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SBD/December 12, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Gary Bettman Hits 20-Year Milestone As NHL Commissioner With Mixed Legacy
Published December 12, 2012
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BY THE NUMBERS: In N.Y., Jeff Klein notes since Bettman's first full season as commissioner in '93-94, 2,224 regular-season NHL "games have been canceled" because of three separate lockouts. That comes to 9.7% of games scheduled from October '93 through January 1, 2013. No other "major league has a similar rate of cancellation over the same period." Innovative Sports & Entertainment Advisor and BOD member Bob Gutkowski: "To lose almost 10 percent of your games to lockouts, that’s a chilling number" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/12).
REPORT CARD: In Buffalo, Bucky Gleason notes Bettman "didn’t take his post until Feb. 1, 1993, but he was hired as commissioner after a meeting Dec. 11, 1992." His anniversary is "hardly grounds for mass celebration," but his tenure "in totality should not be pushed through a shredder, either, as many would believe." Overall, the league is "stronger, and players are making exponentially more money than they did when he arrived" (BUFFALO NEWS, 12/12). The GLOBE & MAIL's Bruce Dowbiggin writes of Bettman, "The current CBA disaster will no doubt be carved on his tombstone." The "problem for Bettman is that his major accomplishments have been obscured from the average fan. Going into the lockout we gave him a C+. We'll wait till this lockout ends to give a final grade. But it's not likely to improve" (GLOBE & MAIL, 12/12).