1. Lockouts. While Bettman has been commissioner, the NHL has been locked out three times (1994, 2004-05, 2012). 2012: Revenue increasing in the sport? Fantastic for the owners. Do they want to increase player salary accordingly? Fuck no. woohoo, we have a lockout.
2. Said lockouts pretty much kill any forward momentum for growing the fanbase. Everyone is worried about money and filling seats, getting teams out of debt, but then we go into a lockout, which loses fans and MORE MONEY.
3. The NHL has had moments of pure idiocy monetarily while he’s been commissioner. Teams declaring bankruptcy (Kings), teams moving because they can’t get enough money to stay (Quebec Nordiques, Minnesota North Stars, Winnipeg Jets/Atlanta Thrashers, Hartford Whalers, almost the Phoenix Coyotes- which is a whole different issue, and almost the New Jersey Devils at one point). Not to mention those lockouts were due to owners (of which Bettman is the figurehead for) wanting larger pieces of the pie while players got less.
4. Bettman obviously doesn’t want Canadian teams to win the cup. No cups for Canadian teams since 1993, when Bettman first came in. OBVIOUSLY THERE IS A CONNECTION.
5. Expansion teams. While I like most of them, the way the teams were introduced into the league was not the smartest. It was too many at once, and as a result those teams are still struggling to find a way to match the fanbase and attendance of many other teams.
8. North Stars. The last Wild game I went to, a surprising number of people were still walking around in North Star jerseys. They will never forget. Ever.
9. Nordiques. Same with the North Stars, the fans don’t forget. Ever.
9. Listening to him at a press conference will make you want to slam your hand in a door. Dude is worse than Bush was.
10. He was extremely slow to do anything about the leagues issues with concussions, and deaths related to physical and mental injuries accrued through the game.