The LA outdoor game it is quite intriguing because of its location and should garner some attention as a result. The outdoor games are one of Bettman’s successes. Of course, it was more a lark than anything that to some degree has turned into the league’s golden goose.
However as is the case with fairy tale goose, the NHL’s goose will be eventually be killed. With six outdoor games scheduled for this season, the league will do to the outdoor game what it did to the penalty shot when it added the shootout. It will make the outdoor game(s) just another overdone gimmick. There are better ways to bring intrigue and excitement to your game than gimmicks that will end up being done so many times that everyone, including even the most die hard devoted, will eventually become bored to death.
I love the outdoor games but I believe it is ridiculous to go from one a season to six. That shows you just how stupid Bettman really is and for all those who defend the guy, jump off the wagon before he makes you look just as dumb as he is.
So, NHL revenues have increased but have they increased at a comparable rate? I haven’t done the research but likely there is a stat/number geek out there that has that information at fingertip. Aside from that, could revenues have been more by having a better commissioner. Perhaps having a commissioner who actually understands how to grow the game and develop new fans, the next generation of fans. My guess is yes.
Bettman presides over the greatest sport of all time yet it has been documented that poker outdraws the NHL. Yes, he has had successes but he is not worth the money he is making regardless of whether the owners are willingly shelling it out to him or not. I can only imagine what they would pay a commissioner that is truly growing the game. Grow the game first and the league will surely follow. Get more kids playing the game and then simply step out of the way. Of course, that requires more vision than Bettman seems to be capable of and a plan to see it through along with the understanding that growing youth participation is an extension of the marketing departments of not only all 30 NHL franchises but the league itself. I just don’t see Bettman understanding that let alone giving a tinker’s damn about it.
As far as booing the commissioner, I will never do that in his presence because I know he thrives on it. I saw an interview of him one time and he stated that being booed did not bother him and that if the booing stopped he would be worried then. I guess he believes that once the booing stops everyone believes he is irrelevant.
The NHL owners should be embarrassed that their sport and league do not hold a higher level of meaning in the hearts of people in the United States. It is the one sport that offers everything Americans crave in their games, entertainment or “product”, if you will. Hockey has speed, grace, non-stop action, high skill and physical play unlike any other sport. In that way, hockey rules like no other sport could ever hope to do. Yet, it remains an afterthought for most Americans and I believe that squarely rests on the shoulders of Bettman. You simply do not see the passion for the sport when he speaks of it. Hockey and the NHL need that from its commissioner and when the owners realize that perhaps they will hire the right man for the task of taking the sport and the league to its rightful place.