The Dark Side of Bargaining: Is Bettman the Bad Guy?

Just Puckin' Around

Heated negotiations can bring out the worst in anyone, but is NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman getting a fair judgement being cast as the villain by hockey fans and the media in the ongoing Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations?

But seriously…

Gary Bettman has been commissioner for just under twenty years, and in that time, the National Hockey League has now seen three separate work stoppages.  The 1994 lockout lasted 104 days and knocked out just over eighty games, and in 2004-2005 the entire season was cancelled.  Now we’re only one month into our current work stoppage situation, but cries against the owners have and Bettman have been flooding cyberspace for quite some time.

However, this is not one of those times.  I’m not here to condemn the man, but I’m also not going to pardon the guy either.  The commissioner does not have a fan favored record.  He has a tough…

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Has Hockey Learned Anything From This Lockout?

One has to wonder who gets the credit for ending the lockout should it be settled.  Is it Gary Bettman, who in the eyes of many may have blinked first, or will it be Donald Fehr who played a “rope a dope” style of negotiating to get the league to come back wtih something that may have been there all along?  Also, let’s not forget the public reaction as this new deal was put on the table Tuesday which appeared very short of jubilation across many parts.  My cell phone was lighting up like a christmas tree all afternoon as many of us hoped that the end was near.  Or at least close.

Was it pressure from the owners, some of who may not have been 100% behind Bettman and Daly’s hard stance?  Was there pressure from NBC who invested a gazzilion dollars to showcase the most exciting game…

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Kevin's Personal Blog Site

The NHL has tried to end the Lockout and have a full 82 game season starting on November 2nd.  They are trying to implement a 50-50 split of all of the hockey generated revenue.  NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says the deal will make sure the players get full value out of their extended deals.  We now have to wait to see the response of the NHLPA and their head Donald Fehr.  This has been the third lockout during Gary Bettman’s reign.

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Ice Nation UK

Jeff Skinner NHL Carolina Hurricanes

In the last instalment, we left off with Jeff Skinner having hands-down won the Calder Trophy over the likes of Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin in the 2010-11 season, despite having been drafted slightly later and being nowhere near as highly touted as those two.  This led to a sudden surge in the number of people declaring Skinner the winner of the Taylor vs. Tyler debate (!), and a surprising number of daft suggestions that Hall and Seguin were busts and Skinner should have been the number 1 pick.  Riiiiiiight.  It is absolutely safe to say that Skinner came out of nowhere that season; no-one, absolutely no-one could have expected that kind of season.  Skinner even earned comparisons with Justin Bieber, for crying out loud.  I bet he loved that.

As I pointed out in the conclusion of the last instalment, I believe that Skinner was in the perfect…

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