My personal apology to Gary Bettman: It's not all about him!

For the bullet summary, please go here. To contact your MP regarding the Veto issue, please go here

Will the true villians in the NHL please stand up

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” – John 8:7

This is going to sound really strange to some of you.

In fact, I am about to become unpopular to those that feel Gary Bettman is behind all the issues and problems of today’s NHL.

Behind the job is a 'likeable man', in a tough situation

Behind the job is a 'likeable man', in a tough situation

Something has occured to me. It’s not all about Gary Bettman.

As a head of any organization, there are challenges. Babysitting is one of them; how to keep everybody happy.

When Gary Bettman said he wondered how many friends he might have in his deposition, this was likely a reflection of a feeling of letdown. How could this be happening? After all, he has tried to accomodate everybody as best he could.

The sunbelt strategy may have Gary Bettman’s fingerprints, and something he needs to consider deeply. He needs to regain compassion to the effect it is having on the owners of those teams.  The case in Phoenix has likely been a cause for much personal reflection.

I think Bettman knows the challenges he has with the sunbelt teams. Acting responsibly at this stage is the issue.

Did he have occasion to speak with Jerry Moyes’ attorney unofficially too? Could there be more admission of personal remorse than can ever be shown on camera or in print?

After all, the true villians may be watching, expecting the leader to carry out the distasteful duties they have forced upon him.

Why wasn’t article 4.3 ammended? Why was the letter sent from MLSE in 2006? The answers are becoming clear. The powers that be are an ugly bunch, indeed. Uglier for not facing the music, not wanting to be questioned in court. Let Gary handle it on our behalf. Disgusting.

So, with the facts in the Coyotes case painting a picture here, can we in all sincerity say the nasty state of the NHL is truly  all his fault? I would say ‘No’.

The true villains are the ones in hiding, pulling strings, and not fessing up to their roles.

Mr. Bettman himself must look in the mirror some days and ask who he has become. The impossible, out of control job of babysitting millionaires.

OK, I’ll say it, olly, olly, oxen free MLSE, where are you?  Can’t hide forever! Let’s have a chat, shall we?

As the head of the NHL, the job description includes covering up for the true cowards; the ones hiding behind the bushes.

Can I say shame on them?

And, if we are considering the fact that the MLSE is 66% owned by teachers – those our kids look up to, and for direction – makes this reality even more appalling.

I’m going to make a bold statement.

The hanshake that may have occured outside a washroom at the Phoenix courthouse last week may be a true reflection of reality.

Behind the scenes between Bettman and Balsillie it is truly not about these men, and their feelings.

I understand Gary Bettman said, as he entered court that day, that he had not seen Jim in a while. Doesn’t sound like the rejection of a man painted as an ‘arch enemy’.

Although I like to bring whatever truths I see, I also dislike the constant idea of ‘bashing’ another human being.

The Toronto Maple Leafs and the underlying MLSE are guilty of flexing their muscles, that must be moulded by the head of the NHL as to something close to palatable. A tough one for anybody. And, not so nice a position to be put into is it?

They say keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

The enemies of change to this league, that is forcing the vilification of Gary Bettman is closer to Bettman than Jim Balsillie, at least in league status.

If we are to help create new change, a posture of resentment and mockery are not going to do the job, or make us warm and fuzzy.

And, I would suspect that Gary Bettman has more respect for Jim (Balsillie) than one might think.

The hanshake that didn’t have to happen did. We need to realize what that truly represents, and admire the man, despite the schooling being dispensed, who had the decency to extend his hand.

I respect that, and believe it or not, I have a new  found respect for Gary Bettman.

Despite some weaknesses we as humans are all capable of, Gary Bettman in my mind is a ‘likeable person’. I hope he has occasion to work toward an NHL reform, and finds a way to admit Jim Balsillie into the NHL family.

Gary might come out of this, admitting some fault, but man enough to do so.

I came into this less concerned for what people think, and more concerned for conveying the message. So, I won’t extend an apology to those that think me a traitor to the cause.

I have a feeling Jim Balsillie will win the auction, and he and Gary (Bettman) will shake hands again.

My new focus is going to be toward some  hiding cowards from this point on. The ones that make Bettman’s job unecessarily stressful.

Come on out boys!

We are waiting for you!


2 responses to “My personal apology to Gary Bettman: It's not all about him!

  1. Gary Bettman has been villified by members of the 5th Estate & the rabid fan base in Canada virtually since the day he took office. The “Sunbelt Strategy” concept pre-dated his tenure. He was tasked with its implementation. The Quebec/Winnipeg & Lockout situations only served to exacerbate his already negative polls north of the 49th. As the face of the League he makes for an easy target and doesnt’ do himself any favours with less than candid & obfuscational retorts to a whole range of issues. He’s a paid “mouthpiece” towing the BOG’s line, and for anyone to suggest that he wields some sort of Machiavellian Sword over 30 Hydra Headed ownership groups only serves to incorrectly & unfairly demonize the man to an even greater extent. To suggest he is a Marionette being controlled by a Puppet- Master (‘s) is demeaning, though partially correct. He’s been given a long-leash by the BOG’s. It remains to be seen if he’ll ultimately have to hang himself with it for implementing the wishes of the 30 or the few, taking the fall for others mistakes, greed & avarice, though in no way blameless himself.

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