Being the Commissioner of any sports league is never the most popular job in the industry. And being the hockey commissioner is no easy task. Just ask Gary Bettman who has seen his shares of mistakes and fan hatred.
The NBC Sports Network, formarly Versus which was formally the Outdoor Life Network, has invested heavily in hockey and the NHL in their attempt to make the newly named network an ESPN rival. One of the new shows on the network is a talk show by sports announcer Bob Costas who recently sat down to talk with Bettman about the future, and past, of the NHL.
Costas had a question for both men: What’s the worst mistake you’ve made as commissioner?
Bettman named three things that he admitted failure to but I can think of a few more like over-expanding. The Atlanta Thrashers are now in Winnipeg and the old Winnipeg team, which moved to Phoenix, is about to move again. Probably back north.
And there’s some certain rules that annoy me. Or Colin Campbell. Or that whole TV network deal that has set the league back 10 years. It’s good they’re doing well now with their new $2 billion deal with NBC but it’s a far cry from their big popularity in the mid 90’s when Bettman started taking over and slowing choking the league.
Overall, there’s more than three things Bettman did wrong. But at least he can admit to a few goofs. Babysteps toward recovery.