top of page
  • Writer's pictureFred


Updated: Jun 11

Lead Story at ESPN the day after Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs?

Caitlyn Clark left off of the Olympic Roster-

If you're a fan of the NHL, how does that headline not make you want to drag Gary Bettman out of his mansion by his feet?

This Should Have Been the Headline - Version 1

Sergei Bobrovsky

Sergei Bobrovsky has been one of the best goaltenders in the NHL over the past decade. He pitched a shutout against the high powered Oilers, leading the Panthers to a 3-0 victory.

How Bettman screwed up: Bobrovsky should be a household name like Patrick Roy or Martin Brodeur. Bettman does a terrible job of marketing his stars, an even worse job marketing his Russian stars.

This Should Have Been the Headline - Version 2

Connor McDavid

In 2015, the Edmonton Oliers selected Connor McDavid as the first pick in the NHL draft. A decade later, he's in the Stanley Cup Finals as the Captain of the same team.

How Bettman screwed up: You've got to market the hell out of your leading scorers. McDavid was third in the league in scoring and Edmonton has 2 of the league's top 10 scorers. If you're Gary Bettman, your goal has to be making the kids today know Connor McDavid like I knew Wayne Gretzky.

That isn't happening.

This Should Have Been the Headline - Version 3

Expansion Legacy

Can a team from the expansion era win the Stanley Cup for the 4th time in 5 years? In other sports, expansion teams are not as prolific as in the NHL.

How Bettman screwed up: In no sport is it easier to win a championship as an expansion team than in the NHL. Last year, the Vegas Golden Knights won their Stanley Cup in the 6th year of their existence. They went to the Stanley Cup in their first year. Many hard core fans still consider the Panthers an expansion team.

Ask the Original Six if they're happy about helping out new teams.

This Should Have Been the Headline - Version 4

Edmonton is hoping to break the 31 year curse for Canadian Teams trying to win the Stanley Cup.

How Bettman screwed up: The Phoenix Coyotes moved from Winnipeg to Phoenix in 1996, that should never have happened.

As the Coyotes floundered, multiple ownership prospects inquired about moving the team back to Canada.

How do I know Gary Bettman hates Canada?

Saskatoon called: Bettman said No.

Hamilton called: Bettman said No.

Quebec City called: Bettman said No.

Toronto (second team) called: Bettman said No.

Salt Lake City called: Bettman said "let me check with our the moving company."

Now don't get me wrong, Salt Lake City is the perfect place for an NHL team, but---

Let me attack it from a different angle. In the mid-1980's, the NHL and the NBA were about the same in popularity. Commissioner David Stern grew the NBA to the second largest sport, popularity-wise, in both the United States and the World.

(I would argue soccer is the world's most popular sport.)

(I would argue NFL football is America's most popular sport.)

You know why the WNBA exists? D-A-V-I-D S-T-E-R-N. We should not be mentioning the WNBA in the same breath as the NHL.

WNBA ratings are now the same as the NHL! From one reddit user: "It's like (the NHL) doesn't want you to watch their product."

17 views0 comments


bottom of page