Wake up, Gary Bettman!: How to Save the NHL

Mark MarinoSenior Analyst INovember 28, 2007

IconDo we have your attention now, sir?


Of course not, I didn't think so.

Let me speak on behalf of the thousands of hockey fans across the globe:

You've done some good for your league, but I can't begin to express the negative impact you've made upon this once-prestigious sport. 

I could go on and on about your pitiful decisions—let alone your absurd rationalizations about how you tried to "save" the NHL.

But I'll be succinct:

Gary Bettman, you're a disgrace.

I won't even bring up the 2004 "season," when your inability to successfully negotiate a salary cap with the players' union killed NHL hockey for an entire year.

There have been two holdouts, in fact, in 10 years under your reign. But that's neither here or there.

You've had 13 years to clean up your act, Gary. While the implementation of the new NHL rules was a decent first step, it wasn't nearly enough.

In Boston—one of the Original-Six cities—the Bruins can only be seen on Versus, or the local network NESN.

My two cents: Take some of that money and put the NHL on a nationally-televised station.

It's the first principle of marketing, Gary: Give the people what they want.

Let's say we give you a clean slate from here on out. As agonizing as it may be for me, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

But do your job!

Icon Sports MediaViolent play around your league is putting young players in jeopardy. Take a look at Philly—the Flyers are dirty and stupid.

Put your foot down, big man. Demand some accountability. Hand out fines and stiffer suspensions.

You can make such a change. Heck, you're the only one who can make that change.

Bottom line: Stop sucking, Gary. Help the NHL for today, tomorrow, and the future.

After all, it's your job. 

That's my take, anyway—and I hope it's yours too.