Nov 19

What We Learned: Why Gary Bettman’s not bad for the NHL

Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.

When it comes to where the blame for this lockout ultimately lies, and where battle lines are drawn, I’m not so much pro-player as I am anti-league, and that’s been reflected often throughout this lockout.

Because Gary Bettman apparently proposed a two-week moratorium on negotiations because of whatever dumb reasons he could come up with*—*and apparently based entirely on hearsay — everyone even remotely sympathetic to the players in this labor strife once again took the opportunity to climb their nearest mountaintop and proclaim the man deeply and truly inept, irresponsible, and worst of all, Bad For The Game.

But the truth of Bettman’s role in this lockout, and in the League as a whole, is far more complicated than his being the guy who brought fans three lockouts in 18 years.