Columnist: Where’s the proof NHL owners aren’t unified?
If there’s dissension in the ranks of NHL owners, the Toronto Star’s Damien Cox wants proof, not conjecture and anonymous sources.
Cox went on a bit of Twitter rant Monday as speculation swirls that some NHL owners aren’t fully behind commissioner Gary Bettman:
I mean, seriously. Just one scrap of hard evidence that there are owners not behind Bettman. Please. Not OTR quote from an industry "source"— Damien Cox (@DamoSpin) October 8, 2012
This fantasy that Bettman is making multi-bilionaires and corporations do something they don't want to do is patently false. And absurd.— Damien Cox (@DamoSpin) October 8, 2012
If we had to guess, Cox’s tweets came in direct response to an article written by the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch in which a “league insider” was quoted as saying, “My guess is you’ve got about 10 teams that are pretty nervous right now.”
Garrioch went on to theorize that the owners of the New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, and Buffalo Sabres may be quietly unhappy with the league taking such a hard stance against the players.
“Theoretically” Cox admits some owners may not be fully on board with Bettman’s negotiating strategy. “But theory doesn’t make fact.”
Of course, owners are forbidden from speaking to the media about the lockout, so if there’s actually disagreement behind the scenes, unless one of the dissenters is willing to pay an enormous fine (not to mention get on the bad side of the commissioner), we won’t be hearing anything on the record.