For the first time that I can remember, Gary Bettman seemed to have lost his cool in public last night. Not only that, but the normally clean cut NHL executive appeared to be unshaven and even a little bit rattled.
Listening to Bettman last night was a little enlightening, if you bothered to listen closely. The most important line of the entire conference, in my opinion, was when Bettman stated that owners had wanted the make-whole offer to be taken off the table over a month ago, and he went against their wishes to attempt to get a deal done.
Now think about the incredibly crappy situation Gary Bettman is in right now. He gets all of the flack from fans, media, and especially players, then goes back to his office and gets reamed out by owners for being too generous. This is in a scenario where the NHL has given up basically nothing from the starting point of the 2005-2012 CBA. They've given up nothing and he's still being told he's negotiating too generously.
All the while, he's maintained a professional demeanor, never stooping to even acknowledging things like Krys Barch saying he wishes it was the old west so he could settle the lockout with a gun, or various players saying they want to punch him, or calling him a rat, among other things.
And to top it off, he's not drawing a salary during the lockout. Now, I'm not saying Bettman is hard done by as money goes, he lives a lavish life I'm certain, but all these factors have to be weighing on him. Add in that Fehr's negotiation strategy seems to be to show up 6 hours late to every meeting, and you'd got a frustrated man.
But all this brings me to my point, the fans and players that are constantly blaming Bettman, I get the emotion. However, you look really stupid, and really childish. Gary Bettman is not the cause of this lockout, just like Donald Fehr isn't the cause of this lockout. The NHL ownership group wants more money. The NHL players want to keep as much as they possibly can, and maybe get some extra rights thrown in to make it go down better. That's what this lockout is about.
The "F*** you Bettman!!" tweets, or the ones attacking players for being greedy, they make you look like a knuckle dragging moron. I want hockey back as much as anyone, I'm as angry about this situation as anyone, but for the sake of the ghosts of the old forum, be an adult.
And if that fails, take the advice of Ilya Bryzgalov: