NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is in Seattle, Washington this week meeting with Seattle’s expansion group and getting up to date on all the latest concerning the team’s $800 million renovation of KeyArena.
During a session with local media, Bettman was asked about upcoming CBA negotiations between the league and the NHL Players’ Association. It’s no secret that Bettman has been a shrewd negotiator in his 25 years as the league’s commissioner. The NHL has gone through three work stoppages during his tenure, mostly notably in 2004-05 when the entire season was wiped out.
With potentially contentious negotiations and another lockout on the horizon, tensions are rising whenever the CBA is brought up. Thankfully though, Bettman seems to have changed his tune considerably and is hoping for peaceful negotiations.
Check out this quote from Bettman, courtesy of Sportsnet reporter Irfaan Gaffar:
Bettman was asked about the CBA - Said he's not in favor of a difficult negotiation. He's hoping for an agreement without fanfare. "We'll see what happens, but I'm not looking for a fight."
For the first time ever Gary Bettman is NOT looking for a fight! When was the last time you heard that out of a lawyer’s mouth?
In all seriousness, here’s hoping for relatively peaceful negotiations and NO work stoppage. Financially, the NHL has never been in better shape. There’s no denying that the 04-05 lockout and the changes that came with it, mainly the salary cap, have changed the game forever, but at this point the league looks to be in good shape. Don’t mess with a good thing, Gary.