What We Learned: Why Gary Bettman’s not bad for the NHL (Puck Daddy)

Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend's events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it. When it comes to where the blame for this lockout ultimately lies, and where battle lines are drawn, I'm not so much pro-player as I am anti-league, and that's been reflected often throughout this lockout. Because Gary Bettman apparently proposed a two-week moratorium on negotiations because of whatever dumb reasons he could come up with — and apparently based entirely on hearsay — everyone even remotely sympathetic to the players in this labor strife once again took the opportunity to climb their nearest mountaintop and proclaim the man deeply and truly inept, irresponsible, and worst of all, Bad For The Game. [Related: Is Flyers owner Ed Snider the lockout's unlikely savior? ] But the truth of Bettman's role in this lockout, and in the League as a whole, is far more complicated than his being the guy who brought fans three lockouts in 18 years. The simple fact is that when he's actually doing the day-to-day business of running the League, and not locking out the players at the slightest provocation, Bettman might be the best commissioner in sports. It's absolutely and 100 percent true. How much evidence do you need? ( Coming Up: Claude Giroux injured; Brian Burke on Luongo trade; Tomas Kaberle thinks the lockout will end soon; Alex Radulov. Malcolm Subban and Charlie Coyle are killing it; Toews and Janssen get charitable; Kirk Muller, golfer; and the Flyers and Penguins work together to save the lockout; great spin-o-rama pass.)

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