What happened to the NHL?

Posted November 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm

“OFF THE MARK” SPORTS COLUMN — MARK SPENSLEY, CO-PUBLISHER

I asked our very own hockey guru, Pete Temple, his thoughts on the NHL strike the other day and he didn’t have a whole lot to say, other than he wasn’t overly impressed by the job NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was doing. I have been surprised Pete hasn’t been more vocal on the subject.

Shortly after our conversation, I read an interview given by Detroit Red Wings defenseman Ian White lashing out at Bettman and what he perceives as a horrible job Bettman has done being at the helm of the NHL.

Bettman has been commissioner since 1993 and hockey fans are now enduring their third lockout. The last lockout forced the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season.

The usual issues are keeping both sides apart, money. Who deserves more money seems to be the key issue whenever professional sports players and management collide during work stoppages.

Apparently neither side ever has enough of it. And the ones that truly suffer when professional sports go on strike are the fans, and most overlooked, all of the lower level employees of teams, sporting venues, etc., and to a lesser extent, the communities that are home to professional sports.

Now it looks as though the 2012-2013 season is close to being punted.

And the winner is… Brad Keselowski. What do Brad Keselowski and I have in common? Nothing, but I did get rid of him in my fantasy-racing league in favor of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. I would say that wasn’t a wise move on my part and shows the lack of knowledge I have when it comes to motorsports.

Earlier in the year I predicted Keselowski to place third in the standings. I should have heeded my own advice and stuck with the young man. And I chose Carl Edwards to become champion. He wasn’t even close.

Play of the day. I read something cool in Sports Illustrated the other day. A young Cleveland Browns fan was in a sporting goods store buying the jersey of his favorite Browns player, Joe Haden.

At the same time he was picking out the jersey, Haden walks into the store and discovers the young man is buying his jersey. And out of the kindness of his heart, Haden pays for and autographs the jersey for the young man.

Now just think if that were to happen to you or me. Who would you most like to walk through the door at the same moment you were making a purchase? I could think of a number of people. For me being a Packer and Cubs fan, Aaron Rodgers or Starlin Castro would be cool to see come through the door as I am purchasing their jerseys.

How about Dale Earnhardt Jr. or Gene Simmons of KISS fame? Michael Jordan would be cool to see. Dan Gable or Kirk Ferentz. Or maybe an actor/comedian like Adam Sandler or anyone famous? That would be pretty cool.

Bla