Fighting is “integral to the way the game is played,” according to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman,
“nobody has a divine right” to a second franchise in the Toronto market.”
“We’re not going to encourage or allow teams to play games,” Bettman said.
You know, credibility is a hard thing to earn, and even harder to maintain. These three comments by the Commissioner are ludicrous. Let’s look at them one by one:
To say fighting is an integral part of hockey is, in my opinion nuts especially given his previous stances on the matter. I want to be there when the first player dies in a hockey fight and the they call the count up to the stand, as the league is being sued and he tries to say out outraged he is and appalled at the actions of the player who threw the killer punch when the defense attorney gets up and asks him to read this direct quote. Let me make this clear. I am not anti-fighting. I don’t think it should be banned. However this “integral part of the game” stuff is nuts. Skating, passing, body contact- all are integral. How is something that is punishable integral? If you can get kicked out of a game for doing it, how do you define it as an integral part? From my perspective, fighting is a necessary evil(again, I like watching the odd tussle, don’t get wrong). The threat of getting your butt kicked in a fight keeps people honest. There is a difference between a good fight and a dumb one. The majority I have seen this year (not scene) have been the dumb kind, but that more a product of whom the Leafs “tough” guy is….. Call a spade a spade. I think calling fighting integral to hockey is insulting.
The second line is a direct shot at RIM head hauncho Jim Balsille. Again, ENOUGH already. This is just getting plain old stupid. You have a very wealthy owner who wants into the club. For the most part (present charges excluded) he isn’t a crook. Or at least he hasn’t been charged with a crime in which incarceration is the penalty. Compared to the other clowns that Bettman’s crack due diligence team has allowed into the club this guy is a saint. He has cash, he loves the game, oh and he heads a tech company that could change the way fans interact with the players/game. Having the head of a major tech company like RIM own a team would be a great thing. Look at the Caps and all that they do because their owner is deeply involved in technology. Give it up, already. Find a way for this guy to get a team. As for the Toronto part, why would you want a 2nd team in a market that can support it? That would be stupid! I mean why not have more teams in markets where $17 tickets (complete with gas cards, parking and food) aren’t enough to fill the building? Time to get progressive and move on.
The last one is the best. We aren’t allowing people to play games??? Oh, you mean like current owners who are part of your executive team loaning money to other owners so in fact they are principal owners of more then one team at a time? Those aren’t the games you are playing?? Allowing teams to spend the absolute minimum so they can steal money from other teams via revenue sharing, those games? Allowing owners to personally buy tickets to guarantee their teams hit those minimums? Papering the house isn’t a game right Count Bettman?
These comments are insulting. Try speaking the truth next time, you will get much higher approval ratings…