If Gary Bettman is allowed to continue as NHL commissioner undoubtedly the NHL is headed to a dark deep place, a journey that will see the NHL as we know it implode with the NHL certain to lose at least six franchises in the next decade.
Of all the mistakes, error in judgments Gary Bettman has made during his tenure as NHL commissioner none come close to his misguided belief that Versus is the right American cable TV partner for the NHL.
It has been said before in the pages of Sports Business News and it will be said again, if you’re not on ESPN, you’re not a sport in the United States.
Its time Gary Bettman was held responsible for leading the NHL’s BOG’s into their terrible Versus cable agreement.
And just how bad are the NHL’s national TV ratings on NBC? They’ve fallen by 20 percent through the first three weekends of coverage.
"I was in Chicago last Sunday and Tuesday," a scout said over the weekend told The National Post. "There weren't 6,000 people there either night. And I'm seeing a lot of that in the U.S. Los Angeles? For the most part, you won't see 10,000 people there.
"In Philly, they're really, really worried about next year, from a business perspective. They've got plenty of season tickets sold -- this year. But look at the stands. No one is using their tickets. What happens after you paid for season tickets but never used them? You don't renew."
"Detroit? A lot of empty seats there. The tickets are sold, but they're not coming," another scout reported. "I've never, ever seen empty seats in Detroit. I was there for a Dallas game -- empty seats. A Nashville game -- empty seats. Montreal? Empty seats."
Eight franchises and two success stories, that’s a 25 percent success and that by any definition is a failure. Its time the National Hockey League Board of Governors showed they really care about their game, show they really care about the future of the NHL and hold Gary Bettman accountable
for how his lack of leadership in managing the NHL.
Keep them coming folks.