Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gary Bettman: Surprisingly Less Loathsome

Quite a while ago I received an e-mail from a reader asking for a post on Gary Bettman. Specifically, explaining why exactly I hated the man in charge of running the NHL. It was a topic I was only too happy to tackle.

I decided to go through the history of Bettman's tenure as commissioner and made what I liked to call 'a timeline of disaster'. It was going to be a smashing hit. Accompanying events would be snippy little remarks or explanations of what the event signified. For example, "1996: Winnipeg Jets move to Phoenix. Gary Bettman's popularity could only decrease if he kidnapped Wayne Gretzky."

But a funny thing happened: after getting through the lockout the timeline of disaster just started to fizzle out. All of a sudden there was nothing bad to say about the man, which surprised me because it seemed like there was always something bad to say about Gary Bettman.

From that day I began to think something so utterly taboo that I didn't dare mention it in public. Has Gary Bettman become a good commissioner?

That's the topic I wrote about for the Good Point this week. I wasn't proud of defending Gary Bettman - I felt dirty and had to take a shower - but I think he deserved it.

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