I realize football has started and fans are thrilled for that. Also, baseball is heading down the stretch with great pennant races and wild card chases. This is all good. For myself and millions of others it will have to be as it appears to this observer that Gary Bettman, the failed and inept commissioner of the NHL is looking to shut down the game AGAIN.

I have written about what I observe to be a ridiculous and insulting offer from the owners to the players. Now, faced with a lockout on September 15th, no longer is the problem down the line. It is here. Now. And it appears that the idiot running the NHL wants to lock it down.

Let me be clear, Gary Bettman is a disaster and as a hockey fan I have always felt he is clueless about the game and was hired strictly because his former boss, David Stern, did a tremendous job reviving the NBA. Bettman was his top aide and hired by the NHL. I contend Bettman is a total outsider with no love for the game and in my opinion very little knowledge of the game. I am not even sure if he likes the game.

Bettman has been bent to ram a brutal deal down the players' throat with no evidence that the game faces financial peril. Small market teams like Nashville, Minnesota, and Edmonton among others have spent and spent a lot on players. Large market teams certainly haven't been shy about opening the vault so what is the problem? Bettman "offered" an 11% cut in revenue pie distribution, from 57% to 46%. This was just one of the pathetic stipulations in the owners' offer.


Usually I am with the owners in these matters, or neutral at worst, but this is absurd what Bettman is doing. Both sides met briefly Friday and agreed to no more meetings-at least scheduled at this time.

I could go through the legal mumbo jumbo language with Donald Fehr, the NHL Players Association leader blaming Bettman while Bettman, of course, is blaming the players. The players gave a written proposal after receiving the owners' offer. The players responded on August 24th. It took another 8-9 days before the owners responded back to the players showing you they are in no hurry to strike a deal and seemingly led by Bettman to shut down the game. On when talks might resume, if at all, Bettman said, quote, "somebody needs to be in a position to say something new."

The lockout is scheduled for September 15th which happens to be my birthday. Thanks a lot, Gary Bettman for being the complete incompetent wrecking ball for a sport I love!

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