Don’t you get sick of NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman, ruining the presentation of the Conn Smythe Trophy and the Stanley Cup every year?The chorus of boos that Boston fans showered upon him after the Bruins clinched dilutes the joy of the Cup-winning team. It’s sort of like crossing the finish line at your very first marathon and having your worst enemy hand you your medal as the celebration of such a great accomplishment begins.
Why do hockey fans harbor such hate for the Commissioner? Well, in addition to what many perceive as his arrogant and condescending personality, Gary Bettman’s motivations for what the NHL’s product is supposed to look like always come under close scrutiny.
Bettman’s refusal to want to negotiate for the remainder of a month during the NHL lockout prompted this critical review from Detroit Red Wings’ defenseman, Ian White:
I gotta’ be honest: I personally think he’s an idiot. Since he’s come in, I think he’s done nothing but damage the game.
With Bettman taking the reins in 1993, the NHL witnessed its revenues climb from $400 million to over $3 billion in 2011. Six new teams have been added to the NHL roster. On the flip side, he’s been a key figure in three labor stoppages and has been criticized for attempting to “Americanize” Canada’s national legacy.
Is a decade too long for any Commissioner to serve? Take the poll below and let us know whether or not you think Gary Bettman needs to hang up his skates.