Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bettman Deserves Credit For Telling Air Canada Where To Go

I'm not the biggest fan of Gary Bettman. It's nothing personal, it's just that during his tenure as NHL Commisionr the league has continually gotten softer in my opinion. However, today Gary Bettman deserves some credit, actually I'm giving him a lot of credit.

By now, you've probably seen the Zdeno Chara hit on Max Pacioretty at least a half dozen times. In response to that hit,  Air Canada a major NHL corporate sponsor sent a threatening letter to the NHL. According to Slam Sports:
Air Canada, one of the NHL's largest financial corporate backers, is threatening to withdraw its sponsorship if the league doesn't take "immediate" and "serious" action on headshots.
Yesterday the league decided that Chara's hit would not be punished by either a fine or a suspension. At first I thought maybe the league was just going to smooth things over with Air Canada behind closed doors. It did piss me off that a major sponsor would try and bully the NHL into making a decision. It was almost laughable that Air Canada played it off like they were talking about ALL headshots when in reality it was really only the Chara hit that they were seeking punishment for.

Well, here's why Gary Bettman is getting a round of applause from me. Today, he issued a statement to the media:
Air Canada is a great brand, as is the National Hockey League, and if they decide they need to do other things with their sponsorship dollars that's their prerogative, just like it's the prerogative of our clubs that fly on Air Canada to make other arrangements if they don't think Air Canada is giving them the appropriate level of service.
That is the equivalent of Bettman telling Air Canada that they can go "**** themselves," if they think they are going to dictate to the NHL what they should do. It's about the politest way you can tell someone to "go to hell!" It was Bettman letting Air Canada know that you aren't going to bully the NHL just because you are a sponsor and hey, we can hurt your pockets too!

Late last night when I read what Air Canada had done I immediately posted a link on twitter and wrote
They provide a lot of $$ but @ should tell them to go to hell, butt out!
I'm glad that Mr. Bettman followed my advice :)

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