Hey, Mr. Bettman, I have a four-leaf clover if you need it!?! Poor Gary Bettman just can’t catch a break. In the last few months the NHL Commissioner has had to deal with a shortened season due to the coronavirus pandemic, a collective bargaining agreement while the season is stopped, and he’s had to structure a plan to get the season finished and award a Stanley Cup. That’s not to mention the Akim Aliu bombshell that came before the season ended, the Major Junior allegations that recently surfaced, and the draft outcome. This could definitely have been a better year for the Commissioner.
Well on Thursday it just got worse (if that’s possible) when it was announced that the Rogers Place in Edmonton, chosen as a hub city for the extended playoffs and the home of the Edmonton Oilers, fell foul to a thunderstorm that hit the area and caused leaks and flooding.
Tim Shipton, a spokesman for the Oilers Entertainment Group, told Sportsnet.ca “We are assessing the damage and at this time are confident that it will not hamper our planning and preparation and we will be ready to host the return of NHL hockey as a hub city.”
Despite this Gary Bettman must be wondering what he did in a previous life to have this sort of luck, which didn’t end there. The NHL also received some bad press with the announcement Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs had been nominated for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, an award given to the National Hockey League player “adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct”.
While the award is based purely on what players do on the ice, the fact that the award comes a year after Matthews drunkenly mooned a security guard after trying to get into her vehicle at 2 am as a joke with some friends, has rubbed some people the wrong way.
They say any publicity is good publicity but right now I’m sure Gary would take a nice quiet two weeks before the playoffs kick-off at the beginning of August.