NHL lockout: Red Wings' Ian White thinks Gary Bettman is an idiot


The NHL and NHLPA haven't had any formal discussions this week and might not have any for another two weeks if commissioner Gary Bettman's suggestion for a moratorium on talks actually happens.

But good news! We do have some name-calling going so ... well, yeah, that's probably not as good as negotiations and meaningful talks. But that's where we are, more than 60 days into the lockout.

Speaking after the Detroit Red Wings' informal player skate on Friday, defenseman Ian White told reporters he thinks the commissioner is an idiot and has done nothing but damage the game since he has taken over the league.

"I gotta be honest: I personally think he's an idiot," said White, via Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press. "Since he's come in, I think he's done nothing but damage the game."

"It looks awful," he continued. "Every day I take a look. You look at the calendar, and then you look at the position, and nothing has really changed. It's getting pretty close to being tragic."

White also pointed to the three lockouts that have taken place during Bettman's watch -- resulting in more games missed due to labor strife than any other North American professional sports league -- plus the decision to put franchises in unstable hockey markets as his blunders. 

Bettman has been NHL commissioner since Feb. 1, 1993.

White's point on expansion into new markets in the South and West is a common criticism of Bettman. It's worth pointing out that, while teams were placed in those markets during Bettman's tenure through expansion and relocation, that movement started to take place before Bettman became commissioner. Teams like San Jose, Tampa Bay, Florida and Anaheim (many of which have been successful) were either already playing or already introduced as expansion franchises before Bettman joined the league.

The NHL was probably going to grow no matter who the commissioner was.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

CBS Sports Writer

Adam Gretz has been writing about the NHL and taking an analytical approach to the game since the start of the 2008 season. A member of the PHWA since 2015, he has spent more than three years covering... Full Bio

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