Just when you think Gary Bettman couldn’t get more full of himself and ‘his NHL’… today he and the NHL filed a counterclaim against Madison Square Garden LP (owners of the New York Rangers), threatening disciplinary action for “materially breaching their contractual commitments to the league and the other 29 member clubs – as well as for compensatory damages stemming from those breaches.â€
At the beginning of the 2007-2008 season, MSG LP sued the NHL for violating anti-trust regulations, and monopolizing teamsâ€™ promotions. The suit came after the NHL made every team turn over the private operations of team web sites and promotional activities to the NHL offices in New York. The lawsuit was taken to court three times, and the NHL won every time. The Rangers owners have challenged the decisions based on anti-trust regulations, and now the NHL will have nothing to do with it… so they have filed this counterclaim with an intent to stop MSG’s continuous actions against the NHL… with a threat of fining, suspending or making MSG lose ownership of the Rangers.
What?? The Rangers or no team can challenge the “rules”??? Everything the NHL does is completely correct and no one can say otherwise??? This is typical Bettman style… never admitting he’s wrong, sticking to his rules even though LOTS of people who know much more about business and hockey disagree, and doing anything he can to counter-attack and shed the blame when there is constructive criticism about the way he is operating the NHL (“NHL Hour” anyone??). Why would any team want to turn over their web site or promotions operations directly to the NHL? The only thing the NHL cares about is posting Sidney Cry-baby’s face all over their ads, putting teams in markets that will never survive, putting NHL games (even almost all of the playoff games!) on a TV network (Vs.) that no one really knows about or receives, turning the game into the NBA or other over-dramatic productions/sports, and making the owners money no matter how much it costs/hurts the fans and game.
In other news, apparently the NHL Players Association isn’t too happy with Mr. Bettman either. Before the infamous lockout of 2004-2005, one of the main reasons Bettman and his cronies insisted on a salary cap was to reduce ticket prices for fans. Just the opposite has happened… ticket prices have gone up… and there are still teams, such as Phoenix and Florida, who are losing money. Point being, no one but certain team owners are reaping the benefits of the salary cap and the new collective bargaining agreement. The players, fans, and many teams are worse off than they were before 2004-2005. It’s apparent the NHLPA is getting more frustrated with Bettman and his antics and tactics… as the article states “The union also agreed to form a committee to decide whether to opt out of its labour agreement next summer”.
Also, tomorrow night (June 20th) is the beginning of the official 2008 NHL Draft in Ottawa!! The thing we’re most excited about is to see how loud the “boos” are at Scotiabank Place when lil’ shit-fer-brains steps up to the microphone.