Update (01/27/08): If you missed last night’s “Ask Gary” segment on Hockey Night in Canada — where Gary Bettman took questions from hockey fans in Canada, live with Ron MacClean — you can watch it here. Nothing too new or exciting… but “Blue Skies” Bettman does strongly deny having any kind of role in keeping the Nashville Predators out of Hamilton, ON … even though there is strong evidence that suggests otherwise, including Craig Leipold taking $40 million less for the team than he could have gotten, which still has not been explained.
Bettman also states that the NHL is not considering any expansion… within Canada or the U.S. in the near future. One fan’s email in the segment asks about why the Red Wings are in the West… and Gary’s response is that if the Wings moved to the East, a team would have to move to the West, which no team is willing to do. But what if an expansion team were to be put in Las Vegas or Kansas City? We aren’t huge fans of the idea, but just want to point out that it is definitely a possibility… even though Gary Bettman always seems to avoid bringing up the possibility when questioned about expansion.
The NHL has announced it will open next season with two games in Europe. Oh boy; Jagr and Lecavalier to Prague and Sid and Alfredsson to Stockholm. Yeah, it’s not the teams that are important; Gary’s just pushin’ a few stars to get more exposure. “We’re all pretty excited about that” were uttered from the hole in his face. Typical Bettman; all cliche and no brain. (His “all” must have been in reference to lackies Bill or Colin.) Wonder how many Europeans get VS.? Yo Bettman, wake up! Starting the season in Winnipeg, Quebec City, Portland (OR), or even (heaven forbid) Hamilton would give you the greater exposure you are seeking in the market you are sadly neglecting; North America! (Don’t forget the “North” part, ay?) Paying –that’s right– paying ESPN to televise a game a week would also aid in this effort. You just have to start focusing on the game… not the “stars” who few people see. Sid ain’t the equivalent to the NBA’s Michael. Remember the NBA was accessible on television when Jordan played. I don’t believe Stern sent you to Europe, but many wish he would have sent you to the moon. Certainly, the sure fire way to create more fan excitement and to actually “grow” the game of hockey would be for you to submit your resignation. Do it dude!!!