According to a report from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News, Ed Snider, who was once believed to be a firm believer of Gary Bettman, has become dissent with the Commissioner's antics as of late. In case any of you didn't already know, Ed Snider plays a big part in these negotiations. He owns Comcast Spectacor , which in turn owns the rights to NBC, and he's also a part of the NHL's Board of Governors. So in short, Snider makes the world go round in the National Hockey League. After Bettman's proposed "two week moratorium", these interesting reports about Snider turning the tables came about.
Before these negotiations even began back in August, Gary Bettman was promising a major win for the owners in the next collective bargaining agreement. Many of which had the players making major concessions in areas such as the division of revenue, and player contractual rights. Where did these promises actually get them? It brought them to a 50/50 revenue split, which many of the owners thought was a little too generous, and the NHLPA not budging on contractual rights. Bettman didn't even come close to living up to the promises he originally made, and the owners are starting to realize this.
Here's a short little excerpt from the Seravalli's article, which explains the current position of the lockout to a tee.
Put simply: Snider and the rest of the NHL's owners were promised a big win by Bettman, with player concessions on revenue division and contracting rights. The best they'll get now is a small win in revenue split - coupled with a demoralized fan base and all-important corporate sponsors that are ready to quit.
A source familiar with Snider's thinking characterized it as: "If this is the deal we are going to get, what's the point of dragging this out?"
Which now brings me to the next point in this article. According to Seravelli, there is a strong belief that Snider wants to create an alliance with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and possibly the New York Rangers to sway the board of governors to a resolution. Just look that over one more time. Three big-time rivals in the Atlantic Division looking to team up and end this mess.
Now look at the owners of those two other teams. You have Mario Lemieux for the Penguins, who's one of the most widely respected players of his time, and on the other end you have James Dolan who owns both Cablevision, and the Madison Square Garden Network. Both of these guys coupled with Ed Snider? That makes one heck of a convincing group right there.
This has never happened before in the NHL, never have this many owners become dissent with their Commissioner's beliefs. Sure, there may have been one or two who had it out with Bettman, but this many owners all at once? Even Ed Snider?
We can only hope this provides a path to get the game back on the ice where it belongs, and possibly the end to Gary Bettman? One can only hope this comes true.