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47320RE: [hockhist] Bettman must be removed.

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  • William Underwood
    Feb 1, 2005
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      And this is true, the media has a lo0t to do with it.

      And you are right for the winning teams as well as those who are doing
      well off the ice. Not all fit either or both descriptions. Plus even
      then, the commish will have to intervene now and again even with winners
      and the issue will raise its ugly head. You get the "what does he know"
      sort of bad PR...



      -----Original Message-----
      From: Risto Pakarinen [mailto:risto@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2005 5:45 AM
      To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [hockhist] Bettman must be removed.


      "And the very fact that many want a person with a background in the game
      is a unique feature too! The END USER actually is disturbed by the CEO
      lacking it. What other business features this? Who screamed first about
      Bettman's background? The FAN. Keep in mind what "fan" is short
      for..."fanatic". What other product calls its end user "fanatics"? And
      only a fanatic would care about the CEO being a member of the industry.
      Why do they do that? It comes back to why they are "fanatics" they share
      a devotion to a product that they like to perceive that the CEO shares."

      Well, the "fans" all read the same papers and watch the same shows and
      maybe the sports journalists are more to blame. I really don't think the
      fans care who runs the league as long as their teams is winning.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: William Underwood [mailto:wausport@...]
      Sent: den 1 februari 2005 03:41
      To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [hockhist] Bettman must be removed.



      The CFL has a TV contract because they get TV ratings in their market,
      the NHL does not. You'd need a magician or miracle worker to change that
      in the US. No matter who you had as a commissioner they will not get a
      better deal from the US networks, in fact they are lucky to have the one
      that they just signed. And it isn't going to get better, ESPN is
      actually getting BETTER ratings WITHOUT hockey this year!

      The problem with hiring a businessman from outside of sport is two fold.
      One, he is generally an exec who is used to people jumping when he talks
      as opposed to having to walk on egg shells, beg, and plead billionaire
      egos. The secret to Peter Rozelle's success was simple. He was a PR guy
      who understood how to glad hand. He could get a guy out on the golf
      course and push and idea that he had been diametrically opposed to and
      by the ninth hole have the guy parroting Pet's plan and him saying "gee
      George that is a GREAT idea YOU had, why don't we both introduce it at
      the next meeting." He could charm an opponent. He also was from a
      football background, He KNEW these guys and the way the sport worked.
      What fears had to be alleviated and there were quite a few in the early
      national TV deal era. But Pete had seen it from his days with the Rams
      in the early TV days. This brings us to point two. Sports are a unique
      industry. The motivations for involvement in them differ (ego versus
      bottom line), the concept of profit differs (often it is to show a loss
      or create ancillary revenues) and behavior is different. Hell, what non
      sports business could get into the mess that the NHL is in now? You have
      millionaire employees with egos to match being dealt with by billionaire
      egos on the other side. The employee is an important part of the
      product, he is the part that creates the identity. You also have an odd
      cartel here that you are governing. One where your success comes at the
      price of a partner's success yet you Are partners who the overall body
      needs BOTH to be healthy for it to be healthy. Yet the end consumer
      never understand this. They demand only success from the local "branch"
      and you must satisfy this. It is a conflict of interest between the good
      of the league (all clubs) versus the health of the individual bodies
      each of whom play an active role in governing the whole.

      If you brought in an exec from the outside world he would either storm
      out of the meeting in an ego filed rage after 24 hours screaming "THEY
      WON'T LISTEN". Or he would leave in a straight jacket after a year
      babbling "they don't behave logically...it all makes no sense." Insiders
      understand two things these guys don't. One you work for the OWNERS not
      the other way around. IF you want to get anything done you need the
      charisma of a JFK and patience of the Dali Lama. You can charm them but
      you can NEVER force them. Even if you think that what they want ifs the
      stupidest thing that you have ever heard! The only thing that you can do
      is politic, use power when and where you HAVE to and are allowed to, and
      hope for the best. Two, you are entering into a business that is not
      illogical. But rather it has its own logic that has come from
      experience. Big money has brought a new era but the same basic forces
      are at work. Clubs must win to maximize interest and profit and they
      will do anything they can to do so. It may involve harming another lodge
      member, it may mean skirting but not breaking the rules or it may mean
      taking a gamble that proves unwise. The decision points are different
      from normal business. These are secondary holdings but as secondary
      holding they are not only easier to gamble with but also easier to
      drop...the consumer in this industry is unique, they subscribe to a
      drama that is completely unscripted...the producer is a person who
      invested largely for ego or PR...the product itself is in part the
      labor. It is a complex dance that is hard to master not unlike high
      ballet being tough for your average slam dancer to master. It is full of
      contradictions and is in a transitional era. The outsider can find it
      baffling!

      And the very fact that many want a person with a background in the game
      is a unique feature too! The END USER actually is disturbed by the CEO
      lacking it. What other business features this? Who screamed first about
      Bettman's background? The FAN. Keep in mind what "fan" is short
      for..."fanatic". What other product calls its end user "fanatics"? And
      only a fanatic would care about the CEO being a member of the industry.
      Why do they do that? It comes back to why they are "fanatics" they share
      a devotion to a product that they like to perceive that the CEO shares.

      The fact is Bettman actually broke a mold in sports. He was hired from
      another sport to be commish of a league. Uberoth and Vincent were from
      other sports backgrounds but not other leagues. And in the end perhaps
      the biggest rap on Bettman is "he doesn't understand he is not one of
      us...a hockey nut."

      What hockey can do but hasn't is look at the successful leagues within
      their own sport top find a commish, Never once in the modern era have
      they brought in an AHL prez or the head of the CHL or any other top
      league that ahs shown he can actually RUN a hockey league and do it well
      over time! Maybe the next time around the answer to this issue is right
      under their noses quite literally...guys who have handles every crisis
      drill with grace, presided over successful leagues in the industry
      itself, have done things right and know the league. They are more likely
      to find a good commish that way than any other. Then again maybe the
      exercise in the modern era is to NOT have a truly strong commish.
      Perhaps the money is just too big for owners to want to allow a man too
      much power...David Stern may be the last of a breed.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Craig [mailto:argonauts25@...]
      Sent: Monday, January 31, 2005 8:00 PM
      To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [hockhist] Bettman must be removed.


      Has anyone ever considered that perhaps the NHL does not need a "hockey
      man" but perhaps they need a good, or even better, "great" business
      person to run the league? When companies are in trouble many times they
      will look to the outside and bring in someone such as a Jack Welch to
      try and turn things around (I am using Welch as an example - I am not
      promoting him or his methods.) Maybe the NHL should do that. Bring in a
      top flight executive who has successfully run big multi-national
      corporation who has no loyalty to the league and will simply make the
      necessary decisions that need to be made to have a profitable business.

      Before people jump all over me for this look at the state of the league
      now. They have gone the route of lawyers and hockey people running it
      and where did that get them? The NHL is without a doubt the worst run
      and operated league in pro sports. Heck people dump on the CFL and call
      it minor league but you know what - they have TV networks who pay them
      well for their broadcasts. The NHL can't even get that now! The NHL is
      a business - not a sport - maybe they need to start looking at hiring
      the best possible business person to run it - not a hockey person.

      Craig


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: William Underwood
      To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sunday, January 30, 2005 12:26 PM
      Subject: RE: [hockhist] Bettman must be removed.


      >I know the pro-owner guys out there are probably ready to refute my
      claim. But I'm making this statement as a hockey fan - and not
      necessarily as a fan that is pro-player.

      I think we would all agree that the position of NHL commissioner is
      critical to all aspects of the sport. Because of this we need
      someone in this position that not only represents the 30 owners, but
      someone who is an ambassador for the sport and someone who is
      respected by the owners, players and the fans.

      I'm not trying to contribute to the many "GaryBettmanSucks" websites
      that have popped up over the last year. But the current commissioner
      has no roots in the sport and I think he should be replaced with
      someone who has a long-standing relationship with the game. Someone
      like Gretzky or Lemiuex comes to mind.

      Maybe they would not take the job. But maybe a lesser profile ex-
      player, who is now involved in management, might accept such a job.
      It seems to me that the built up animosity between the two sides
      >would be lessened if such a person were in place as commissioner.

      While I can't disagree as I have said the same thing for years, you
      can't do it now in the middle of a war. Bettman will be here for the
      duration and if he gets a cap for longer. And in reality I have began
      to
      have a change inn opinion of Bettman up to a point. I believe that
      anyone can learn and redeem themselves and part of me hopes that he
      has
      done so. After ten years he may well be learning a bit about the
      culture
      of this sport.

      Is he good at PR? NO! Has he been good for the game for most of his
      tenure? NO. But perhaps with a clean slate he may do better on the
      second. But I would be dead set against doing anything until this is
      over.

      As for a successor...and ex player would NOT be the way to go in
      modern
      sport. A guy like Dave branch of the Canadian Hockey League would be
      the
      sort of man for the job, great HOCKEY administrator who has proven
      that
      he can take a HOCKEY league into a new millennia and understand the
      game
      and its place in the market. Another guy might be a David Andrews of
      the
      AHL.

      Now to toss another spin, how can the NHLPA keep Goodenow? He has
      consistently misled his charges (these guys have to be getting the
      misconception about guaranteed deals from somewhere and if anything he
      is doing nothing to quell that) and has miscalculated from day one.
      You
      have to give Bettman the credit that he has passed on the offers to
      his
      side and allowed them to see it and comment. We have yet to see any
      misconception of the deal by the owners. They have their theory about
      the results that some may question but they are base upon the facts
      not
      a bedrock fantasy like the loss of guaranteed deals myth that is
      rampant
      in the NHLPA! In December Goodneow came to his people saying that a 24
      %
      roll back would launch talks, now if he really believed that he made
      the
      biggest calculation since Saddam Hussein said "nobody in the world
      would
      care if we invaded Kuwait." And if he didn't really believe it he was
      lying. Either way it is bad!

      To take I t another step, how many players have said "we can live with
      a
      cap"? Quite a few have said that or some variation before retracting
      it
      under union pressure. And isn't it a coincidence that ever since their
      November conclave we have heard this issue about losing guaranteed
      deal
      when in fact we know that this was NEVER proposed by the owners? If
      Goodenow is so sure of himself why doesn't he go OUT OF HIS WAY to
      clear
      this up? To SEE to kit that ALL of his members understand this...the
      owners all see any union proposal and get to peruse it with their
      lawyers and accountants, Bettman allows that to happen. When there is
      a
      rebuttal by the owners it is based upon a perception not a
      misconception. The NHL side, in effect is always monitoring a vote,
      all
      Bettman needs to know at any given time is are there 8 plus owners who
      will not approve of the deal. The NHLPA won't put league offers on the
      table to their mass membership. Granted it is harder to do as there
      are
      so many more of them but do you notice the theme that each time there
      are talks it is speculated that the NHL wants to see a vote by the
      NHLPA
      on the cap issue...yet we don't see them...is Goodenow and his little
      cabal at the top afraid? YOU BET they are!

      So if Bettman should be gone Goodnow should HAVE been
      gone...yesterday!

      In an ideal world we would see a Branch in charge of the future NHL
      and
      at least a man that is frank and honest in charge of the NHLPA...as a
      union they have never had that and it is too bad!






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