NHL board of governors 'hella pissed' with Gary Bettman.
Charles Krupa/AP  

NHL board of governors 'hella pissed' with Gary Bettman.

The fiasco in Arizona may have put Gary Bettman in an unfavorable position with the NHL owners.

Jonathan Larivee

The National Hockey League has finally thrown in the towel when it comes to the Arizona Coyotes and although most appear to be happy to see the NHL finally moving out from it's failure in the desert, it sounds like not everyone is thrilled about how this has all gone down.

Everyone who follows hockey knows how closely linked the Arizona Coyotes have been to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and it would seem that Bettman's zeal for the Coyotes may finally come back to bite him.

NHL insider Elliotte Friedman has just revealed that, according to the insider, multiple members of the NHL's board of governors are not happy with how all of this has played out. Specifically it sounds like some of the other owners, who were not identified, feel Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo is getting too good of a deal.

"That's gonna be the big thing here," said Friedman on the 32 Thoughts Podcast. "I have heard that a number of the governors are not that happy with this. They understand that Bettman had to make a deal.. but they think Meruelo is getting away too easy."

Not only do some of the governors feel Meruelo got too good of a deal from the NHL, they also feel the NHL has given him too good of a deal in the event that the Coyotes come back to Arizona.

"First of all he's being made whole plus, and secondly they think he got too good of a deal to come back," revealed Friedman.

It has been widely reported that Meruelo will have the option, within the next 5 years, to bring the Coyotes back to Arizona if he can get an arena deal done in time. Friedman however believes that things aren't so cut and dry, thanks in large part to unhappy NHL owners.

"It's not that simple, there are still benchmarks he has to hit, and also everything is with the approval of the board of governors," said Friedman."

Friedman isn't alone in his thoughts, fellow NHL analyst Jeff Marek believes some of the more powerful owners in the NHL may be especially furious with this situation.

"The one thing that I've been coming back to is the high revenue NHL teams that have been writing revenue sharing checks for years for the Arizona Coyotes, keeping them afloat, giving them the max check every year, and then all of a sudden this happens and the owner walks away with one billion dollars," said Marek.

"A lot of members of the board of governors here, the ones who have been writing the large checks at the end of the year must be, as the kids say, hella pissed," said Marek in conclusion.

Whether or not the displeasure of the owners will have any consequences for Bettman himself remains to be seen.