Selanne calls out ‘most hated’ Bettman

September 17, 2012, 3:40 PM

When the most senior and one of the most respected active NHL players writes a scathing blog on the lockout, people take notice.

Teemu Selanne, who re-signed to play the 2012-13 season with the Anaheim Ducks for $4.5 million, posted a column on Monday that calls out NHL commissioner Gary Bettman as well as the teams’ owners, specifically Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold, on Finnish site MTV3.fi (seen on Twitter via sportswriter Matias Strozyk).

In his piece titled “What Gives, Gary Bettman?” – written in Selanne’s native Finnish but Google-translated to English in full below – the NHL veteran, who lived through the 2004-05 lockout, begins by detailing the NHL’s remarkable financial growth since the league’s previous work stoppage and calls the on-ice product “more interesting than ever.”

Selanne underwent knee surgery during the 2004-05 NHL lockout. Although he signed with Jokerit of the Finnish National League, Selanne was unable to play that whole season because his rehabilitation took longer than expected.

In his blog, Selanne points to the owners’ front-loaded, long-term deals as a sign of poor business decisions that are not the fault of the players.

“A perfect example is the Minnesota owner Craig Leipold, who is also a member of the NHL,” Selanne writes (roughly translated). “He signs two players, Zach (Parise) and Ryan Suter, to 13-year contracts worth more than $100 million (per player) and tells the hockey world how excited the Minnesota is with its fresh purchases. The next day, he puts on an NHL jacket, going to the other side of the table, and tells the same hockey world how incomprehensible these new long-term contracts are. Come on! No teams are forced to pay such sums, and the 13-year contracts are absurd. It is their decision!”

Selanne goes on to note that this is the third work stoppage of Bettman’s tenure as commissioner.

“He is certainly the NHL’s most hated person!” Selanne writes (translated). “He makes more than $8 million a year. Would Mr. Bettman be willing to give up part of his salary to these ‘poor’ teams? Hmm … interesting question.”

You can read the (very rough) Google translation of Selanne’s entire post below:


What gives, Gary Bettman?

Hello again everyone! In this blog I do a lot of it is through being members of their own. However, to the extent that the summer went well and everything has been fine for the new season. I have to admit that the disappointing start of the lockout is great. But let this case right now, through properly.

I still remember a very beautiful summer’s day, it was 22 July 2005. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to announce that the year-long lockout is over and excited about the foot brass, how dazzling the NHL’s future when the owners finally got what they wanted. Mr. Bettman was right! NHL-size business has grown over the lock-out 2.3 billion to 3.3 billion, that is, almost a billion dollars, or 40 percent. Just so, you saw right! I’m talking about billion!

The new salary cap has evened out the sports-team level differences. NHL is a smoother and more interesting than ever, the product works and the fans like. The clubs pay their players more than ever to pay. Everything should be fine. What’s wrong with this then? Is ice hockey really afford to be without playing again? Damage caused by the recent lockout has just been repaired. Most of the fans have lost approximately recovered. However, television giant ESPN, which was rejected by the ice hockey and took the Texas hold’em poker place, is still the biggest source of revenue lost.

32 teams reportedly 22 does more or less the winning result. Teams loss results, that the rich clubs would like would share part of their profits to these weakly to clubs. The rich teams in the message is a harsh one: not a chance! If you do not know how to do business, or you’re wrong in the city, it is not our problem. Commissioner Gary Bettman has this great idea: Let’s take out the players and give it to these poor clubs. No way around it, each belongs to “own people” in this circus. NHL complain that the players get too big pot (57%) of the total business. After all, clubs, however, it is the financial risk, the players will not have. That’s true, but the NHL forget that we have a player risks. Every day when we put the skates we take a calculated risk that one of the tackle can end a career or one skate cut to stop even the whole of life. NHL player’s career average duration of about four years. Is to me unreasonable “to accept” what’s he doing? NHL is a clear market value of a player, the clubs and the NHL are developed. They know every player’s value and pay accordingly.

NHL has warned clubs from making too long and the front-heavy contracts. After all, the clubs need them to do, if you do not want to. A perfect example is the Minnesota owner Craig Leipold, who is also one of the NHL’s members of the group. He makes a two-player, Zach and Ryan Suterin A couple with 13 years and more than $ 100 million contracts (per player) and tells the hockey world how excited the entire Minnesota is fresh purchases. The next day, he put a jacket on top of the NHL, going to the other side of the table and tells the same hockey world how incomprehensible are these new long-term contracts. Come on! None teams forced to pay such sums, and in the 13 years of absurd contracts. It is their decision! Are NHL clubs still do not know that any of mega long-term deal has not yet been owners of operating. You also have to remember that it has a contractual dispute with 57 per cent share of the players had their offer, which we had to accept. And now, it is not enough!

Gary Bettman has been the NHL’s boss for almost 20 years. He was hired by the NHL to bring the salary cap, and so he did, as he had received the salary cap NBA Basketball: acquisition. Twice the lockout has been a stoppage during his reign, and each time the lockout is done. Now it is the third! He is certainly the NHL’s most hated person. For every NHL team’s arrival at the hall throughout the hall buuaa and show her mind. Yes fans to know! He makes himself more than eight million dollars a year. Would Mr. Bettman willing to give up their salary and give part of it to these “poor” teams? Hmm … interesting question.

In the same breath, we need players association boss Donald Fehr announced heinäkuun1. the day when the negotiations began, he did not want salary before this “war” is over. Among the players reaction was admirable. Kannattaisikohan Mr. Bettman to try to negotiate even hockey back to the big TV companies, such as ESPN. It probably could use the extra money for these “poor” clubs.

In any case, the winners in this dispute is unlikely to be found. In particular, on behalf of the fans I’m really sorry. They do not really deserve this, and you have to remember, however, that the end of the day this ship of joy, more or less pay just fans. It does not help other than to hope that this lockout would not last long, and reach back to enjoy the NHL hockey. The world’s finest sport does not deserve this! Disappointed vainly awaiting better news. Good hockey through to where it is now, then start or have started!

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