NHL Lockout: Bill Daly Must Help Gary Bettman See the Light

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistOctober 26, 2012

NHL vice president Bill Daly has been described as a reasonable man.
NHL vice president Bill Daly has been described as a reasonable man.Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Is there another NHL voice that needs to be heard?

When it comes to the NHL lockout, even President Barack Obama has an opinion, as he told nighttime talk-show buffoon Jay Leno that the two sides need to come to an agreement. (Now there's a Harvard education coming to the forefront.)

But Gary Bettman doesn't seem to be interested in ending the lockout.

He seems to be interested in bringing the players to their knees so he can claim victory and get a round of "Attaboys" from the owners that employ him. If there's one less month of hockey or one less season of hockey, who cares? Bettman wants his victory.

Nearly every statement that comes out of Bettman's mouth indicates that the last thing on his mind is building up the sport of hockey. He seems to enjoy flexing his tiny muscles whenever he gets the chance.

It's time for another man to step up.

Bill Daly is the NHL's vice president and his chief legal officer. As Steve Fehr is to NHLPA chief Donald Fehr, Daly is to Bettman.

By most accounts, Daly is a reasonable man who has an understanding of the big picture.

Daly is Bettman's second-in-command and he has the ability to walk into Bettman's office any time he wants, according to CBC.ca. When Daly has something to say to Bettman, his boss listens attentively to him.

Daly is also seen as a tough but fair adversary by the NHLPA. He is respected for his people skills, something that is not said about Bettman.

It is time for Daly to start using his influence to settle the lockout. He has to know that the best interests of the sport are served by getting the players back on the ice and getting the 2012-13 season started.

Bettman may want to "win" the lockout but a reasonable thinker knows that the longer it takes for that to happen the worse it is for the sport.

Bettman has sacrificed a season before; it would be foolhardy to think it won't happen again.

Daly has to make sure Bettman understands the damage that is being done to the sport and push the negotiation process between the NHL and NHLPA. Up to this point, Bettman's take-it-or-leave-it way of doing business has been crass an ineffective.

Perhaps Daly can use his people skills to make the process move faster.

This may be risky for Daly because it could alienate his boss.

But there are times when the greater good have to be considered. If Daly is as intelligent as many have described him, it's time for him to use his influence on Bettman to unlock the stalemate and get the two sides back to the table for serious talks.