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Just now, PuckPundit said:

Out of curiosity, how to remove the commissioner?  Need a majority or unanimous vote of all 30 team owners? Everyone agrees ousting Bettman is good, but how to get rid of him?  Can a candidate e.g. Pierre McGuire gun for his job?

Franchise values have consistently grown for 30 years. I don't think everyone agrees about it.

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10 minutes ago, vegasrick said:

I suppose you're one of those people who believe Gary Bettman didn't fix games by directing referees when he was assistant commissioner of the NBA, too. 

 

5 minutes ago, Noob616 said:

I'm one of those people that thinks every single fanbase of every single team in every single hockey league on this planet thinks the officials are out to get their team. I also think the idea that of all games to fix or "direct", the NHL would choose a Saturday night HNIC game between the Habs and Leafs when if they were hellbent on the Leafs making the playoffs they could just fix games against Florida and Carolina.

 

Like what's the broader narrative here? I thought Bettman was out to get Canadian teams to fix the league so southern teams could have success, but now I'm supposed to believe he's fixing games to benefit Toronto. 

 

So what Rick said is actually truth. A couple of basketball refs from the era when Bettman was involved with the NBA have stated they were sometimes asked to push games in one direction or another. We know there have been allegations in baseball that the same thing happened and that players threw games as well. It's just not out of the realm of possibility, even if we don't have real proof it ever happened in the NHL.

What do I personally believe is possible?

Well for one, I think the league under Bettman has been money-hungry. I think they've shown with their Southern expansion plans that they're willing to compromise the product on the ice for profit. I also think they've shown a real lack of effort to sort out the problems with their officiating. In the NFL, you see public apologies for reffing mistakes and suspension of officials and so on. You see that in international soccer. You see umpires making public statements to apologize for bad calls from time to time in baseball. But in hockey, Bettman purposely prevents his officials from commenting publicly and purposely prevents any amount of transparency and accountability. So do I believe Bettman and Campbell sit down at a desk before the season and decide who they want to win the Cup? No. But do I believe they treat all teams fairly? No. Joe Thornton has even been on record saying players throughout the league feel franchises like the Bruins and Rangers get favorable treatment from the NHL. It doesn't help that the Bruins' owner and Bettman are just about best buds. I also believe the league is willing to direct things in ways that favor certain teams... not cracking down on dangerous hits favors dirty teams like Boston and Philly. Lucic runs over Ryan Miller a few years and the league announces "it really should have been a suspension but we won't suspend Lucic and just make sure the next guy who does the same thing gets suspended." It's whatever's convenient at the time but there's no consistency.

I also believe refs and linesmen and league officials have their favorite players and teams and their least favorites and that they don't treat all players equally. We know refs have targeted guys like Alex Burrows and PK Subban. I actually know people who have spoken to officials in person outside of the rink and who have these guys on record saying they dislike certain players and teams. Tim Peel is one, for example, who I have it on a good source saying he's a Leafs fan and that he can't stand the Sens and Habs... and frankly, that shows in his work. Refs are humans, and they allow their personal impressions of players to get in the way. One can say this is just human nature, but it still means the end result is that officiating isn't fair to everyone.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Noob616 said:

So then why is Bettman fixing this game for the Leafs when they're in a dead heat with Florida and Tampa for a playoff spot? As you said, believe what you want but I don't see anything beyond conspiracies to support this stuff, and the conspiracies are mutually exclusive right now.

Look, you're the one who said "are we still filling GDT's" with ref conspiracies, and clearly, the Habs don't play every game against the Leafs.  Just believe what you want, you're going to anyway.  

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