The NHL has had the same commissioner for almost 30 years his name is Gary Bettman. In those almost 30 years the NHL has had a lot of things happen obviously, some good things, some bad. In light of the recent handling of the Kyle Beach situation there has been a dark cloud hanging over the NHL and rightfully so. Add this incident in with the three lockouts, poor marketing, and much more it is safe to say that Gary Bettman is far from popular.
As you can see from the thread above from NHL agent Allan Walsh(I have no relation to him that I know of) owners around the league are starting to voice their concerns. This seems to be a case of the straw that broke the camels back. Bettman has easily been the worst commissioner in all of sports pretty much since he took over. Yes, I am even putting him behind Roger Goodell.
The three lockouts under Bettman have all been preventable and have come at some of the worst times. The league has struggled to grow in popularity in part because of those three lockouts. As a fan it has also been incredibly frustrating with how bad the NHL has been at marketing itself. After the lockout in 2004 they had little to no coverage on a national scale as their games were on the OLN at the time that eventually transitioned into NBC Sports Network.
They started getting a little better with the marketing once it became a full on NBC deal. But even then, the failure to put the sports biggest stars on the national broadcast games was puzzling. Bettman hasn’t don’t nearly enough in the time he has been in charge to grow the game and its a damn shame.
There have also been some former players who have voiced their frustration in regards to Bettman and the way he has handled the CTE and brain injury link. The bottom line is the NHL has been in need of a change with the people in charge and it starts with Gary Bettman. Between him and Don Fehr both of these guys should be removed from office and its been a longtime coming. The situation with Kyle Beach shows just how out of touch both of these guys are with reality.
It’s obvious that Bettman is disliked around the league and even more so with the fan base. He has shown a lack of care for the players including current and past. The time for a change is now, with a new major TV deal in place the opportunity for the NHL to grow is right now. It would be the perfect time for a new commissioner to come in and lead the charge and take the NHL to the next level so it can compete around the world with the NFL and NBA.
Heres to hoping the owners come together and can get Bettman out. I know it is easier said then done, but now is the time and it will only help the sport going forward once Bettman is gone.