Thanks for nothing, Gary Bettman! Yes, the NHL commissioner looks like Dracula portrayer Bela Lugosi, and now we see he is trying to draw blood from NHL fans.

For the third time is his way too long tenure, Dracula has brought the sport to the brink as the clueless commish has led the league to a work stoppage. I contend that Bettman doesn't even like hockey.

Like many fans I am tired of reading and talking about labor issues. You would think these guys could find a way to a deal. But no, here we go again. Oh, we will hear the usual fluff from Dracula Bettman, how he respects the fans and so on and so forth. Save it, Dracula.

I have written about this work stoppage for weeks and weeks. As soon as I saw the owners first proposal I knew we were in for trouble. The same clown owners who insisted they needed a salary cap to survive in 2005 now claims they made too good a deal back then.

We as fans are supposed to believe a sport that has seen revenue grow from 300 million in 1993 to 3.3 billion last season is in fiscal trouble. I don't. I believe a handful of owners are keeping the sport closed as most are doing well. Just like society, no matter the system you can't prop up everyone. You can give all the handouts you like but the weak will fall no matter how much you try and prop them up. Teams like the Islanders, Devils, Flames, and the Coyotes  have mostly been mismanaged in some form and no matter what system they put in would probably fail. Now everyone has to pay the price.

As is the usual, no one forced the Devils, for instance, to hand $100 million to Ilya Kovalchuk. No one forced the Coyotes to move their arena miles and miles away from their fan base, then miss the playoffs for seven straight years. No one forced the Islanders, owned by the wealthy Charles Wang to play in the  old, antiquated Nassau Coliseum..

The salary cap is a reasonable one, roughly $43 million dollars. The players even took an immediate 27% rollback in salary last time the league locked them out. No one forced the Wild to hand out $200 million in two contracts in one day's time, or the small market Predators to match a $110 million dollar deal for Shea Webber. It's really the same old battle cry from these pathetic owners: "Save us from ourselves."

I don't usually take these labor matters personally. I understand deals need to be worked out. As a contract employee I get fighting for your money. What I don't get is when a useless leader like Dracula Bettman tells us "we gave them a fairer deal than maybe we should have."

So, fellow hockey fans, get ready for the usual back and forth as the owners try and portray the players as greedy. No, this time it is on the owners, as clueless a group as I have ever seen led by the useless Dracula Bettman.

With football going on, and baseball heading down the exciting stretch and the NBA about to start, sadly the NHL will be forgotten by the masses. Another great year like last season will be forgotten quickly and the great sport of hockey is led to a dangerous place by a rotten commissioner and his foolish employers, the NHL owners.

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