No matter what happened with the Kovy saga last summer... people have to stop blaming Bettman for EVERYTHING. People complain over and over again about the Caps and Pens being shoved down our throat... well let's look at it? Would the Devils have been able to provide access for HBO's 24/7 like we got to see? HELL NO. The Caps and Pens are two teams with HUGE fan bases and also sell out every game. Their ticket prices are close to the same as ours and their fans have no problem filling the arena night in and night out. Complain however you want about Sid and Ovie... Sid is an absolute GOD and hero in his hometown in Canada and also is one of the best players in the world. The NHL would be STUPID not to market the hell out of him. As for Ovechkin, if Crosby is #1 then he's #1a. He's one of the only reasons that hockey is a big deal in the US Capital right now.
As for the Kovy contract. It was complete horse crap. 17 years? Come on... show me how many Russian superstars had a career that long. The Devils were trying to take advantage of the fact that there was no specific written rule for what they were trying to do even though it was a complete slap in the face and lie-on-paper as it was given to the league. The other contracts anyone could bring up are certainly "pushing the envelope" and the league WARNED GMs what would happen if it continued. So there goes Lou and JVB handing the WORST one in to the league and holding a press conference before it gets accepted thinking everything's going to be cool.
And I am sick and tired of hearing people talk about how Bettman is doing this and Bettman is doing that blah blah blah. The NHL is a LARGE company with different divisions and boards and committees. Sidney Crosby happens to be the league's top money maker... his salary is a legit one as is his cap hit... he has saved hockey in Pittsburgh along with Mario Lemiuex, has ridiculous endorsement deals.. and so on. What is the NHL supposed to do... tell him to fvck off? Say "hey you'll make us a ton of money but we really don't feel like it right now." Then people complain "why can't Parise be marketed like that?" The Devils and ours truly Mr. Lamoriello happens to have complete control over those kinds of ordeals. You'll have to take my word for it but I know from a Devils management point of view there are a LOT of things the players can and can't do and a good number of things that no one will ever have access to. Besides Lemaire on Versus last night, when was the last time you saw a Devils coach get interviewed like that during a game?
People say Bettman ruined the NHL's television broadcasting situation by moving it to Versus. Well ESPN was giving the NHL minimal airtime and was completely lowballing the league left and right. Hockey has a lot more exposure and airtime now that it is away from ESPN.
People also blame Bettman for the southern expansion in the league. Is it his fault? Really? He made a bold decision to expand the game. If a franchise works in a certain city it gains a lot of fans and starts an entire grassroots hockey campaign at the college, high school, and youth level. It's not his fault that Wadell in Atlanta doesn't know his ass from his elbow... it's not his fault that the arena in Glendale, AZ was built where it was and the owners have shallow pockets. It's not his fault that the GM of the Panthers can't ice a respectable team. It's also not his fault that Wang in Long Island, despite the amount zero's on the second half of his bank account cannot get his team a new building and expensive payroll. As for Canadian expansion, where in Canada can another team go. Canada has less than 40 million people right? That's about the amount of the New York, Boston, Philly, and Chicago metro areas combined. Where is there another city in Canada that has the dense downtown along with millions of people in the metro area that can support a team? Winnipeg? No. Use Bing or Google Earth and you'll see how far Winnipeg's metro area reaches.
I'm going on and on I know, but people are blaming one guy for this and that and the other thing and it's not fair.
Back to the Devils... a year like this has shown me how much of a sh!t franchise we might have. There are NO fans. When Philly was the worst team in the league a few years ago they sold out almost every game. Ottawa hasn't been great in recent memory but they fill their building. Our fans show up whenever they feel like it. Yeah ticket prices are expensive but there are SO many ways around that it's not even funny. And while in the building they boo the team left and right, yell slurs about Canada regardless of how many Canadians are on the Devils, and many other things that piss me off.
So back to the original subject. Congrats to the OP. You yelled you suck at someone proving you are more ignorant than most people here. Especially because you came back thinking that everyone here would laugh and congratulate you on your childish display. People here have a lot to learn.
Probably one of the most thorough posts I've ever seen here.
And to the OP, what you should have told Gary was to bring back the Patrick Division, Wales Conference, etc. Name the extra divisions after Orr, Howe, or Gretzky.