I personally feel Mr. Leahy is being a bit unfair to Gary Bettman. My personal view has been Mr. Bettman has acted professionally throughout the lock-out. And I also think his apology is sincere. And I am no fan of Gary Bettman.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says ‘I’m sorry’ to NHL players, fans for lockout
Yahoo! Sports (blog)
“The podium stood inside the Westin Hotel in New York City as it did on Dec. 6, the night the NHL’s 113-day CBA negotiations took its strangest and wildest turn. On that night, optimism quickly devolved into anger, which finally ended in all around confusion.”
From Puck Daddy
“Since the CBA news broke early Sunday morning, teams around the NHL have publicly apologized to the fans for the lockout. On Wednesday, it was Bettman’s turn to do so.
“To the players, who were very clear they wanted to be on the ice and not negotiating labor contracts; to our partners, who support the league financially and personally; and most importantly, to our fans, who love and have missed NHL hockey, I’m sorry. I know that an explanation or an apology will not erase the hard feelings that have built up over the past few months, but I owe you an apology nevertheless.”
“As commissioner of the National Hockey League, it sometimes falls upon me to make tough decisions that disappoint and occasionally anger players and fans. This was a long and extremely difficult negotiation. One that took a lot longer than anybody wanted. I know it caused frustration, disappointment and even suffering to a lot of people who have supported the National Hockey League in many different ways. In the end, neither side got everything it wanted and everyone lost in the short-term. But the NHL gained a long-term agreement that’s good for players and good for teams, and should guarantee the future success of NHL hockey for many years to come. It will help the game to grow, ensuring greater economic stability for all of our teams.”
As George Costanza once famously said, “You can stuff your sorries in a sack, mister”.
I haven’t heard much contrition out of any of the players nor the Fehr brothers and they were as much to blame for this travesty as the Commissioners Office and the owners. It takes two to tango and both sides were trying to lead but stepping on each others feet. And the owners and Mr. Bettman were the first of the two sides to put forward a realistic proposal. So I don’t really think it is fair to soley dump on the commissioner.