I have always believed that Bettman was good for the NHL

During the strikes, I was on Bettman's side all the way

Re : "I have always believed that Bettman was good for the NHL"

Is it lonely at the meetings?

beats me, I have never been invited, which is also probably good for the NHL

Bettman has lasted 25yrs and has grown the NHL exponentially, while balancing the whims of billionaire owners.

He delivers. The fans support him too, otherwise the numbers would say the opposite.

Oh yeah - I forgot to add: it's not a popularity contest.

Yeah I agree FYB.
He's been an unbelievably successful commissioner both from an ownership and players perspective. He's grown incomes, the game, the exposure for all concerned. Annoying to many in mannerisms etc but quite brilliant.
Goes to show that your innate knowledge of the sport has virtually nothing to do with success as commissioner.
Doubt that he can even skate.

Although Bettman, as good as he seems to be as an executive for the league for monetary purposes, seems to be a dancer in terms of concussions in hockey:

NHL's Top Exec Strongly Rebuked For False Claims On Concussions

Bettman might also want to think of this:

Concussion Fears Keep Parents From Letting Kids Play Popular Sports, Survey Shows

As stories of professional athletes — particularly former NFL players — showing signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) continue to crop up front and center, more parents are keeping their children from participating in contact sports. A new survey that shows the breakdown of which sports are taking the most heat finds that less than 20 percent of parents will allow their kids to play football, along with several others.

In March, the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) helped commission an online poll in which 1,188 parents were asked if they would permit their children to participate in athletics, given the risk of concussion....

Parents who allowed their kids to compete expressed that their preferred sports for their offspring to play were basketball (66 percent), baseball (63 percent), and soccer (57 percent).

Meanwhile, the number of parents who permitted children to participate in rougher contact sports was far lower: football (18 percent), lacrosse (17 percent), hockey (12 percent), and rugby (6 percent)


Although since this is an American study, hockey may have started off lower anyways as a sport of interest in parents' minds.

Expecting Gary Bettman to proclaim that hockey can cause concussions is like expecting the CEOs of car companies to proclaim that car accidents kill people.

Always gonna be a disconnect there, don't you think?

True enough Iconic, it would almost be a conflict of interest for him or any commissioner to admit any association without extremely solid evidence backed up by many, many studies. That's how you can use evidence based medicine or science methodology to your advantage, either not enough "rigorous" studies or enough "rigorous" studies to justify what outcome you want, not in all but many cases where the evidence is open to some debate. It's a game really. And it's all population based meaning that all the studies in the world may not apply to your individual circumstance ie. in the case of concussions, not everyone will sustain long term brain damage from a concussion and there is no way to know who will or will not sustain long term brain damage. Some people just heal better than others as we know.

He has been terrible for the NHL... of the 4 major sports leagues, they sit 4th, which is where they were when he became commissioner, and its still a distant 4th. Gretzky did more for the game with the trade to LA than Bettman has... don't give him any credit, because he doesn't deserve any... not going to South Korea, and looking iffy for China is bad PR for the NHL, the pros need to go to the games to raise the profile of the game around the world. Soccer will be the #1 sport in the world, but with right promotion, the NHL and the game of hockey in general could greatly benefit from a compelling and intense Winter Games tournament. Whoever wins the Stanley Cup this year, you can count on one thing... they will boo Bettman lustily, because the majority of fans can't stand him.

He has been terrible for the NHL... of the 4 major sports leagues, they sit 4th, which is where they were when he became commissioner, and its still a distant 4th.
True sambo but think of soccer and how many more kids play soccer than do hockey in the US, not even close I would say. Yes, soccer was never able to materialize on a pro spectator type of league until the MLS came along but my guess, and I have no stats, is that the MLS may be/could be closing the gap on the NHL as "major league" spectator sport no. 4 in the US. That I do not know.

The NHL has done pretty darn good for themselves considering how few youngsters play the game in the US compared with baseball, basketball, football and soccer. So I don't see how you can blame Bettman for anything but being pretty astute in a tough climate with so few kids playing, albeit we do know hockey is becoming more popular with youth in the US but it's a game for people with money there, maybe here as well in Canada, an expensive sport to put your kid into although not sure how the high school hockey scene in the US is money wise for kids to play. Not sure, up here if you're really serious you don't play high school hockey (I was able to play high school hockey coming from house league but didn't have a chance in heck to play Junior B for example, Junior B was thousands times tougher than high school but not sure the situation nowadays, I played high school hockey 1969-74) but get your kid into expensive youth rep leagues. A different thing.

If not going to the olympics hasn't helped them ..then considering you said they haven't moved from 4th place then all the years they were at the olympics hasn't helped them either.

Yes, the NHL doesn't need the Olympics at all but the Olympics needs the NHL much moreso I'd say. Bettman is right to make the Olympics come to them for a deal that makes sense to the NHL, if not, then Bettman is right, don't need you Olympics.

I think the NHL's most obvious problem is that it's not anorthern-centric league.

I'm afraid to ask...
How so?

If the fans had a say in Gary Bettman contract renewals, Bettman would definitely be in lots of trouble. However - seeing as Bettman is renewed by billionaire owners who measure him by how much money he makes them - as such Bettman is golden.

In other words, it doesn’t matter what our opinion of Bettman is.

I think it has helped them to a certain degree... Bettman just doesn't see the benefit. They have tried the World Cup of Hockey, but no one outside of Canada seemed to be too interested, played during the pre-season. Olympics are much bigger stage, something that greatly benefits the NHL brand, and hockey in general. I believe the NHL and Olympics need each other, to grow the game, especially in one the worlds biggest untapped markets- China. Sure the owners like Bettman, because he helps them make $$$... so the game has grown, thanks to the greats that have played in the States... Gretzky, Lemiuex, Crosby & Ovechkin.

Wouldn't you rather watch teams in Seattle, Portland, Wisconsin, Quebec City, etc than Florida, Carolina or Anaheim?

People call the CFL a mickey mouse league, but it is only the NHL that has, had a team named after a Disney franchise.

That’s what I love though about the CFL that it has a smaller number of teams than the “majors” and if that means it’s “mickey mouse” well, who cares, I don’t.

The NHL became just another “major” league with all the teams and so many players it has now and it’s one reason I don’t follow it nearly as closely as our “mickey mouse” CFL. I love the smallness of the CFL. It’s has an intimate feel where leagues with double and triple the number of teams just comes across to me as a big sports business albeit I still do follow the “majors” somewhat, just not a lot.

Two words, horrible commish.
Only interested in the business end of this league and has no appreciation for the history and to include Canadian cities.
His business decisions are questionable at best, especially the gross over expansion of the league to the sunbelt and which by and large has been a disaster with most teams and the league hemorrhaging big time.

How is that a dumb answer? I may not have spelt in out for you, but people want to watch historic franchises or at least teams with passionate fan bases.

There's a reason the NHL has a US television contract that is dwarfed by the other leagues. People want ice in their martinis, not what the NHL offers.

The NHL is only kept afloat by Canadians.