel Day-Lewis was brilliant and therefore he has to be a shoo-in for Oscar this year ! In fact, so convincing was his performance throughout, that you find yourself almost forgetting it’s even him !

    As for this Wilson character and his allegations of Bettman stage acting ? Well suffice it to say friends that’s “exactly” what I’ve been suspecting from the start, as this entire affair is nothing but one big “stage act” in my humble opinion ! The thing that remains a mystery to me however, is the juncture that we’re currently at in this performance ?

    – has Bettman now run into a brick wall in terms of his “planned” delay to the start of the season ?

    – or is it that we’ve yet to reach Bettman’s “planned” delay to the start of the season ?

    Things are starting to look pretty grim now, as the next block of cancelled games is likely to kill any remaining chance that we have left for play this year. And yet despite that, I still retain hope that somehow this will end in an agreement and that we will have hockey this season … even if it now only starts in January.

  12. ducksk - Dec 14, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    eyeh8goodell. Your right! You know all. I’m sorry. Who am I? Well you don’t know that one, so I guess you don’t know everything? I do know this, I love hockey. And sometimes she’s like a German chick. And you? I don’t care who you are, you can’t bully people on this site because “you know it all”. You may be surprised if you knew some of
    The folks on here your talking to. Bully.

    • blomfeld - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:44 PM

      Like a German chick ?

      ducksk – hey man, I agree with what you’re saying and all … but what do you have against German chicks ?

  13. wethog66 - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Both sides, Players and Owners, are fake and full of ****. They both need to settle their little cat fight and get back to playing hockey already.

  14. irokkit - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    @ d-cucks-ucker


    Who are you to bash a 23 year old that plays on the NHL?

    Can you? NO, I presume.

    See opening line

  15. acieu - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    At 23 I knew it all also. Dipstick couldn’t balance his own checkbook.

  16. irokkit - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    @ eye8hgoddel

    Your post about fiscally responsible ( or there the lack of…)
    Is spot on to me. I am in full agreement with you.
    However, your final sentence…hmmm, shows lack of vision on your part. All your statements previous to that become a wash. You come off sounding calm and inline until that final sentence. You then instantly become bitter and judgemental.
    Thus making your opinion discredited.

  17. ducksk - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    I know who he is. A player in the league not for 2 years. He makes 875k and yes had 35 points. My point is, his remarks, and his long history with the league and its history , should know enuff to keep his comments to his comrades . It does not help the situation. And for those of you that say GB don’t care about hockey, man are you wrong. Frustrated? Aren’t we all?

  18. shotzongoal - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    And you decide you’re going to make this claims a week after Bettmen’s comments. Wilson, you may be a great acting critic and able to tell the difference but what do you really think you gained by your comments. The battle is not in the media and at this point it doesn’t matter anyway. Instead of this why don’t you call Fehr and tell him to make a deal.

  19. dprouse - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    Unlike that lifelong hockey fan Don Fehr, who cares so deeply for the game. Give me a break – none of this is about who loves the game more, who is more sincere, who is showing respect, etc. etc. This is a business dispute, plain and simple. As the mafia says, “Nothing personal, just business.”

  20. ducksk - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    “I love German chicks, but sometimes they don’t love you back.” Look up the quote. Classic! .

  21. northstars17 - Dec 14, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    facking right boys!

  22. omniusprime - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    Like all NHL players Colic Wilson thinks that they’re supposed to use the instructions for Head On for their hockey sticks – Apply directly to the forehead! Ha Ha Ha

    I’m so gratified to see both sides doing nothing but playing the blame game, what did you expect these NHL clowns to actually act like reasonable adults? Whether it’s Bettman or Wilson or any of the owners they’ve all acted like spoiled little rich brats, the 1% scum. If they can’t sit down like reasonable adults then they deserve to have no season whatsoever.

    Na na na na, Na na na na, Hey-ey Goodbye!!! The Fat Lady is clearing her pipes to sing the demise of the NHL season!!!

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1604)
  2. P. Kane (1280)
  3. S. Matthias (1122)
  4. D. Carcillo (1042)
  5. C. Ehrhoff (1020)