I was doing some research the other day about NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. I know a lot of people have totally displeased with the way he has been handling COVID-19 protocols lately because the NBA and the NFL have been marching on and they didn’t need to pause the season at all, unlike the NHL for some odd reason, which is completely illogical.
At the end of the 2021-2022 season, Gary Bettman’s contract will expire. He will be 69 years old and are we sure he is the right man leading this league moving? Absolutely not. Bettman is probably the worst of the four major sports commissioners. The NHL handled the Kyle Beach situation with the Chicago Blackhawks totally wrong.
Bettman also does a horrendous job with this league also in regards to advertising and marketing. The ESPN and the TNT contracts just started this year. Why are marquee games on ESPN plus for the regular season and not on regular TV? Everyone doesn’t subscribe to ESPN plus, but way more people have ESPN.
Also for TNT, why are there only 10 p.m. ET games on a Wednesday night during the regular season where people are getting ready for bed on the east coast and have to go to work the next morning. When the games were on NBC and NBCSN, nothing was blacked out and everything was aired at a normal hour. There would be a lot of Wednesday doubleheaders and it was better marketing then and catered much better to the east coast and to the original hockey fan.
Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, who is 57 years old, would be a terrible choice to replace him. But what about Brendan Shanahan? He is a well-respected man across the NHL and he takes no nonsense from anyone. Shanahan would be a great face for the league because he played in the NHL before and he understands the game the best. Bettman and Daley never played hockey.
Brendan Shanahan would also get a much better grip on players’ safety, which is also another problem league-wide. He used to serve as the director of player safety in the NHL and he is currently the president and alternate governor for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Remember when Tom Wilson got a slap on the wrist last season for almost trying to basically kill Artemi Panarin on the ice and two nights later the New York Rangers had to basically take care of it themselves because the league wouldn’t? Well, that hockey game was a total disaster and a complete embarrassment league-wide because had the NHL suspended him originally, none of this would have happened.
Gary Bettman is 69 years old and it kind of feels like the league is losing money. Bringing in a new face in Brendan Shanahan, who is only 52 years old and has a grip of what life is like in the NHL, it is time for a change everywhere. If the owners brought him back and decided to sign Gary Bettman to a contract extension instead of bringing in a new face like Brendan Shanahan, it is all about the money then and money takes.
-Glenn Kaplan, 12oz Sports Contributor, Live Monday’s at 3 p.m. ET & Thursday at 11 a.m. ET on 12oz Sports
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