Bettman Has To Go
The only way that the NHL lockout is going to be settled in a timely manner is for this to go through a third party arbitrator, and seeing as this will not happen it’s time for the owners to can Bettman.
Since Bettman took over as league commisioner he has seen 2 teams relocate, 1 team not be able to meet payroll, had to have the league run one team for a season, saw another team declare Chapter 11 protection for the second time in it’s history, and overexpanded so badly that guys like Rico Fata are quality NHL Players now due to the thinned talent pool by insane expansion.
The problem came the day Bettman was hired, he’s an NBA business man, not an NHL business man. I remember there being an article in The Hockey News Yearbook back YEARS ago with an interview with Gary and he had a sculpture of a juggler..the balls were numbered 66, 99 and 45 and he flat out said to the reporter “These numbers represent the best players in our game…Lemieux, Gretzky and Dionne (in reference to GILBERT not Marcel!). I sidetracked myself with that little story..I’m sure Gary knows better now.
Anyway, the NBA has a GOOD national broadcasting contract, where all the teams will make money from the TV endorsements, the NHL basically is paying ABC to show games in the US, and with Bettman’s firm stance on no cap – no game he’s going to have egg on his face because the players aren’t going to back down.
The answer to the situation is Brian Burke, Burke IS a hockey businessman (he did take a franchise that was losing money and made it make a profit), he actually has an understanding for the game as a former player, players agent, general manager and recently media personality with reviews in hockey magazines and on Hockey Night in Canada.
Burkes proposal that we all have read is a fair solution for both sides in the agreement, and if somehow the sides involved in this lockout come to an agreement like this then Burke deserves the credit.
In closing I just want to say Brian Burke for President in 2004!