It has been 3 years since the lockout and 15 years since Bettman has taken over the job of NHL Commissioner. My question is this, has Gary Bettman helped our game or has he changed it too much far beyond recognition. Here are some pros and cons to consider, and please by all means add your own. I want to hear what fellow hockey lovers around the world think about the direction in which our game is headed.
In his tenure he has increased overall league wide revenue
He has expanded the NHL by adding 6 new teams
Balanced the book of NHL finances
Cracked down on bad infractions
Focused on southern expansion and relocation
Basically removed the easy access of hockey from television
Has been a part of two NHL lockouts, and canceled a complete season due to one of them
Under his reign fighting and physical games are becoming more and more scarce
Jury still out on:
Has his change of the NHL identity better the game or is it loosing its tradition?
i.e. - trapezoid box, less fighting to appeal to Americans
The NHLs embrace of new media outlets (internet)
In about a year or two well be able to better asses this one
These are just a few things on the Bettman list, but as I was writing it I started to think. The reason we lost out on the lockout year was because many teams were loosing money. The league said it was player's salaries, but I bet many of the teams that were in the red were teams in the southern U.S., teams that Bettman insisted on expanding and relocating to. That leads me to think, what if this is all just Bettman cleaning up the mess he made. In conclusions I want to here what everyone thinks, from why I suck at blogging to conspiracy theories on why Bettman canceled the x-files.
edit: this just in the Chad Kilger suspension in Flordia is a Gary Bettman cover up, details to follow!