Gary Bettman doesn’t want knee-jerk reaction to stall tactics

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A huge chunk of the hockey world weighed in on the strange stalling scene between the Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning, so it only makes sense that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman gave his own take on the issue.

“Did I like it? No. Is it the most horrible thing I’ve ever seen on the ice? No,” Bettman said. “But I do think it has now added another agenda item to the general managers (meetings) next week.”

Naturally, the worry is that the league will overreact to Peter Laviolette’s puck-based political statement. Bettman said that the on-ice officials handled the situation appropriately and that the NHL wants to avoid a knee-jerk reaction regarding what might just be an isolated incident. At the same time, he also said that the league might “deal with” trap-type strategies if they “became too prevalent and too much of the game and too regular.”

Obviously there are people who are probably on the extremes of this discussion (perhaps they should be called trap abolitionists vs. defensive enthusiasts?), but most of us hope for minimal changes – if any at all. It sounds like Bettman is in tune with the majority here, but he was wise to hedge his bets.

If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s some video footage from that strange night: