4 Facts That Prove Gary Bettman Is the Worst Commissioner in Pro Sports
The recent lockout saw many players sling mud towards Bettman, and it is fair to say that it is time for a change.
Although Bettman has done some good things during his tenure, there have been many things that Bettman has done wrong during his tenure in the league as commissioner.
During Gary Bettman's tenure, he has overseen three lockouts that have resulted in two shortened seasons and one lost season.
The 1994-95 lockout came early in Bettman's tenure and it was the least damaging during his tenure. The cancellation of the 2004-05 season was a terrible move by Bettman and one that really hurt the sport.
No other professional sports commissioner has even come close to the losses of games under Bettman's watch, and it is another sign of poor leadership when it comes to collective bargaining.
Failed League Expansion
While the NHL has thrived in Nashville, the expansion into markets such as Phoenix, Florida and Atlanta has not been successful.
The Thrashers ended up relocating to Winnipeg, the Coyotes are on the verge of relocation and the Panthers do not draw well enough to remain profitable.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have been successful because of a Stanley Cup victory in 2003-04, and having a franchise player in Steven Stamkos.
This expansion really has caused financial problems that can be placed on the shoulders of Gary Bettman.
If teams were placed in better markets, the league probably would be more profitable than it currently is.
Walking Away from Record Revenues
It was noted that Bettman has had three lockouts under his belt as commissioner but the most recent one was very head-scratching when you consider the league was coming of record-setting revenue made in 2011-12.
The NHL was also at the height of popularity after the Los Angeles Kings, won the Stanley Cup.
Bettman and the league's first offer during the summer really soured the beginning of negotiations and led to the league missing a good part of the 2012-13 season.
This action taken by Bettman was detrimental to the start of talks, and it further illustrates the poor judgements that have been made on his watch.
Resistance to Relocate Teams to Traditional Markets
Although Forbes suggested that the NHL's best hope is contraction, the league can fix its current problems and avoid future ones if they were more willing to put teams in markets like Markham, Quebec City and/or Hamilton.
The final say in this process comes down to Gary Bettman.
Although it must have killed Bettman when the Atlanta Thrashers were moved to Winnipeg, it was the right move.
Had Gary Bettman not went head-to-head with Canadian businessman Jim Balsillie, the Phoenix Coyotes would be in Hamilton, and they would likely be doing better economically than in Phoenix.
Now it is understandable that after Balsillie's attempts to move Pittsburgh and Nashville to Hamilton didn't make sense, Phoenix did.
Bettman blocked Balsillie's attempts at buying the Coyotes, and it is a move that didn't pay off.
If Bettman was willing to accept that his expansion moves haven't worked and that relocation was a viable option, there wouldn't be as many teams in the red.