Gary Bettman’s Response To Sponsors (Parody)

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PLEASE NOTE:  This is a parody of what I feel Gary Bettman’s statement could read in response to sponsor’s (and one segment of fans) criticisms.  This in no way is an actual statement from the NHL or anyone even remotely associated with the NHL or any of its clubs.

Dear NHL Fans, Sponsors and Critics;

The current meeting of the NHL General Managers is underway, and in response to the criticism levied at the NHL Head Office we have tabled a number if initiatives to improve player safety.  We want you to know that your concerns have been heard, and we want to ensure that your money support is available in the future for the success of the game.  This will be a progression, and will not happen overnight.  We want you to know that the health of our players is the ultimate concern, because without them there would be no game.

To ensure the complete safety of the players, officials and fans, here are the changes to the game that we envision going forward:

  1. Boards and glass can hurt.  We will be contracting a leading international bubble wrap producer (potential new sponsor also) to coat all surfaces in bubble wrap.  Boards, glass, goalposts, even the players will be wrapped in a one inch thick layer of bubble wrap.
  2. Hockey sticks are dangerous weapons and will be replaced by foam sticks.  This will also reduce the speed at which the shots are fired, so the risk of injury from being hit by a flying rubber disk would be reduced.
  3. Better yet, lets move to sponge pucks as well, so that even if a player can shoot hard with a foam stick, the risk of injury will be further reduced.
  4. Skate Blades are sharp and dangerous.  Player will no longer be able to wear skates on the ice.
  5. Wait a second, ice is hard, and slippery.  A player could get hurt if he were to slip and fall.  Lets lose the ice altogether and play on a foam playing surface.
  6. Even with the Bubble wrap, there is still the risk of injury if you were to get hit and roll an ankle.  There will be no contact allowed between players whatsoever.
  7. Wait a second, the technology exists, so why not just have all the players in their respective rooms hooked up to Nintendo Wii, and play the game virtually online.  We could project the game onto the playing surface in 2D action.
  8. Eventually when technology arrives, we can project holographic players in 3D to make our fans that much happier.  It would be like the game never changed, and nobody would get hurt.

There you have it, an 8 point plan to ensure that there is no more risk of injury to any of our players, coaches, officials, or fans.

This will also reduce the complaints of bad officiating, bad ice in certain arenas as well as inconsistency in supplementary discipline, because none will be required.

I trust you will find the Ninendo Wii-ification of the National Hockey League will address your concerns and that we can trust in the ongoing future support on terms of your attendance, viewing and sponsorships as we make this game the  laughingstock cutting edge of blending technolgy with athletic achievement.

Yours in Hockey,

GARY

Now I ask you, Air Canada, VIA and others who have criticized the NHL office for their lack of suspension of Zdeno Chara, is this what you want the game to become?

Don’t get me wrong, I think there are some things that should be done to improve player safety, and to reduce concussions. It is a cycle that every so often an injury comes up that is the injury du jour, so to speak.  A few years ago, knee injuries were the epidemic, and before that it was back injuries, .

With the above letter, I am merely poking fun at the fact that these sponsors only jumped on the wagon of criticism when they had a vested interest because a player in their market was affected.  Where were they when Marc Savard and David Booth got drilled?  Where was the outrage then?  Their outwardly public outcry is so self-serving that it sickens me almost as much as the injury that sparked them.

I don’t understand why these companies couldn’t have sent the letters to the NHL in a private manner to get their point across, if they felt so strongly about it.  No, wait, I do understand.  These companies saw an opportunity to jump on a bandwagon and gain some favorable publicity by capitalizing on an unfortunate injury to a player who plays in a market that they are located in.  Their attempts to speak for Canadians (in VIA Rail’s case) is blasphemous.  VIA’s standard response on Twitter to either criticism or approval of the letter to Bettman and the NHL was “As a sponsor we felt it was our duty to express our concern.”  That is fine, but  your duty ends at sending the letter. Your duty does not include publicly airing the letter, unless there are alterior motives, and attempting to cash in some free publicity at the expense of Max Pacioretty and Zdeno Chara is disgusting.

My opinion on the hit & the subsequent ruling  is well-known if you read this blog, and I don’t expect everyone to agree with me on it.  I also don’t expect you to agree with me on my assessments of the sponsor’s public airing of their concerns, but they are my opinions and I have the forum to air them, so I have done it.

Feel free to air yours by commenting either way.

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Thanks for reading and as always, comments are welcomed.

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