Why the NHL’s problems are not just on the ice, but with Gary Bettman

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The National Hockey League has a serious problem and that problem does not involve the product on the ice. The problem with the league is the man in charge, commissioner Gary Bettman.

Hockey is the greatest game on earth and deserves to be showcased. However, with the lack of attention, the league is suffering from a lack of discipline.

Bettman has been a commissioner since February 1, 1993. A lot has happened and changed since then, most of it negative.

The league and Bettman swept the Patrick Kane case under the rug and now are sweeping the current Chicago Blackhawks scandal under the rug too. Bettman gave those involved the option to quit or be fired when they should have been all been fired and never given the chance to get another job in the NHL.

Bettman has been involved in 3 NHL lockouts, including one lockout that canceled the entire season. He has also been a leader of taking fighting out the game, in which fighting draws fans and allows the players to protect themselves.

Other mishandling cases include the Sheldon Kennedy sexual abuse case, Auston Matthews flashing, and the NHL players wanting to take part in the Olympics with Bettman not being a fan.

Bettman has also been criticized for not promoting the league or players in a way that would draw more attention and revenue to the league. Bettman also has turned aside from the topic of mental health and the players who deal with such issues.

Other things Bettman does not take seriously or does not bother addressing include the lack of discipline on the officials and the horrible job they have done in recent years, almost like he does not want to hear the negativity. The other big issue that he has not addressed is that of the Department of Player Safety, which has done a lackluster job at dealing with suspensions and fines to players of all levels.

Fans, and some players, have voiced their displeasure with both Bettman and the Department of Player Safety to the degree that Bettman should be out as commissioner. These cases should not be handled by the commissioner and instead, he is handing out senseless justice penalties that essentially make a mockery of the league.

Should the league appoint a new commissioner and, if so, who? The NHL needs a makeover with the people in charge and change in leadership only.

Bettman is in charge and should act as he cares about the overall product. Instead, he is busy making money and acting more like a lawyer than a commissioner.

Is it time the NHL made a change upfront and bring in a new commissioner that actually cares about the sport. Someone who will take action and apply retribution to those who deserve such action for their actions.