Predators forward Colin Wilson thinks Gary Bettman is a good actor. But other than that, he doesn’t have many nice things to say about the NHL commissioner.
Thursday in an interview with the Winnipeg Sun, Wilson accused Bettman of putting on a show for reporters last week when talks between the owners and players broke down.
“When you saw him at his last press conference, that was him showing emotion? And he’s going, ‘I just feel so bad for the fans,’ things like that. No he doesn’t,” Wilson said. “He’s mad that his strategy isn’t working.”
The 23-year-old added: “I still think he came out trying to look mad, sway the media. That’s what they do. Everything they do is strategic. I’m pretty disgusted by it. I really don’t enjoy him. He doesn’t care for the game.”
When contacted by The Tennessean, Wilson refused to back down from his comments.
“[Bettman’s] job is to get the owners the best deal and to have the games being played,” he said, “but at the same time, he’s going to go out and do what’s best for his side, so if he wants to be portrayed as someone who is very caring about the game, he’s going to go out and he’s going to show emotion.
“It’s a strategy. It’s a strategy on our side of things as well. When he’s going out there everything is planned, he knows what he’s going to do. I don’t think he’s going to go out and absolutely lose it on everybody when he’s being paid a lot of money to do his job. So he went out and said what he had to say and everybody came out and said, ‘Bettman really does care.’ So hats off to him. He did what he sought out to do.”
For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.
The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.
They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.
It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.
Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)
Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.
This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.
Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.
His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.
As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.
The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.
This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.
Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.
Here’s video of Abdelkader’s hat trick: