Bettman on the drive


I’m bringing you part of the transcript of an interview Rangers season tickets holder Boomer Esiason and his partner Craig Carton did with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman this morning on WFAN:

“He is a marked man, Avery,” Carton said.

“Other teams are marking him,” Boomer said.

“I don’t think he’s a marked man at all, he’s come back as smoothly as could have been the case under the circumstances,” Bettman said. “He’s doing his thing. When you’re an agitator and you play aggressive  you probably find your self in more things than others. But I think based on what happened this season, his comeback couldn’t have been any smoother.”

“I will say this,” Boomer said. “He’s working on his hockey skills because he’s not trying to agitate any more, he’s trying to become a big time hockey player.”

“And I think he’s helped the Rangers,” Bettman said.

“He’s got six goals and four assists, so yeah that’s pretty good,” Boomer said.

“I do want you to do me a favor though,” Carton said. “I’d like you to check the tape of the Devils game. And he gets thrown around like a rag doll and doesn’t hit or engage the other guy and somehow gets a two-minute penalty. That was wrong, you know it, we all know it, bad job.”

“On balance the Devils got the shorthanded situation and had to kill a penalty,” Bettman said. “You gotta to look at the whole context of what went on.”

As Carp reported earlier, Gary Bettman’s NHL Hour show today is at 4 p.m., on XM channel 204 and Sirius channel 208, or You can ask guest John Davidson questions by calling in at 1-877-645-6696 or by email at

And lastly, Carp and I are going to do another video chat next Tuesday at 1 p.m. before the Montreal game. Start thinking of your questions and join us for lunch!

Update: Michal Rozsival will not skate with the Rangers tonight, as reported by Andrew Gross who is traveling with the team.

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  1. No, you should watch, but when the ending part happens, either watch it and pretend that it didn’t happen, or just don’t watch that part.

  2. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    We all know Avery unjustly got 2 minutes. HOWEVER! Had Avery gotten no penalty minutes, Clarkson would have only gotten 2minutes + the 10 to get him out of the game. Point being, we were only going to get 2 minutes no matter what. Only the Canadiens and Penguins would have gotten an entire 4 minute PP if that happened to one of their guys.

    I was still waiting for Avery to use that free hand (where he slowly shook off the glove) to catch Clarkson by surprise and drop him one-punch style. You could tell Avery really wanted to, but I give him his due. Showed A TON of composure.

  3. So in Buttmans world you get suspended for having a dirty mouth and deserve to get slashed, elbowed, and thrown around. I don’t listen to FAN but good job guys.

  4. True Fans Bleed RW&B on


    Can one of you check/ask the RANGERs or an NHL rep whether the Colton Orr 5 minute interference major is being contested and whether the league will rescind it? Why is that a question I have? Well, because this has happened before to the same man and for a 5-minute major interference and it happened against Tonight’s Opponent!

    * 12/29/07:
    • Upon reviewing the tape at the Rangers’ request, the NHL has rescinded the major penalty for interference and game misconduct that Colton Orr was assessed for his collision with Carolina’s Matt Cullen Wednesday.

  5. Had an opportunity to play hockey with Boomer recently. Great guy.

    Avery being a marked man is the reason many Rangers fans were against his return.

    Gary Bettman is the Fidel Castro of the NHL.

    Looking forward to next week’s video chat.

  6. They rescind game misconducts because you can get a suspension on your third one, I believe. Theres no point in reviewing & rescinding a major by itself. I don’t think Orr got a misconduct on that penalty, did he?

  7. True Fans,
    We asked the team about whether Orr’s interference had been suspended and they said no. The time you cite, the NHL undid it the very next day. If they were going to do it this time, it would have been done already.

  8. From my recollection, Avery did not drop his gloves. One went flying off (maybe he chucked it?) but the other glove was still on and he was holding his stick. If the referees really did believe a fight was to ensue, shouldn’t they have stepped in because Avery was ready to jostle with a stick in hand?

    I’m glad some someone publicly confronted Bettman about this particular issue. Granted, I’m not happy with the response but now it’s out there.

  9. Oh, forgot this observation.

    I think Avery has become MORE of an agitator by his lack of actions. It’s apparent, to me, it’s getting into a few players heads.

  10. No Country For Old Rangers on

    guess what? Esteban is not playing this time, hank and the boys are going to
    Carolina a new tonight.

  11. Typical Bettman BS. He wouldn’t say one thing remotely critical of the garbage officiating in the NHL if somebody held a gun to his head.

  12. WFAN can be rough…Mike Francesa is intolerable. I wish he would just choke on a twinkie and die already

    but Steve Somers is absolutely brilliant (and a huge ranger fan) and i like Beningo and Roberts.

    i dont listen in the morning but some of the late night guys are ok too.

  13. No Country For Old Rangers on

    Sorry Jane. I’ll try to keep it clean in the future

    repost: guess what? Esteban is not playing this time, hank and the boys are going to tear Carolina a new anus tonight.

  14. yes the linesman made the call on Orr…

    I listend to that interview and got pissed so I sent in an email…

    its written in anger so not great but here is what I asked:

    “Why is Avery allowed to be hit away from the play with no calls (several times v Pittsburgh) but Colton Orr delivers a hit with the puck right in the vicinity (same game) and he is thrown out of the game? Orr’s hit was in no way deserving of a game misconduct. It wasn’t a high hit, it wasn’t from behind, the puck went right through the area.

    Also how can Avery in no way engage Clarkson while he is thrown to the ice twice and still get a roughing penalty. Meanwhile in the previous game he was hit away from the play several times with no calls. The Devils being shorthanded for two minutes means nothing. He was given four minutes then if the refs are right he deserves the four minutes so what did Avery do to deserve those two minutes? Not fight back?

    How can Avery need to go to anger management for something he said off the ice and Clarkson can throw a man to the ice twice and not be suspended a game? no anger management? really?

    And two things. I am a Ranger fan who did not want Avery back. I am a woman who was disgusted by what he said. But that had nothing to do with the game.

    Secondly it isn’t just Ranger fans and it isn’t just Ranger games. Ranger fans who can’t stand the Devils watched the Penguin Devil game last night and were disgusted by the reffing. Don’t ask the fans to show objectivity when you won’t take the blinders off. You are the one with the responsibility not the fans.”

  15. Longtime Lurker on

    1050 is unlistenable, granted they broadcast the Ranger games, but they NEVER EVER talk about Hockey EVER!! All they talk about are the Yankees.

    At least Boomer is a Ranger fan so they talk about hockey on their show.

  16. Lol, Orr TWICE in the last TWO FUGGIN SEASONS, has been called for a five minute match penalty, and BOTH have been rescinded, which means BOTH OF THEM SHOULD NOT HAV BEEN A TWO MINUTE PENALTY LET ALONE FIVE !!!

    Officiating is a joke. For some reason Orr is building a reputation for being a “dirty player”, and it’s because of the refs idiotic BS calls.

    Yet, they get away with it, they don’t publicly apologize, and they don’t get fined, or suspended. Ridiculous.

    Kill the Canes !! Im sick of this team, with there ugly ass Captain.

  17. No Country For Old Rangers on

    Night of The Living Dead tonight with Brind’amour on the ice. I hope somebody tears his face off

  18. There are no problems with Bettman now with either the refereeing or anything else…anyone see the Sabres-Thrashers game last night?
    Crowd had to be about 10,000…Phoenix? forget it…owners going to jail from the midwest to the west coast

    Wait till CBA is due to expire…they’ll either fire him and hire a new mouthpiece for doom and gloom or….Bettman will switch gears; talk about bankruptcies and ownerers selling off etc etc… and nobody will even say anything because hockey doent make it onto the national spotlight

  19. Jane's Addiction on

    the context of what happened bettman says? wow hes so full of crap its unbelievable, you call the game by the book and if its not going to be by the book then you have to be consistent in your calls to both teams and it cant be one sided

    bettman is by far and away the worst commish in the 4 major sports and he is the reason the NHL is the way it is

  20. Hi Jane !

    Do you know if Michael Roszival traveled with the team to Carolina and is there any news if he will play tonight ?

    Your biggest fan


  21. “get under the covers with schmoooooz”

    The blueshirts from broadwayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

    playin for a spot in lord stanley’s cup playofffffffs

    the captian…Chris Drewwwwwery….leading the wayyyyyyy

    the ex-devil, ex-nemisis scott goooomez lugging out the puckkkk

    and in the nets

    the king of new york

    some call him Hank

    some call him the King

    some call him Henriiiiiiiiiiik….

    it all rests on Lundqvists shuolders now

    the blue shirts striving for

    a playoff spot

  22. Ah, my mistake. I watched the game too. I think work is just making me lose my mind lately.

    In that case, then yeah, I would think (hope) it was rescinded.

    Carry on :)

  23. Thanks, Jane…

    In the interim, I wás on Zip´s blog and with your permission, I post the updates from the team..

    RALEIGH—After a long, hard workout with assistant coach Jim Schoenfeld following the optional skate at RBC Arena, Michal Rozsival said “the knee feels fine, right now it’s getting back to game shape, to play at a high level, especially at this time of year. I think it’s best for the team right now.”

    “Hardest skate in four years,” he said.

    Rozsival, out 11 days since the left knee injury occurred against Ottawa, said he would practice with the team tomorrow and hopefully be able to play Saturday afternoon in Boston.

    Earlier, coach John Tortorella—who didn’t watch the skate– had called him doubtful for tonight, pending a discussion between trainer Jim Ramsey and the defenseman.
    “We’re going to try to be aggressive with it,” he said.


    Tortorella said he had thought about using a forward on the power play, but won’t just yet. Potter, in his second game on this callup and fifth overall, and Staal won’t be on the PP pairings. It will be Mara, Morris, Redden and Girardi. The team isn’t tight, Tortorella said, except for the power play, which he said has “digressed” after some early success when he first arrived. “We did some things yesterday in practice, we’ve got to keep it simple.”

    Expect the Rangers to have one defenseman on the attack, saying that “a three-man look” wouldn’t be enough against Carolina, who will be “stomping” and their defensemen “crawling up ice all night….We have to show a four-man look.”

    Thirteen players took the optional: Dubinsky, who was waiting at the glass for five minutes while the Zamboni finished its rounds; Drury, Avery, Zherdev, Antropov, Betts, Sjostrom, Orr, Voros, Potter, Rozsival, Mara and Valiquette. Henrik Lundqvist will start in goal; Cam Ward (10-1-2 in March with a 1.98 GAA) for the Canes, who have 91 points to the Rangers 89.

    The refs: Don Koharski and yikes, Steve Kozari.

    Wasn´t Kozari one of the Refs who blowed up the calls in the game against the Penguins ???

  24. Just kidding, Pepacheck. Boomer is no A Division ringer, but he’s decent. He skates hard, headmans the puck and moves it to the open ice when you should.. His etiquette was good, too. He kept his shifts short and complimented his linemates every chance he got. He even managed to bury a couple of shots.

    His son Gunner also played. Nice kid, a little shy… Heightwise you can definitely tell the similarities with his dad. And for a kid that has debilitating disease (cystic fibrosis I believe) he looked pretty healthy.

    Overall, just a nice, down-to-earth family.

  25. Leetch is god on

    miss joe on the overnight..he use to talk nyr

    6 and and 9 game winning streaks are made to be broken…

    lets go rangers!

  26. In response to Hockey on ESPN, Bettman just said he loves Versus???

    He really has his finger on the pulse.

  27. ZzZz 13 ZzZz Rules !! says Greg L. on

    Time to play Carolina tonight!!! Sure sure ol Carp is scared to death of Cam Ward …Don’t let him freal ya out my fellow Rangeronies .Carp sees Carolina’s hot record and the fear you can see it in Carps eyes!!!

    Carp don’t be worried for us…Hurricanes are hot and with every hot team , they eventually lose and tonight will be no different. We need this win BAD!! Cam Ward is just a hick from Saskatchewan ( not all are hick in Sask) but Cam is no superman and tonight we will prevail!!!


  28. He is talking about diving and that players who dive get fined. Hmmm… he failed to mention that the anointed one fails to be called for dives in the first place so he has never been fined for it.

  29. onecupin69years on

    I’m sure Bettman grew up watching hockey and playing d1 at his college and his goal in life was to be NHL commish.

    Right Gary? The sad truth is, he always thought hockey was played with Drakes Ring dings. He’s a schmuck.

  30. Agravaine, excellent letter!!! Too bad those fools in high places don’t really care what we think.

    Sally, we get to see BRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAINS tonight, make sure dubi and gomez are well rested or in the other room!!!

    Someone should tell Bettman thats its better to be thought a fool then to open his mouth a remove all doubt. This guy with his lawyer double speak thinks he’s smarter than all of us. One thing he’s good at, besides loving the cros… its KILLING THE NHL! Little rat bastage!!!


  31. Adam from Chicago on

    Jane, you need to be careful. You mention Carton’s name and he will start fantasizing about you…

  32. Not to beat a really dead horse but the stuff they let that whinny crap Crosby and that goofy Malkin get a way with is just garbage.Every time Avery steps on the ice he is a marked man and watched the whole time.Get a new job Bettman you have most certainly ruined this game and continue to do so.
    Great to see Marty playing so well since he won the big one.Last thing is, Torts keep Rosival in the locker room he has killed us all yr,and maybe put Redden with him,what was he doing on the GW goal by Crosby the other day.

  33. Oh man it so tough..It is shortly after 11pm and the game starts around 1 am in the morning….

    But the real Rangersfan don´t care, you need to go through it, isn´it ???

  34. That Orr “interference” major was more the result of the player that Orr was about to hit slipping a little before Orr made contact, which caused him to fall awkwardly and miss the puck. I can see how the penalty is called during the game, but it should have been rescinded.

    Avery probably got two minutes for originally finded Clarkson and wiggling his glove loose lke he was going to do something.

    Montoya starting again tonight Last night means nothing to me because it’s the Avalanche.

  35. about 10 years ago I found myself in a Men’s room with Gary Bettemen.

    I should have pissed on him.

  36. nearing a low point…left eye is closing, …got open again…listen to the taped version of nhllive from with La Greca and Clement….

    there´s another hundred minutes to go…huge yawn…drink a litle bit of the water glass..

    sitting on the table, left computer writing posts, and the right computer looking on the screen with La Creca, and Clement…

    …looking a for a some encouragement…:)(:

    Go Rangers..!

  37. Gary Bettman is a disgrace to the sport of hockey. I would love to say more, but I’m afraid it would lead to unnecessary words and a ban from the site lol.

    I really can’t understand how he can say Avery isn’t being targeted. He must live in another world or something.

  38. Bettman is the biggest A-hole on the planet and full of crap. I watched the devils game last night against Pittsburgh and it’s funny how Doc and Resch were complaining about the referee’s. That showed me that Bettman and his little crappers
    are trying real hard for crosby to be the face of the NHL. The true hockey fan isn’t buying what Bettman is trying to sell. It truly is a disgrace.

  39. Gary Bettman is just a DICK. He has no idea how to run the National Hockey League, case in point: Promoting Crosby over Ovechkin for as long as he did, and continues to do. Ovechkin has finally come into the limelight because he just simply can not be ignored with the amount of talent he oozes. I hope Gary slips on a banana peel.

  40. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    I’ll be honest, I started reading the post thinking you were going somewhere else with this story Septemus.

    * septemous
    April 2nd, 2009 at 5:19 pm
    about 10 years ago I found myself in a Men’s room with Gary Bettemen. I should have pissed on him.

  41. “septemous April 2nd, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    about 10 years ago I found myself in a Men’s room with Gary Bettemen.

    I should have pissed on him.”

    Piss on him!!! You should have knocked him out which shouldn’t be hard to do. Bettman looks like a rat, literally.

  42. Bettman was a basketball guy, think he worked for the NBA prior to this, no wonder he sucks at this job. He was a lawyer, I think. Bring in a hockey guy to do a hockey job, not a scumbag lawyer.

    Come on Canes are due for a whipping.

  43. Jane, I got initially caught up in the Bettman rage and forgot to say that I look forward to next Tues’ video chat.

    The last one you and Carp held was a lot of fun to watch. Keep up the great work!

  44. I wish i was little bit taller
    I wish i was a baller
    I wish i had a girl who looked good i would call her
    I wish i had a rabbit in a hat with a bat
    And a six four impala

    I wish i was good looking
    So i can get with Crosby
    Cause he don’t know me but yo he’s really fine
    You know i see him all the time
    Everywhere i go, and even in my dreams
    I can scheme a way to make him mine
    Cause i know he’s livin phat

    Hey, you , what’s that sound?
    Everybody look what’s going down
    Ahhhh, yes, ain’t that fresh?
    Everybody wants to get down like dat

  45. Buff, im with ya….almost midnight here…one more hour to go and hopefully its a good game so adrenaline kicks in otherwise im not making it to 3:30am

  46. A few Bettman tidbits:

    1) Jay, you cannot expect Buttboy to bash Versus in a public forum when they are their marketing partner and their only source of national TV exposure (except for the occasional NBC game.) You don’t expect him to say VS has done a terrible job while on the XMSR NHL station or on WFAN or something, do you? That’s not realistic at all.

    2) Bettman belongs to my in-laws club. Last year Suzy Essman (Curb Your Enthusiasm) was doing stand up at the club. Bettman was there. My wife and I attended. Suzy wailed on Bettman. Saying stuff like, “Oh since the lockout the NHL is doing horribly. Maybe they should extend the lockout Mr. Commissioner?” She was crushing him. I cannot remember all the different one-liners but it was friekin hilarious. Bettman was shriveled up in his seat after it was done. If I only had some sac I would go up to him the many times I see him there. But I think I would get banned from the club. They have a nice golf course. So I bite my tongue.

    3) I am betting that at least 5 franchises are gone in the next 2 years. Absolutely. Bettman tried the NBA-like expansion but unfortunately the NHL following is like a 1/3rd what the NBA following is.

    4) Isn’t it a silly joke that Bettman is opining on Avery while he reviles him but actually loves the publicity Avery creates? I mean how many times did NBC sell the game as the Penguins versus Avery’s team. It’s all a bunch of hypocritical BS. Bettman has to say, “Oh, look at the context and see the Devils were heavily penalized by the situation.” But the reality is, as anyone not with his agenda can see, Avery gets it about 5x worse than he gives it and the refs don’t call half the crap they call on him. It’s all BS. Bettman is a snake oil salesman, nothing more.

    5) Big game tonight. LGR!

  47. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Jane, thank you for replying to my question earlier. I’m surprised the team didn’t challenge the game misconduct.

    It’s interesting about the “Bettman’s,” Gary’s brother is actually the commissioner of the World Series of Poker. He’s the one who brought it all it’s fame the last couple years that its been building up. Perhaps Gary can call him for a little advice? His brother is also VP of entertainment and Marketing at Harrah’s! What do you think Christmas is like in that family?

  48. Look I’m as big a Ranger fan as anyone… but Avery is going to get treated unfairly. Bettman, league, other teams, whatever…

    It was (is) going to happen.

    In the case against the Devils he dropped one glove…

    that’s all the refs needed, end of story. I think it’s unfair but it is what it is.

  49. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    It’s not so cut and dry as you’re making it out to be.

    First, you’re confusing NBC’s interest in improving their TV ratings with the NHL’s focus to discipline Sean. Mistake. They share a common interest, money, but the NHL doesn’t run NBC and their promotions.

    Second, you’re confusing the role of Steven Walcom (director of officiating), Colin Campbell (director of discipline), and Commissioner Bettman. I dislike all three of them, but from what I know Campbell and Walcom seem to truly dislike Avery. I don’t know which one of them instituted Avery’s 6 game suspension for mouthing off (in Dallas), I think Bettman announced it but it could have been Campbell’s call. You would be hard-pressed to figure that out too.

    Third, yes there is an interest to have Avery in the NHL because he sells jersey and puts the sport on the covers of sports magazines. Bettman’s assessment really is on too. The transition of Avery back to the NHL has been not only seemless, it’s been perfect for him, the Rangers, and the promotion of it all has been great for the league.

    I’m not sure why everyone’s up in tizzy ova’ herrre’. Bettman maybe the biggest toolbag ever, but he ain’t going to sellout Campbell or Walcom.

  50. I think Potter looked great on the PP… poised, hard shot, somewhat more accurate than (insert lame point man here)…

    Give the kid another shot(s).

    What’s he gonna do? Bobble the puck over and over again like Rozi/Dredden? and cause SH ops?

    Maybe… but not yet and he doesn’t seem like it could happen at ANY moment.

  51. Blueshirt, where are you sittin`????

    Well, I got used to the time difference for the last couple of years when I became fan of the NHL and the Rangers….

    And now with the chance to SEE the game instead of just listening to the call, it makes it easier to go all the way until to 3.30 am…

    I wouldn´t do it any more if I would only be able to listen…

    just half an hour to go…

  52. Betmman was indeed an NBA guy Shoryuken which is why he has no clue. Shanny should be the commissioner when he retires, or Bob Gutkowski. Shanny is a very progressive thinker.

    Sommers and Beningo are the best guys on WFAN and they’re Rangers guys. Boomer and Carton are very good in the morning although Carton tries too hard to be the old male shovenist pig; it’s embarrassing. Don LaGreca is great for 1050.

    Big game tonight; we all know the deal.


    Rangers better show up and not blame it on the al-al-al-al-al-al-co-cohol.

  53. How many points and how many games without penalties does Avery have to go before they start calling the cheap hits on him away from the puck? He’s no longer the agitator if other guys are taking runs at him and he is being baited by bums/tough guys. If it keeps going at the rate it has he’s either gonna snap one day or he’s gonna get injured so Bettman better take his head out of his ass…i’m so tired of him ruining the best professional sport we have.

  54. Buff,

    Im in France….you?

    Yeah it does make it worthwhile to stay up, but only when they play good hockey.

    But we are getting the game on NASN this sat and 7pm which will be nice.

  55. Riche’ wrote:

    ‘I think Potter looked great on the PP… poised, hard shot, somewhat more accurate than (insert lame point man here)…

    Give the kid another shot(s). ‘

    Yes. I hear often about how Rozsival is so under-appreciated, that he is very very good. I guess I don’t really agree. The Rangers did not have much trouble getting out of their zone tonight, so I guess I tend to question the accolades that Rozy is given conerning his outlet passes. As for offense, that makes my argument even stronger.
    I hope Rozsival is marked down by managment as a definite, gotta-get-it-done trade this summer.

    I would really like to see Potter keep playing too.

  56. your boy Malik on

    Bettman hates Avery – what would you expect from him – Avery is a marked man – anyone who watches the Ranger games knows it….

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