Sunday, 12 August 2012

Larry Brooks tears Gary Bettman apart. Again. It's too easy.

Man, Larry Brooks eviscerates Gary Bettman's position in this column.  I was going to copy and paste a paragraph or two as a teaser, but couldn't decide which one(s) to go with, they're all great.

Mr. Brooks' main thesis is that the NHL doesn't have a player cost problem, it has a small-market revenue team problem.

One thing that bugs me is that when the Jets, the Hartford Whalers and the Nordiques were dying in the nineties, and the Oilers were on the brink, he appeared before the media, sneering and smirking, to say that the NHL didn't have a problem, it had "a WHA problem".  He was all snarky and condescending and didn't lift a finger to help these franchises and expedited their transfer to Phoenix, Carolina and Colorado respectively.

Now it's 'his' franchises that are not thriving, and the tune has changed completely.  Now these Bettman-creations must be kept alive, at all costs.  By which he means, at the players' cost.  Whereas a lot of the issues could be solved through revenue sharing.

We see a team like the Islanders which is seen as moribund, because of a decrepit arena, and Charles Wang's failure to get the taxpayers of Long Island to build him a new one.  Whereas he could easily fund the construction of a new arena himself, like the Molson family did, if he just cracked open that coffin he calls a wallet.  If the people of New York are to build him an arena, then to buy tickets to be able to see a game in their own arena that they damn well own, why don't they just eliminate the middle man and own the team outright, like the fans of Green Bay.  Of course, Gary Bettman and his CABAL of oligarchs wouldn't allow it.  They must have free enterprise, unfettered, except when it comes to the universal draft of players, the reserve clause, a salary cap, taxpayer subsidies on stadium construction, ....

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