There is a very good chance that the NHL is going to have their third lockout under the leadership of Gary Bettman. Another dubious honor Bettman holds is that the NHL is the only professional sport to lose an entire season due to a work stoppage.
Jack Todd, Montreal Gazette --- You get the feeling that Gary Bettman loves his lockouts. This is Bettman’s thing. Shut down the league. Grind the players to powder. Go back to the owners and get his own salary bumped up for having satisfied the owners’ greed.Again, I am sure that most of us would have more empathy for the owners if the NHL had not made 3.3 billion dollars last season. Also, I am sure the owners would get more sympathy from the fans if the owners weren’t signing players to ridiculous salaries like they have this off-season.
Then come back five or 10 years later and say that the salary system he shut down the league to get is unworkable, so he has to shut it down again. Why? Because he wants to. Because he can.
Last time round, it seemed like the owners had a case. We were on the fence, until the latter stages of the lockout, when Bettman morphed into Richard M. Nixon.
This time, it is Bettman who has presented an entirely irrational plan, one the NHLPA would be mad to accept — and it is PA executive director Donald Fehr who responded with a response so rational, so well thought out, that we actually hoped Bettman might accept it, at least as a starting point for a new approach.