Bettman: “I want my hockey”

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NHL commissioner Gary Bettman answered some big questions in an interview with The Globe Mail’s Roy MacGregor, including sharing his own love for hockey:

“If I’m a fan, I want my hockey. And I am not really sure I care who is right and who is wrong, I just want it fixed,” Bettman said. “I understand that. I respect that. I am a fan. I want my hockey. And it’s something that drives us 24/7 to try and get it right.”

“Getting it right” was a big theme of Bettman’s responses, yet he also provided interesting takes on a number of subjects.

  • When asked if public opinion matters, Bettman said “ultimately it does.”
  • On being the object of public scorn: “It’s part of the job description that you will never hear me complain about.”
  • He responded to a question about the lockouts he’s presided over by saying “I suppose that anybody in my position, knowing what I know, would have done the same things.”
  • Bettman disagrees vehemently with Dan Boyle’s premise that the owners aren’t as united as they might seem.
  • Aside from his comments about being a fan, Bettman’s thoughts on teams throwing around big, long-term contracts this summer were among his most interesting:

“I know that lots of people look at what they did and scratch their head[s],” Bettman said. “I can understand how they could be complaining about it. Our clubs are fiercely competitive. They will do whatever a system allows. And they will push the limits to the very edge.”

Click here for the full Q & A. It’s well worth a read, even if you’re a full-blown Bettman-basher.

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