A lot of Canadians like Steve hate Gary & I really don't understand it. He's the main reason that Winnipeg got their franshise back & the reason Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa & even Montreal for that matter got to keep their teams this side of the border. Without the cap we don't have 7 Canadian teams.
Not true at all. Can't speak for anyone else, but I certainly don't have anything against Bettman. In fact those that despise him, are as equally misinformed as those who consider him genious.
He's not the main reason you suggest above. A 60 cent Canadian dollar, which went to virtual par, is what bolstered Canadian teams, and their ability to shine economically. Bettman had dick to do with that. If the dollar tanks again, and it looks like it'll stay there long term, we have the same problem again.
When Gary came along, the sport of hockey had nowhere to go, but up. When looking at the other major sports, it still has tremendous growth potential. I choose to believe that a couple more Gretzky's in the league, would probably grow the game more directly than he ever could.
And as far as the cap....I realize it's everywhere now, and it's making it "easier" for the owners to make more money(and to be fair, it's better for us, as there's more balance competitvely). I don't feel pro sports owners should get a free pass from the rest of the free enterprise system though. One could never become a billionaire in a "capped world". Seems to me these guys should have more reverence for unbridled capitalism than the rest of us. Not protection from it. I don't blame Bettman for that, and I don't blame him for what he's being paid either. Instead, just pointing out the inconsistencies of the league financials. League player payroll has grown about 41% since 2003. Bettmans salary has increased about 121% in the same period. If the league wasn't bawling so much about their hard times, no problem. But since they are....
Although it's hard to compare the "hired hands" in pro sportsd vs other businesses(e.g. athletes are the show, while assembly line workers aren't), many people have the same jaundiced view for other big corporations. Say.... GM.