First of all congrats to all the NHL award winners, especially Hart Trophy winner Sidney Crosby.
So, Thursday night, after a rough day at work, I get home. I get my mail and I see my wonderful-if ill gotten-HockeyBuzz hat has arrived. Immediately the day is brighter. I am going to have some chicken enchiladas and watch the NHL awards show on Versus.
Well, I get my meal, I crack a beer and low and behold, Herr Bettman's asinine deal with a third rate cable network caused my household major strife. The Awards show has been pushed back by an apparent technical glitch, and replaced by coverage of some kind of half assed ultimate fighting deal.
As I sat in, I don't even know what the proper emotion is-because I wasn't even surprised really, I realized that the hat was the only highlight of my day.
Well, the hat and trading messages with erstwhile Flyers beat writer, Tim Panaccio, of course.
Still, the events of today are simply a microcosm of the stewardship of Gary Bettman's NHL. Bettman has been almost an unmitigated disaster since the day he assumed the role of Der Fuehrer of the NHL.
He walked in at a time when the league was seen as a threat to the NBA. Bettman almost immediately lead a group of owners that had no cohesion or plan into a CBA that led to little more than the lockout of 2004-05.
Following that came Bettman's "expansion". I have no issue with expansion, however, the manner in which the expansion was handled was sheer lunacy. The league basically handed teams to whomever ponied up the fees with the least amount of complaining.
Then, the league seemed to feel that these new teams needed to be competitive ASAP, so they relaxed rules against obstruction. Now, I don't necessarily blame Bettman for this, but the buck ends up on somebody's desk.
Then comes the glorious lockout and cap era, followed by the "new" NHL. The games are pre-empted on NBC because of horse racing, and thousands of US fans missed seeing the Senators scoring the series winning goal.
Now, if that wasn't enough, on the night that turned out to be the coming out party for the new face of the NHL, nobody in the NHL got to see Sidney Crosby win the Hart Trophy as the NHL's MVP.
The interesting part for fans now is to see how Der Spin Fuehrer Bettman explain away this fiasco, just like he tries to do with every other fiasco....When the head of your league spends more time spinning mistakes to hide the incompetence of the league leadership than doing leading, well, enough said, I suppose.