Gary Bettman knows how to win the battle.
He almost always comes out on top in his negotiations.
But in winning each individual battle, he may be losing the war.
No sports commissioner was met with such universal enmity as Bettman was during the NHL lockout. Bettman stood up for the hard-line owners who wanted to cut back the percentages that were paid to players and he won that battle convincingly.
But that was not enough for Bettman. He had to rub the players' face in it.
In doing so, he turned off even more people and the level of animus between the players and Bettman, the fans and Bettman and at least some of the owners and Bettman has never been stronger.
Bettman may or may not survive.
Here's a look at five realistic candidates who could probably move into the commissioner's office if Bettman gets dismissed or walks away from the job.