Guest blogger: Steve (Cynar)


Hi everyone!  I haven’t posted in a long time, but I read Carp’s stuff every day, no matter what.  I’ve written for Carp before but this time, I wanted to talk about a person who is very controversial, and while talking about him make sure I don’t use any derogatory terms to describe him, or basically avoid bashing the guy to much.  The man I’m talking about is Gary Bettman.

Let’s start off by saying that in a lot of ways Mr. Bettman has been around during a large growth spurt for the NHL, and I mean growth as in money, and expansion.  I do have a question though as to whether or not Mr. Bettman is really such a genius, and is in fact responsible for this growth in the NHL.  To me sports in general haven’t been bigger than they’ve been over the last couple of years.  I don’t have facts but I believe just about every sport has seen some significant growth over the last 10 years or so.  Did Mr. Bettman really lead the owners to the promise land??  Most of the expansion teams are in some financial trouble, but not all.  Some are in fact doing well, but does that make Mr. Bettman really such a mastermind?  The league has insisted that these expansion teams stay, but right now they are threatening to lock the players out AGAIN, because of the almighty dollar.

Let’s really make it what this is all about.  This is all about money, and the money seems to be to equal out how much each team lays out, we will call it taxes for the sake of this article.  So each team pays this tax, and it goes to say that the richer teams pay more taxes.  Let’s all admit that these lesser teams are, in fact, not making the money that Mr. Bettman promised, and now he wants to lock the players out because the owners don’t want to support these lesser teams.  So who is going to support them?  That’s right we (the league) want the players to take money out of their pockets to basically pay for the teams that do not make enough money.  So in essence the players will be paying their own salaries!!  Don’t get me wrong athletes are paid way to much money in this country but the owners are the ones who are doling out these contracts.

So Mr. Bettman is trying to help these owners make more money and to them the idea of another lockout, which this time could permanently damage the NHL, but it’s a good idea to them??  We’ve had how many lockouts already?  Some other leagues have had shut downs, but no one has had this streak, that Mr. Bettman, almost seems proud of.  When will the owners wake up and realize that shutting the league down is not the answer to anything?  It might be time to say the expansion did not work, and we need to shrink the league a little.  Has this point been brought up?  Have the owners thought to themselves that maybe it’s time for someone else to lead the league?  Has Mr. Bettman really done something that another person couldn’t have done?  Like I said before, most all sports have seen significant growth; can we really say that the expansion plan has made things better?

I know all of this sounds like I just want to take the players side, but after Mr. Bettman made his announcement that they WILL lock the players out AGAIN, it just made me think.  Are the owners really behind this guy who wants to shut the league down AGAIN??  I find it very hard to believe that these men who are millionaires, and billionaires, believe that shutting the league down, at a time when it’s clearly taken huge steps forward, are behind this guy 100 percent.  These are smart men who have made decisions involving huge amounts of money, not like me, who buys a truck, and can’t make it home because the truck is falling apart!! LOL  Huge amounts of money are on the line here, the owners are the ones who have doled out these huge contracts, and are sometimes the problem in and of itself.

So as an owner, if by chance one of you guys read this, are you willing to follow this guy who wants to shut the league down again?  He may have been the guy at the beginning with this expansion plan, and ways to make more money, but is he really the guy who made all the difference?  Would the league still have made advancements, since just about every sport has taken huge steps forward?  A lock out is going to hurt the NHL this time around, and to me following Mr. Bettman is probably the wrong choice this time.


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  1. tomb: In case you didn’t see my last post on the previous blog, I really enjoyed watching that video again. If any of you don’t remember or never saw this short segment of this game, you really should see it. It’s mind-boggling.

  2. I think the “rich” owners are using the players as their only way to fight the other owners .

    if I was a rich owner I wouldn’t be happy about giving my money away. it reminds me of tax day

  3. Not defending Bettman’s part in this, but he’s only doing what the owners (Good morning, Mr Snider) instruct him to do, right?

  4. Good morning, boneheads!

    Good work, Steve.
    Bettman is very bright and well educated. But he is just a puppet in this war.

  5. I think if any of the owners had read anything in the press or the blogs in the last few weeks they would realise that Bettman is the most hated man in hockey right now, even more than Cooke, Carcillo, Hartnell, Bertuzzi etc..

    The only way for the players to succeed is to divide and conquer which is what they are trying – they are trying to make it the players and the small market owners against the Sniders/Dolans/Molsons of this world – and rightly so if any cutbacks, concessions or givebacks are not going to be directed at the franchises that need it rather than those that already have a lot and want more

  6. Sioux-per-man on

    Not really an easy fix here. The owners have all the control, the only thing the players can do is sit out. Will they sit out the whole year?

    The league will have to make an adjustment, but to put it all on the players isn’t going to work this time, if it didn’t work the last time.

    Bettman needs only 30 people to like him, everyone else doesn’t matter. Do the fans?

  7. I ægree ilb! That actually reminded me of something, but i dont want to take any attn away from Cynar’s excellent work, so ill discuss later tonight. Well done, Cynar.

  8. iWicky "Rupp Yours!!!" on

    Morning ILB and all!!

    Nice post cynar, thanks.

    I don’t want to lose any games or time with a lockout, but I can’t see a whole season being lost. No way the NHL and Bettina lose out on a Detroit/Toronto winter classic, no way!!!

  9. Steve,

    Good piece for thought.

    1) The owners are expecting the players to cave. This time they won’t cave. Hockey really does not get going until December and I think the rich owners are willing to sacrifice the first two months of the season to get eveeyone what they want. A lockout that goes past December 1st will be devastating and to lose a season in what is still a very weak economy would be foolish.

    2) The NFL got things done, NBA only lost a month. How can the NHL afford to lose much more?

    3) The owners look like morons by signing all of this year’s free agents to huge contracts and then claiming poverty. Most of the teams are making good money and the ones that aren’t are not spending enough.

    3) The league should contract at least 2 teams. Islanders and one Florida team to start. Maybe Columbus.

  10. It has nothing to do with expansion teams. This whole stabilization thing is a smoke-screen. And the owners are using the players to police their own stupid contracts.

    League revenues doubled to up something like 3.3 Billion dollars – 1.5 billion more then when the last CBA was signed. The owners are now paying a % of league revenue to players. As that revenue skyrocketed so did the players salaries.

    The owners are saying -> Hey just because the business is doing great. Why am I now paying my employees 50% more? I was already paying them tons of money. WE SHOULD BE MAKING ALL THIS EXTRA MONEY NOT THEM. BUT … we have to give them some raises as they are good workers to be making us all this extra money.

    You have a business.

    Your business makes $1,000.
    You pay your employes 50% -> You pay them $500
    expenses are $300
    as an owner you get $200.

    Your business does great!

    You start making $2,000!!!

    Current CBA:
    Your expenses go up a bit – $400
    You pay your employes 50% -> They get $1,000
    You only get – $600 :(

    What the owners want:
    Expenses go up a bit -> $400
    Your Employees get a little raise – They get $600
    You get $1,000 -> Hooray for you!!!!

    Now I remember when sports teams were owned by eccentric millionaires who had a personal toy. This age where they are owned by corporations and guys who expect to make money — that’s a whole different article!


  11. I’m not sure that the NHL has prospered under Bettman as much as some people think. I remember when the league had a national TV contract on one of the major networks. I remember when I would see a lot of people wearing hockey jerseys. I remember when the NHL used to be reported other than the back pages of the newspaper.

    Sure, they’ve taken in more money because the price of everything has gone up. But, are they up in popularity? I don’t have any statistics to back me up, but I have a feeling that more people watched or followed hockey pre-Bettman.

  12. Ed Snider is so poor he could only afford to pay Hartnell $4.75m a year – thats nearly a 50% pay rise – HELLO! Dont cry poverty now owners, you are the biggest hypocrites in sports history if you do

  13. HabinBurlington on

    Just heard the Habs and the Rangers are making a del, where you are getting PK Subban for Chris Kredier and a 1st rounder next year.

  14. …and they wonder how player salaries spiral out of control!

    Did anyone see the anonymous comments that Aaron whathisname from the Columbus dispatch unearthed?
    Apparently 8 owners would have accepted the NHLPA proposal and 4 others would have with minor tweaks…..this lockout is all on Bettman and the top franchises

  15. Bettman is a puppet now….yes…but that doesn’t mean he isn’t part of the bigger problem

    He is the “business man” who led the NHL through expansions…it was his call…it was his “accomplishment”…

    Someone tell me why we should let *Bettman* off the hook for hockey in Miami, Phoenix, Columbus, Atlanta, etc….

    Those are failed investments…no?

    Of course, contraction/relocation isn’t favored by the players or owners….but that may be the only long term solution and the fans will grow impatient….

  16. I suspect the players would have no issue with relocation rather than contraction, if a struggling franchise or two were to be moved to a more profitable destination (e.g. Ontario).

  17. World Food Programme on

    The biggest hypocrites are the Red Sox in this regard. They cry poverty and claim to be a middle class team and then annually have the 2nd highest payroll in baseball, go out and buy Liverpool, AS Roma and a Nascar team.

  18. And expansion seems more likely than contraction, given the owners’ appetite for the quick buck afforded by expansion fees and the lopsided re-alignment proposal with two spots “free”.

  19. oops. Peter Gammons would steal the shirt off a homeless child’s back if it meant the Red Sox winning. The “guy” has no shame. :)

  20. LW3H, I was wondering if maybe we could bury the hatchet? A lot of people here like you and think youre a good guy. I apologize for being a jackwagon sometimes to you. Hope we can maybe meet someday and become friends.

  21. You’d hope that relocation is top priority for clubs that can’t turn a profit….doubtful that it is….

    If the big boys (Good afternoon, Mr. Snider) keep subsidizing the expansion teams, there is no incentive for relocation and it keeps those teams at the bottom of salary cap…

  22. And, Evander Kane still isn’t signed….with a 6 year $30m offer on the table…

    Might he have an issue playing in Winnipeg?

  23. It kind of illuminates how disgusting this whole CBA argument is when WFP posts about $1 feeding a bunch of children…

    Actually I’m not sure “disgusting” is a strong enough word. Outrageous? Vile? Obscene?

  24. I once saw Gary Bettman at a golf course during an outing where I was working…

    Long story, short (literally)…He’s about 4’10” and Mats Zuccarello can fit him in his pocket…

  25. Great way to get rid of your laptop. Put it on Bettman’s head and give Zuccs a napkin, a fork, and a pack of Tums.

  26. Sather to Dolan: “James, I’ve been reading all the Ranger blogs and the fans are really hot.”
    Dolan: “So turn up the air-conditioning.”

  27. I’m here, ilb. Trying to wrap my head around this “Growth Fund”…how is this any different than current revenue sharing, aside from players getting raises?

  28. Basically, it sounds like by forfeiting their raises during the next 3 years (and keeping only 2,4, and 6% each year), the players giving whatever extra revenue the league gets ( it averaged 7.1% over the life of current CBA, and 10% over the last 2 years) into the revenue sharing pot to help struggling teams. It appears now that out of that total number $100M will be under Bettman’s control, in terms how he wants to distribute it between teams that need help.

  29. LW3H, you have taken a lot of shots at me, even when Im minding my own business. But its all in the past now, and I realize its just your sense of humor.

    I was discussing with someone today how my dad started his own import/export company, and the person asked what he imported/exported. And so I said, “honestly, i have no idea” and im not about to make something up like Vandelay Industries. And the person knew what I was talking about. Too funny.

  30. New York beats boston again!

    The 2 finalists for the opening of Live with Kelly was Michael Strahan and boston fan Seth Meyers! And the Strahan wins!!!

    I thought a couple months ago, why wouldnt they want a black man to appeal to the African American audience and a football player to appeal to football and sports fans. While Seth Meyers isnt even funny and wouldnt attract any audience but bostonians.

  31. Ahh, thanks ilb…

    I would imagine that Bettman controlling the pooled money puts him in a very tough spot…and some owners may not like that….

    How does he pick and choose who to give money to? I’m sure that’s the challenge…

    But, otherwise, I think Fehr did a good job in his proposal and it is a viable option…

  32. Oral sex should be an Olympic sport because it’s harder than curling, and if you’re good at it, you deserve a medal.

  33. I hate when people ask me the time on the street ’cause something happens to me. I just panic. I can’t read my watch. When I’m alone, I’m great at reading my watch, but when someone asks me, I just have this anxiety attack, and I just can’t make it out… I always end up saying something useless, like, ‘It’s 20 of 9:40.’

  34. E3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my freinds on

    JR – “20 before 9:40?, that would make it earlier than later”

  35. I saw a sign on a diner that said “breakfast served any time,” so I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance.

  36. If there was no state of Massachusetts or Boston teams, could I live a peaceful life without fear or worry?

  37. I like to talk to strangers. I like to go up to people I don’t know and just start conversations with them, just start a conversation. Try it. But the way I do it, don’t start the conversation in the beginning, just start it in the middle. Try it. Just go up to somebody you don’t know and and just go, ‘Well how do you think _I_ felt?’

  38. I felt lonely today, and I couldnt stop crying until I texted with a friend, and then I later realized why I felt so down. Im already worried about the Patriots and the season hasnt even started yet.

  39. cooscoos, you speak of the shoe brand Bostonian LOL. I one time was looking in a store, saw and felt a nice comfortable shoe, then looked at the brand, “Bostonian,” and said no chance Im buying this. :)

  40. Ricky Nelson just called to say he believes what you say when you say you’re going steady with nobody else but him.

  41. My bank is the worst. They are screwing me. You know what they did to me? They’re charging me money for not having enough money. Apparently, when you’re broke, that costs money.

  42. “And she said, hey, Ramblin Boy
    Why don’t you settle down?
    Boston ain’t your kind of town
    There ain’t no gold and there ain’t nobody like me.

    And he said, Please come to Boston for the spring time,
    I’m stayin’ here with some friends and they’ve got lots of room.
    You can sell your paintings on the sidewalk
    By a cafe where I hope to be workin’ soon.
    Please come to Boston.

    She said no.” – Dave Loggins

  43. Wouldn’t it be nice if I was normal
    Then I wouldn’t have to struggle for so long
    And wouldn’t it be nice to live in a 49 state USA
    In the kind of world where I belong

  44. Happy times together New Yorkers been spending
    I wish that their misery was never ending
    Wouldn’t it be nice

  45. You know it seems the more I talk about it
    It only makes it worse to live with
    But lets talk about it
    Wouldn’t it be nice

  46. Blogmama, this is for you. “Baby you’re all that I want, When you’re lyin’ here in my arms, I’m findin’ it hard to believe, We’re in heaven, And love is all that I need, And I found it there in your heart, It isn’t too hard to see, We’re in heaven”

  47. Plenty of crazy people in New York. There are so many crazy people here, I think it’s like one out of every one person is completely out of their mind.

  48. There isn’t another like it.
    No matter where you go.
    And nobody can compare it.
    It’s win and place and show.
    New York is special.
    New York is diff’rent’ cause there’s no place else
    on earth quite like New York and that’s why

    I love New York

  49. There’s only person that can be quite as eloquent as you, cccp, and that’s…..wait for it….. im pulling your finger!

  50. I think Im crazy, but from what Ive been told, youre not crazy if you think youre crazy but if you dont think youre crazy then youre crazy. Crazy?

  51. “We take refuge in pride because we are afraid to tell the truth to ourselves.” -Kakuzo Okakura

    I disagree, I take refuge in telling the truth to myself because Im afraid of being prideful. I proved you wrong Kakuzo!

  52. “I’m not the kind of man who tends to socialize;
    I seem to lean on old, familiar ways.
    And I ain’t no fool for love songs
    They whisper in my ears –
    Still crazy after all these years. – Simon

  53. “Simplicity before understanding is simplistic; simplicity after understanding is simple.” Edward De Bono

    Allow me to translate: “Boston before winning is nothing; Boston after winning is arrogance”

  54. I like New York. This is the only city where you actually have to say things like, ‘Hey, that’s mine. Don’t pee on that.

  55. There are some remedies worse than the disease. ~Publilius Syrus

    This guy must have been talking about Bobby Valentine.

  56. My court appointed psychiatrist told me I need to learn to love myself, and I’m like, ‘Doc, I’m up to three times a day as it is.’

  57. When you’re deluded, every statement is an ulcer; when you’re enlightened, every word is wisdom. -Zhiqu

    Can I be both ulcered and wise?

  58. Heh, heh. The old double entendre. My doctor told me he could only give me three months to live, and it would cost me $30,000. I told him there was no way I could pay him 30 grand in three months, and he said he’d give me a year to live.

  59. Good thing I took that speed- party class. I can now go out all night in only an hour and a half.

  60. “I believe in equality for everyone, except -reporters and photographers- bostonians.”
    Mahatma Gandhi

  61. Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.

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