Blog Entry

Fighting words

Posted on: January 24, 2009 11:26 pm

All Star weekend is supposed to be a warm and fuzzy time for the NHL, but there were several serious issues for Commissioner Gary Bettman to address when he delivered his annual state of the league address today.

The biggest had to do with fighting in the game, not surprising in the aftermath of a senior league amateur player dying recently in Ontario and an AHL player suffering a seizure Friday, both the results of bouts on the ice. Regardless, Bettman cautioned the assembled scribes not to expect changes any time soon.

"I don't think there is any appetite to abolish fighting from the game," Bettman said. We will as always be evaluative, self reflective, but we're going to have to study things before we make changes, if we make changes."

Bettman said the league would likely take a closer look at the rules of engagement, in other words how fights are initiated, what happens with chin straps and helmets and what happens when there is a takedown in a fight. But considering that everyone of more than a dozen players and a few GMs I spoke with on media day opposed the notion of changing the status quo, chances are the exercise will ultimately be for naught.

On other subjects:

Bettman said he didn't believe it was necessary to increase the player escrow amount to 25 percent as the NHLPA has suggested. The escrow protects the league in case cumulative salaries exceed their allotted limit of hockey related revenues, and in the last few seasons, the fund has equaled 13.5 percent of salaries. "I don't think that (25 percent) is necessary," Bettman said. "Some have speculated that the reason the PA might do that is they don't trust our numbers. They think the business is in trouble. It's none of those things. I don't think we need to be anywhere near 25 percent or into the 20s."

With respect to the financially troubled Phoenix Coyotes, Bettman insisted that they "are not on life support." He said the teams needs a capital infusion through new ownership, but noted that in the past, the NHL has been able to fix financially troubled teams such as the Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators, who have all been in bankruptcy and are now successful.

Asked whether he was confident that all 30 teams would remain in their current location, the commissioner responded: "Based on everything I know as I stand here today, yes. That's my belief and my expectation."

On taking part in the 2014 Olympics, Bettman was non committal saying: "It hasn't been ruled in or ruled out." But he added the league and the players association have "conceptually" agreed on having a World Cup tournament on a regular basis beginning in 2011.


Category: NHL

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: January 27, 2009 11:30 am

Fighting words

Jeff Carter and Ryan Getzlaf have a very good reason for being on my list. They are team players which is what you want on your team. Not a little cry baby like Sid the Kid. He is going to end up just like Eric Lindros a could have been that ended up a never was.

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: January 27, 2009 11:21 am

Fighting words

Yes we could put him and hossa in there ...then Sid the Kid would really be knocked out of the top

Since: Apr 21, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2009 4:51 pm

Fighting words

Personally, I am happy that the NHL left ESPN because ESPN knows NOTHING about the NHL or Hockey. That shows when 9 of the top 10 playos for ESPN are the same diving catch in a baseball game as were the previous 9 every day of the MLB season. and the other one every day, is the same hitting of a ball over a wall in that same baseball game.

Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2009 3:42 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2009 3:35 pm

Fighting words

Crosby is #3.    Jeff Carter and Getzlaf  have no reason being in your list.

Since: Sep 19, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2009 3:20 pm

Fighting words

Is it stupid for the NHL and Bettman to say Crosby is the next Gretzky?  I don't think so.  If you remember correctly, Gretzky was and still is the biggest cry baby in the league.  So, I would say they are comparable in that respect.  How is it that Crosby is always hurt?  It must be a Pittsburgh thing, look at big Ben...

Go Hawks!

Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2009 1:34 pm

Fighting words

Bettman is the quite honestly the worst commish in sports in my opinion. He is a biased sob, and he has ruined the NHL.

Since: Oct 18, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2009 1:08 pm

Fighting words


Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2009 11:43 am

Fighting words

My top ten are as follows and I really think crsby should be 11 with Hossa at 10 but I wanted to be fair.

These players I have in front of Crosby I would take on my team over him any day.

1) Ovechkin

2) Malkin

3) Carter

4) Datsyuk

5) Selanne

6) Savard

7) Getzlaf

8) Zetterburg


10) Crosby

I think if Crosby wasn't such a cry baby I might have him at 8 but no way would I put him in front of the others on this list.

For the NHL and Mr. Bettman to say he is the next Wayne Gretzky is stupid.

Since: Oct 18, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2009 9:59 am

Fighting words


I agree with what you have to say completely.  As a die hard RedWings fan I could care less that Lidstrom and Datsyuk didn't play yesterday.  There is no incentive to win the All Star game such as in baseball so might as well rest.  Bettman suspending them for their upcoming game does seem miniscule to me but there is another side to that.  If they are hurt, which I'm sure they are, then missing another game isn't going to do much anyways except give them more time to rest.  The next game is againt the Blue Jackets anyways so I am thinking we won't need them, LOL.  This does show that Bettman doesn't care about the RedWings which is a rumor that has circulated around Detroit for a long time now.  My question is what is your ranking of the top ten players in the NHL if you put Crosby at #10?  Take care...........


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