I actually don't have a problem with NBC bailing on the hockey coverage on the weekend. It was a business decision plain and simple. Hockey gets a 1.3 rating and the Preakness gets 6.3. I would have made the decision to switch as well. Maybe not right away given post time was over an hour away but at some point.
What I am upset about is how Bettman rolled over and just took it. If NBC was going to bail on the game if it went to OT, why let them force the game to start @ 2:00 ET? Why not have the game at 7:00 ET and have NBC shelve the two Law & Order re-runs it was going to show?
The NHL has been totally marginalized and Bettman has just let it happen. What has he done in the past 14 years that was actually good? Expansion to the South is a disaster. Teams in both traditional (Chicago, Long Island) and non-traditional (Tampa, Florida, Phoenix, take your pick) are losing money. All this cost certainty has lead to a higher overall salary average.
Plus it is clear that a couple of high revenue teams like the Leafs and Rangers are skewing the average. If there are teams still losing huge sums of money with a cap in place, then the formula for the cap is wrong.
Throw in the failed Russian transfer agreement, all the obstruction from the 90's, the lock out and the FOX puck and really Bettman's tenure is just a litany of errors.
If the NHL is a gate driven league, why force all these teams to remain in cities where they can't draw fans. There are plenty of cities, both Canadian and American that would draw better.
Is the NHL honestly telling us that getting 5000 fans per game in Miami is better than getting 15,000 per game at a lower ticket price in Quebec City? Why is there no team in Seattle or Portland?
It is just shocking that a multi-billion dollar business can be run by total morons.