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RE: [hockhist] Bettman must be removed.

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  • Risto Pakarinen
    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.
    Message 1 of 14 , Feb 1, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      "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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    • Craig
      Bill, First let me say I do like your idea of bringing in someone like a Dave Branch. That makes a lot of sense. But going back to my point look what the CFL
      Message 2 of 14 , Feb 1, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        Bill,

        First let me say I do like your idea of bringing in someone like a Dave Branch. That makes a lot of sense.

        But going back to my point look what the CFL did. They brought in Tom Wright - the former head of Adidas to run their league. He was and is a football fan but more importantly he is a good business person. He related to the other owners as business people first and foremost and got the league operating as a business. It has been over a year so far and the CFL is doing better then ever. The fans accept him as he has a proven track record in business and clearly loves the CFL and the sport. But that in no way detracts from his job of running the business which is known as the Canadian Football League. The players respect him for the same reasons.

        Bill, as I have said the NHL has tried other ways of running their business except the most obvious - hire a business person who, yes, loves hockey, but will operate the league much like GE, Exxon, Ford, etc. For people who disagree just keep in mind the NHL is a business - not a sport. The job of teams is maximize return to the owners and shareholders - not win championships. If winning helps add to the bottom line then so be it. But most teams will not "blow the budget" to win. (Case in point - the Toronto Maple Leafs.)

        Craig




        ----- Original Message -----
        From: William Underwood
        To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Monday, January 31, 2005 8:41 PM
        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.



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • William Underwood
        ... Wright - the former head of Adidas to run their league. He was and is a football fan but more importantly he is a good business person. He related to the
        Message 3 of 14 , Feb 1, 2005
        • 0 Attachment
          >But going back to my point look what the CFL did. They brought in Tom
          Wright - the former head of Adidas to run their league. He was and is a
          football fan but more importantly he is a good business person. He
          related to the other owners as business people first and foremost and
          got the league operating as a business. It has been over a year so far
          and the CFL is doing better then ever. The fans accept him as he has a
          proven track record in business and clearly loves the CFL and the sport.
          But that in no way detracts from his job of running the business which
          is known as the Canadian >Football League. The players respect him for
          the same reasons.

          And the CFL has a lower profile than the NHL, the players are not
          millionaires and the owners not nearly as wealthy as the NHL...hell you
          have publicly owned teams in the CFL. I submit that they are MUCH more
          pliable lot. The NHL owners do not want a guy that is going to lead them
          by the nose. They are a powerful lot that don't like that sort of
          treatment.

          It is the same in baseball which is why they have a fellow owner as
          commish and in football where you have a Tagliabue today not a Rozelle.
          And when hoops brings a new man in, it won't be a Stern this time.

          The CFL is more at the scale that leagues were when they wanted/allowed
          powerful commissioners. An odd thing happens when you get into billions
          not millions as revenue...the owners no longer wan to follow, they want
          to lead. The CFL is still only in the millions--they are a business,
          much closer to minor pro sport where commissioners still an exert some
          power than the billion dollar sports.

          >Bill, as I have said the NHL has tried other ways of running their
          business except the most obvious - hire a business person who, yes,
          loves hockey, but will operate the league much like GE, Exxon, Ford,
          etc. For people who disagree just keep in mind the NHL is a business -
          not a sport. The job of teams is maximize return to the owners and
          shareholders - not win championships. If winning helps add to the bottom
          line then so be it. But most teams will not "blow the budget" to win.
          (Case in point - the Toronto >Maple Leafs.)


          The hitch is that you don't have shareholders par se. There are wealthy
          individual owners here and corporations for whom hockey is a ancillary
          division. WINNING is what accomplishes two things:

          1-In a league with little TV revenue it is your key profit stream. No
          playoffs equals little profit.
          2-These entities get involved as a vanity issue or for PR. Losing is bad
          PR and bad for the ego.

          You can go on all you want about it being a business like any other one
          but it really isn't. The dynamics of involvement and motivation are all
          very different.




          ----- Original Message -----
          From: William Underwood
          To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Monday, January 31, 2005 8:41 PM
          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.



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




          To unsubscribe from this mail list, send a blank message to
          hockhist-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

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        • William Underwood
          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
          Message 4 of 14 , Feb 1, 2005
          • 0 Attachment
            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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          • Risto Pakarinen
            Yes, but if there is going to be bad PR, there s nothing you can do about it if just one man is to take care of evrything. If he s a hockey person, he ll be
            Message 5 of 14 , Feb 1, 2005
            • 0 Attachment
              Yes, but if there is going to be bad PR, there's nothing you can do
              about it if just one man is to take care of evrything. If he's a hockey
              person, he'll be blamed for not understanding business, and if he's a
              business person, for not understanding hockey.

              So, maybe it'd be better to have a gretzky, surrounded by a great
              management team.

              -----Original Message-----
              From: William Underwood [mailto:wausport@...]
              Sent: den 1 februari 2005 13:51
              To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [hockhist] Bettman must be removed.



              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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            • William Underwood
              It s a Catch 22...so to me the best is to have a guy that knows that game and is a proven administrator in the hot seat of commissioner. Hence the minor pro
              Message 6 of 14 , Feb 1, 2005
              • 0 Attachment
                It's a Catch 22...so to me the best is to have a guy that knows that
                game and is a proven administrator in the "hot seat" of commissioner.
                Hence the minor pro and junior presidencies should be the ideal training
                ground.

                -----Original Message-----
                From: Risto Pakarinen [mailto:risto@...]
                Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2005 7:02 AM
                To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: RE: [hockhist] Bettman must be removed.


                Yes, but if there is going to be bad PR, there's nothing you can do
                about it if just one man is to take care of evrything. If he's a hockey
                person, he'll be blamed for not understanding business, and if he's a
                business person, for not understanding hockey.

                So, maybe it'd be better to have a gretzky, surrounded by a great
                management team.

                -----Original Message-----
                From: William Underwood [mailto:wausport@...]
                Sent: den 1 februari 2005 13:51
                To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: RE: [hockhist] Bettman must be removed.



                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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              • thegiantdevilfish
                ... puppet with a bad face. His camera skills are AWFUL.
                Message 7 of 14 , Feb 5, 2005
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                  --- In hockhist@yahoogroups.com, "William Underwood" <wausport@b...>
                  wrote:


                  >the problem with Bettman lies is that he is all that you say...a
                  puppet with a bad face. His camera skills are AWFUL.<


                  But wasn't Bettman an actor back in the 60's? Didn't he play Robin in
                  that old BATMAN show? :)
                • William Underwood
                  He might have been a stand in...I m just glad he never got on camera in leotards! ... From: thegiantdevilfish [mailto:giantdevilfish@aol.com] Sent: Sunday,
                  Message 8 of 14 , Feb 7, 2005
                  • 0 Attachment
                    He might have been a stand in...I'm just glad he never got on camera in
                    leotards!

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: thegiantdevilfish [mailto:giantdevilfish@...]
                    Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2005 1:59 AM
                    To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [hockhist] Re: Bettman must be removed.




                    --- In hockhist@yahoogroups.com, "William Underwood" <wausport@b...>
                    wrote:


                    >the problem with Bettman lies is that he is all that you say...a
                    puppet with a bad face. His camera skills are AWFUL.<


                    But wasn't Bettman an actor back in the 60's? Didn't he play Robin in
                    that old BATMAN show? :)









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