Wednesday, February 16, 2005



In the immortal words of General M. Bison:


NHL Commissioner, and resident clueless deer-in-headlights, Gary Bettman made the announcement today on the NHL website: (My own interjections in parenthesis)

“Every professional sports League owes its very existence to its fans. Everyone associated with the National Hockey League owes our fans an apology for being unable to accomplish what is necessary for our game and our fans. We are truly sorry. "

(Gary, we do not accept your apology, and this will have consequences as the NHL’s revenues will shrink in future years. You should be ashamed for letting the NHL to get itself into this mess with your weak leadership skills and lack of foresight)

"Five months ago, I stated that the National Hockey League could not function without an economic system that will bring our League into the 21st Century. I said that our 30 Clubs were united in their dedication to an economic system under which the teams and players, sharing common objectives and a commitment to our fans' satisfaction, would work together as partners.”

(The NHL could function if the majority of teams were run as well as the New Jersey Devils, the Nashville Predators, or the Vancouver Canucks. The NHL could function if the majority of teams didn’t hire ex-players who had little or no clue about economics and business in general. If you were truly concerned about fans’ satisfaction, then why did you allow the on-ice product to deteriorate to such a low level?

Good business practices are not ‘20th century’, they apply to all periods! If the NHL wants to be in the 21st century, then I suggest certain NHL teams start hiring like a true business, and not through the old-boys network)

"The time since then has been devoted to the pursuit of that goal. Today, I can tell you that our determination remains every bit as strong as it was in September to secure the partnership required to protect and ensure the future of the League ... for the benefit of the Clubs, the Players, and our devoted fans.”

(Partnership? It’s blatantly obvious that you want nothing short of breaking the union to your iron will. A real partnership would have genuine revenue sharing between the clubs. I see no team spirit on either count!
I guess this also means that we won’t be seeing NHL hockey for a long time.)

"When I stood before you in September, I said NHL teams would not play again until our economic problems had been solved. As I stand before you today, it is my sad duty to announce that because that solution has not yet been attained, it no longer is practical to conduct even an abbreviated season. Accordingly, I have no choice but to announce the formal cancellation of play for 2004-05. "

(Gary, anyone with a functioning brain can see that even your CBA proposal would not solve the economic problems in certain markets. You are certainly right in that the NHL was in a financial mess in many places. The fact is, you looked at the wrong solutions and went about ‘solving’ this mess in the worst possible manner.)

"We profoundly regret the suffering this has caused our fans, our business partners and the thousands of people who depend on our industry for their livelihoods. We will continue to explore and pursue all available options in order to achieve a successful resolution to this dispute and to get the best game in the world back where it belongs -- on the ice, in front of the best fans in the world."

(Translation: We’ll go to the labour relations boards and look to get them to declare this an ‘impasse’)

"This is a sad, regrettable day that all of us wish could have been avoided."

(I agree. It’s too bad that it had to come to this.

Gary, I hope you are polishing your resume right about now, because you’ll be looking for a job in the not-too-distant future. You have allowed the NHL to run itself to ruin on and off the ice. I cannot think of too many business leaders that have done a job as poorly as you have during your NHL tenure.)

You know, I thought you were going to say that the NHL 2004-05 season is like Raul Julia: DEAD.
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