Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Same Old Song and Dance


I’m glad I didn’t see Gary Bettman deliver his state of the game address. Reading the transcript was bad enough. At least there were some hostile questions for a change.

Q. Publicly you’ve painted a fairly optimistic portrait of Phoenix’s financial health all season, yet court documents relating to the bankruptcy suggest there were some serious issues all year round. How do you imagine it turning around in that market?

Bettman: First of all, I know there have been suggestions that either Bill or I have been optimistic. That was not the case. What we’ve always responded to has been the notion that the club was not in any jeopardy. The club’s losses are comparable to what they’ve been.

Bzzzt. Wrong. The “suggestions” have nothing to do with your optimism. The “suggestions” are that you deceived the media and the hockey fans about the Coyotes. That you lied when you dismissed reports of financial trouble in Phoenix even though the league had been in control of the team the entire season. That you had the gall to describe reporters as irresponsible when they did their job for a change.

That’s the lesson thinking people drew from the Phoenix fiasco. Gary Bettman doesn’t tell the truth about any of the league problems. He blames the media, the NHLPA, Paul Kelly, Russians, the GMs, Jerry Moyes, and the city of Columbus, but he doesn’t tell the truth.

The questions now are “Why should any of us believe anything you have to say in your state of the game address? Is there anything you should do to repair your credibility with the media or the fans? Why are we covering this press conference when all we ever get is the same old song and dance?”

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