The NHL lockout has been in effect for more than two months now, and so, with no actual games to report on, we’re going to link to a different hockey video every day until a new CBA is reached. Today: “Bettman sucks, Bettman sucks.”
It’s not hard to find video of hockey fans booing Gary Bettman: Here’s a Puck Daddy supercut of the commissioner getting booed during Stanley Cup presentations, and here’s a compilation of fans booing him in various situations, such as the annual entry draft. But the video below has its own unique set of circumstances.
Think back to 1995: The NHL had followed up a wildly successful 1994 playoffs — during which Sports Illustrated published a cover declaring the NHL “hot” and the NBA “not” — with a lockout that lasted into January of 1995. Devils fans, meanwhile, had even more reasons to be angry: Their owner had threatened to move the franchise from New Jersey to Nashville, and it was distracting from the team’s first Stanley Cup run.
And so in the video below, which takes twenty minutes of playing time before the Devils clinched the championship, Jersey fans express their displeasure with Bettman. It’s a greatest hits of things one can yell at the commissioner: “Bettman sucks” gives way to boos, which give way to chants of “Asshole, asshole.” (Worth noting: According to this Times article from July 1995 about the Devils staying at the Meadowlands for at least another season, it was Bettman who was “believed to have removed much of the rancor” between the team and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.)
Today is Day 76 of the NHL lockout. Be sure not to miss the part of the below video in which Bettman declares that following the 1994-95 lockout, “Our problems are behind us.” Thank goodness they settled all that forever back in 1995!