Gary Bettman, What Have You Done?

Steven J. WardContributor IFebruary 28, 2009

Having grown up an avid fan of hockey or more appropriate the National Hockey League it was a season we couldn't wait to begin. The Red Sox were put away usually by mid-September and the Bruins training camp was just around the corner.

Friends and I would place the tops on our shoe-box full of baseball cards, sliding them under our beds and grab sticks,and tape balls out to start refining our slap-shots, and believe me there was always some refining to do. (that is once we found our slap-shots)

Big Bad Bruins: Those were the days; nobody came into our Garden and out-skated or out hit us, nobody! but many teams tried yet, unlike what we see today, not one team, league-wide, quit!

The National Hockey League was made up of gritty, home grown players who realized just how fortunate they were to have gained a roster spot most realised, especially those rough and tumble Canadian boys, that the only alternative to playing hockey was assuming their fathers and grandfathers careers a hundred feet underground amid the bleak and darkened depths and unforseen dangers inherent to working the mines.In this stead they happily sacrificed anything in their power to remain ice-level.

I once heard a story about a feisty, fan favorite from the Bruins, Derek (TURK), Sanderson whose father decided his son was indeed ready to join the NHL when a jar kept upon his mantel was full to the brim with stitches removed from his son's person.

Turk was not only a matinee idol in Boston but a player loved and respected not to mention despised thoughout the league, a sure sign of stardom! It was indeed this type of individual the game was made for and the list is endless in every hockey-city period!

If today's NHL was inplay back then these kids wouldn't have a chance because they hit too hard, play too aggressive and God forbid, dare to react with fisticuffs.

Walk into any NHL city in North America when a fight arises, or even when the pace is at break neck with crushing body checks delivered at will and the fans are on their feet cast in wild expectation.

We as a society love the physical despite Mr. Bettmans grand plan to rid the game of such drastic emotional break-downs, we cheer our hero's who come to the rescue of mates in peril while he (Bettman) will have no-such-a thing happen!

As a result no interest, and no interest means-a shrinking fan base which means no TV deals which transpires into NO-MONEY! That is just an over-view but the numbers do not lie.

I have always been amused by the fact that one of the most pugilistic N.H.Ler of his time is now the very one Bettman choose to dole out the punishment to present day pugilists. Colin Campbell. What a prime example of one selling his soul.

We are left with a mere shadow of our once spectacular game, will anyone come forward to save it before That comedic Gnome finally flushes it away for good? Stay tuned and the next time your fortunate enough to find a televised hockey game mute the sound so you don't have to listen to those blasted non-stop whistles!