NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman Must Go

chris saccoContributor IApril 30, 2009

PITTSBURGH - APRIL 15:  NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman addresses the media during game one of the 2009 Eastern Conference quarterfinals between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers at Mellon Arena on April 15, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Get rid of this little weasel.

Once again, Bettman has had the officials go from one extreme to another with penalties.

A few years back, the league tried to get rid of players crashing the net. So the genius, Bettman, instilled a rule that would call off a goal if any part of an opposing player was inside the goalie crease. 

Thus, we went from guys crashing the net to goals being called off if the tip of a player's skate was in the crease. Reviewing so many goals because of this ridiculous rule, the game slowed down even more than the neutral zone trap.

But, there was daylight coming.

In the Cup Finals, the game—winning goal was scored by Brett Hull (of the Dallas Stars at the time) and he was in the crease. With the entire Stars roster already on the ice and celebrating, there was no way the refs could call it off. So Bettman's bright idea backfired horribly and we saw that rule get thrown in the trash. 

Thank God.

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Next, he was going to crack down on the hooking and grabbing. Now, if a player so much as touches another player with his stick, he gets called for a penalty, whether it's hooking or not.

Though that hasn't slowed the game down too much, we went from allowing players to be hooked and pulled down left and right to penalties being called for nothing. It probably could work though if the league had some officials that could see and actually comprehend what they saw.

This was apparent in the Rangers—Capitals series this year. This series could have been great, but the refs destroyed it. There were penalties called on both teams for absolutely nothing—and I mean nothing. Yet, penalties that were painfully obvious weren't called at all.

Donald Brashear took a run at the Rangers' Blair Betts well after he played the puck, and blind sided him. Yet there was no call. Brashear was only assessed a roughing penalty when Rangers defensman Paul Mara went after him for the hit.

In game seven of the series, Sean Avery was taken out illegally two times by Capitals players right in front of the officials. Still, nothing was called.

In the Penguins—Flyers series, Scott Hartnell threw his stick to try and stop the Pens play, and nothing was called.

Bettman is killing the sport and must go now.

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