NHL Owners Starting to Sweat, Bettman is Smarter Than You Think

Bruce Garriouch of The Ottawa Sun writes that there's some growing concern amongst some of the owners about the NHL Lockout and how long it could last.

The belief is not everybody on the NHL's board of governors is happy the league is in the midst of its third lockout in 20 years — all with Bettman at the helm — and he's getting some heat to try to find a solution.

With games cancelled up till October 24 and the NHL alreay at a $100 million loss from no preseason games, how deep do the waters of resistance run?

How much heat Bettman has on him at the moment remains to be seen, but bear in mind this: Bettman doesn't need the full amount of owners to vote on accepting/rejecting NHLPA proposals. 

Dave Shoalts of The Globe & Mail has more on the powers Bettman lobbied and negotiated for when he took over as NHL Commissioner.

There is legislation – he introduced a rule that allows him to reject a collective agreement proposal from the NHLPA with only eight votes from the 30 owners. Firing Bettman would require three-quarters of the owners to approve, something he negotiated when he took the job.

Bettman also made sure most of the other owners owed him enough, by naming them to the powerful governors’ executive committee or shepherding their attempts to buy a team or letting them bend the rules, that they will not cause any trouble. Finally, he makes sure he is aligned with the two most powerful owners, Jeremy Jacobs of the Boston Bruins, the chairman of the board of governors, and Ed Snider of the Philadelphia Flyers.

… We all despise Gary Bettman, but the man isn't stupid by any stretch. He has the NHL literally in the palm of his hands and can do whatever he sees fit with it. He only needs eight votes to reject any NHL proposal and, if there are owners upset, they can't voice it otherwise they face punishment. That makes Bettman very dangerous.

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