Gary Bettman just doesn't seem to understand social cues. At all. Every single time he hands out the Stanley Cup, he is booed. Every time he appears in public in front of fans, he is booed. The commissioner of the NHL must be a glutton for punishment, because he just doesn't seem to know when to disappear and/or put his foot in his mouth.
I was only seven at the time, but if I had to guess if Bettman was booed before the 1994 work stoppage, I'd guess yes. I certainly know he was booed after the second work stoppage of his tenure, and I can only imagine the insults returning NHL fans will rain on him after his third labor stoppage.
I feel like I can speak for all hockey fans when I say that we got our fill of Bettman throughout the lockout. For the next year of my life I will wake up in cold sweats with the words "we are still very far apart" echoing through my bed chambers.
So the wise thing for the NHL's leading businessperson to do, upon ending his lockout hat trick, would have been to vanish for a few weeks while letting the games on the ice do the talking, as always.
Instead, he had to send one more political, media-centric, gee-look-at-me moment, in front of the press. Yes, he had to issue an apology to the NHL fans. And "partners", owners, and so on.
Here are a few reasons Gary should just quit apologizing.