History. That lovely little abstract that tends to bite people in the backside when they forget about it. Back in 2009, Gary Bettman went on the NHL Hour and attempt to explain his position regarding the Phoenix Coyotes remaining in Arizona, and staying afloat as a NHL franchise. Now hockey fans, this quote comes directly from the Commissioner’s mouth.
“As Commissioner of the NHL, my role is to enforce the league rules, policies and procedures. For the good of the clubs, the health of the League, and the support of our fans, I will do the right thing and apply the rules as they have always been applied.” (Still with me hockey fans?) “In the final analysis, what we do is all about, really, our fans. Our fans play an essential role in all the decisions that we make. You support our clubs and we have a commitment to you. We don’t run out on our fans when issues arise with our clubs. We fix the problems.”
Well Gary, fix it! I admit, you are not one of my favorite people on the planet right now. When I was doing research on another article, I found the above quote. Commissioner, you saw one season cut in half, you saw a second season obliterated, and you are willing to do this again. Yes, I know to an extent you are nothing more than a mouthpiece for the Board of Governors. However, you are the face of corporate greed. That face of greed that spits in the face of the fans.
The fans. You know Gary, those silly little people that (and these are your words) “play an essential role in all the decisions that we make.” So, how long will it take for you to acknowledge the anger of those people you have a commitment to? How long will it take you and the Board of Governors to realize that this one is all on the league and its owners? How long before you realize that you might have crossed a very dangerous line with the fan base? Probably two days after you DO cross it.