Hockey Needs a New Commissioner

Published on 03-Nov-2012 by J Square Humboldt
NHL / NHL Daily Opinion

Is this now the real brand of hockey?

Two work stoppages in five years is unacceptable. If a commissioner has it happen on his watch, he's not competent enough for the position.

I mean, really, Gary Bettman has got to bring his conscience to the party at some point! How, with a straight face, can he represent a group of owners who were signing players to über-lucrative contracts only days before locking them out with a demand to roll back the salaries they just promised? Is he that spineless? Does he have that little influence in the back rooms?

Last season, hockey got hot. NBC took over Versus and brought visibility to that network's featured sport: hockey. The second-largest market in the USA went bonkers when their Kings won their first Stanley Cup. Ratings were up. The Coyotes even looked like someone wanted to spend money on them! The Winter Classic continues to draw viewers away from bowl games and has become destination viewing in its own right. (OK, Columbus is still holding judgment on the Jackets until they put a buckeye into their logo, but Rome wasn't built in a day.)

Where in any business leader's mind does a work stoppage make sense in that scenario?

That's clearly a rhetorical question. Only a commissioner with a strong grip on his office could make it otherwise.

And that's why hockey fans aren't holding their breath for resolution anytime soon.

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