Bad idea: there are foolish ways to deal with Gary Bettman. We've seen them from the players in recent days, whether it's "Puck Gary" hats, or calling the commissioner an "idiot" and a "cancer". If your goal is to stand firm during this lockout without the fans feeling as though you're acting like petulant children, it's probably best not to act like petulant children.
Yet it continues. Dave Bolland of the Chicago Blackhawks, no stranger to foot-in-mouthery, was the most recent to dabble in such foolishness, obliging the request of a fan named Jonah Deschamps for "a RT for wanting Bettman dead".
(Oh, Bolland, you fool. It wasn't even the dude's birthday.)
Granted, retweeting the tweet isn't the same thing as tweeting it, but endorsing "wanting Bettman dead" is not smart.
Good idea: Rather than using the words of a crazy pro-death guy, use Bettman's own words against him. Shortly after the NHL released a statement announcing the cancellation of another two weeks of games, Fehr released a short, savvy response:
"On Wednesday, the players presented a comprehensive proposal, once again moving in the owners' direction in order to get the game back on the ice. The gap that remains on the core economic issues is $182 million. On Wednesday, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said that the league is losing $18-20 million per day during the lockout, therefore two more weeks of cancelled games far exceeds the current economic gap. It makes the NHL's announcement of further game cancellations, including the 2013 All-Star Weekend, all the more unnecessary, and disappointing for all hockey fans — especially those in Columbus. The players remain ready to negotiate but we require a willing negotiating partner."
Bettman did indeed say the league was losing $18-20 million a day while the players were losing $8-10 on Wednesday. This means that, even on the conservative side of his estimations, two weeks of lockout costs the league $252 million.
On the flipside, if Fehr's number is correct and gap between the league and union is indeed $182 million, even conceding the full difference to the players rather than extending the lockout two more weeks, as they did Friday, is $70 million cheaper. Simple as that.
Of course, Lord knows it isn't even remotely as simple as that. The economic gap is over the course of the CBA, not the lockout, and Fehr knows that. But it's still a nifty piece of P.R. rhetoric. And far, far better to use Bettman's own words to represent your opinions than some dude named Jonah Deschamps.