Gary Bettman Digs The NHL A Bigger Hole

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 27: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks to attendees during "Sports Teams for Social Change," hosted by Beyond Sport United on September 27, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Well, it did not take long for Gary Bettman to turn an already silly fine into an absolutely moronic one. I wrote about Bettman and the NHL fining New York Rangers Head Coach John Tortorella $20K for his comments about the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, and was extremely angry about the situation.

The general belief among the NHL was that Tortorella was being fined for insulting the Penguins and complaining about the NHL's tendency to treat the Penguins better than other NHL teams.

Bettman appeared on WFAN yesterday, and explained that it was not the comments that earned Tortorella the fine, but instead the fact that Tortorella cursed during his rant.

"I think (Tortorella cursed) four times," Bettman said, according to Tom Gulitti of "He's a professional. He knows better than that."

"As emotional as you get, when you're a head coach in this league, when you're in a public media session, you shouldn't be cursing."

Well, Gary Bettman obviously does not listen to a lot of interviews or press conferences. John Tortorella has cursed MANY times before in interviews or press conferences. Brian Burke cursed multiple times in his press conference yesterday. So the NHL must fine him, right?

Not only that, but John Tortorella and Peter Laviolette both cursed multiple times on 24/7 this season, as did Bruce Boudreau, and many other coaches in past years. The NHL encourages the TV show, rather than shutting it down because of cursing.

Perhaps the NHL should fine HBO? They should release a statement saying they don't condone the speech of the coaches on the show? Or perhaps they can continue being hypocritical, let the profits come in and select when and when not they want to enforce rules.

I'd love to hear what the magic number is to earn a fine. Four? I'm sure we can find instances of coaches cursing more than four times without being fined.

I'm generally a very calm fan when it comes to complaining about the NHL, but the statement by Gary Bettman was just idiotic. Perhaps the commisioner will think before he speaks next time. Come to think of it, probably not.

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