Getting Testy At The NHL Offices?

For those of you who really appreciate great radio there were some epic interviews on both all sports radio stations today.

The Hockey Central at Noon guys had Gary Bettman on to talk about Phoenix and the new TV deal that the NHL announced yesterday. To be fair, Millard and Richie Rich MacLean didn’t do all that much in the interview as this one was all Nick Kypreos. Unlike many who have interviewed Bettman before, Kypreos went right after Bettman, following each tough question with another. Bettman who you rarely hear rattled finally snapped back ” No, you don’t know anything ha ha ha“. Kypreos wouldn’t let the line of questioning go though, to which the commissioner said almost in exasperation, “I understand why you cover the story, but it’s enough already!

Seriously, it was great radio. It was one of the best segments I’ve heard on the Fan 590 in a long time.

Not to be out done, James Cybulski took on both Bettman and Collin Campbell, along with Dave Feschuk. The duo proved for the 3rd or 4th time since TSN radio launched that there is indeed some competition in the drive home slot.

Bettman started off by saying how great Bob Mckenzie is. Bettman followed much of the script from the Kypreos interview. He again said that the Goldwater Institute blew up his deal in Phoenix. Mckenzie asked the million dollar question, if they blew it up, is it dead? Bettman said he was being too flippant and short (ever hear that before?), he said that the league had a deal ready to go, and because of Goldwater, they couldn’t sell the bonds. They have all been working on an alternative to selling the bonds.

Cybulski asked Bettman why the league wouldn’t finance the deal as opposed to the taxpayers, Bettman said that the league doesn’t typically do that.

Mckenzie, asked about a deadline and Bettman said, it’s not days, it’s not months.

Mckenzie asked if it was 100% certain that they would be playing in Atlanta next season, Bettman said he had no reason to think otherwise.

Bettman said that Phoenix potentially leaving the NHL has no impact on the new TV deal at all. Cybulski pushed Bettman if there was no impact on TV, why the team hadn’t moved to Winnipeg already. Bettman, calmly said that do everything to procted a market, to which Cybulski asked where was that dedication 15 years ago, Bettman calmly said that the only reason the NHL left Winnipeg was because no one wanted to own the team, in fact the city or province was paying part of the bills and they didn’t want to do that anymore.

They guys then switched over to the Crosby/concussion issue. Feschuk said to Bettman, a lot of commissioners would be in a state of panic if their best player were out as long as Crosby has been. Bettman’s response was hilarious, “It would be good when you ask a question if you had your facts correct. I know the commissioners of all the sports, none of them run around panicking about anything.

The next guest was Colin Campbell.

Campbell started off with his back up saying that he didn’t like the questions that they had asked Bettman. He then went after Feschuk, “you must not watch hockey“. You can just hear the total exasperation in Campbell’s voice. Having said that you know I can’t stand when people on the radio call their guests by nicknames. Both guys calling him Collie is amateurish to me, kind of like referring to one’s self as cballs.

When asked about 9 gm’s who said Raffi Torres should have been suspended Campbell barked “well they have really big balls for saying so off the record“. It was clear to me listening to Campbell that he was flustered and even angry. Late in the interview he screamed at the guys “where was the puck?” when they told him where it was he started to do the backstroke. “And now we are talking about the hockey expert James Duthie.” he rambled on when asked another question. In the end, the interview got uncomfortable to listen to as he really got his back up and almost wouldn’t answer questions.

If you were wondering how Campbell goes about his job, you have to listen to this interview.

So who knows what happened in the league offices today. It certainly seemed like for the first time since I can remember Bettman and Campbell were clearly frustrated with the attention they are both getting. Bettman who is always cool and calm, who probably hasn’t ever lost anything in his whole life took a lot of jabs from both networks. Some of the punches landed, there is no question about that. The Campbell interview got off on the wrong foot for reasons I can’t really explain. The Bettman interview on TSN wasn’t nearly as rough as the Kypreos interview.

The TSN interviews can be found here
The Fan interview can be found here

So, has anyone been taking in the new Toronto Sun website? Here’s my overall impression. It is much improved. The old site, in a word sucked. It was never good. The new one, is just too damn busy. The homepage has too much information on it, with not enough detail. It shows more than a dozen stories but doesn’t give an teaser on any single article. I’m sorry but a photo and a headline isn’t enticing enough to me.

The sports home page is a little bit better, but it has the same problem above the fold. There’s just no details. Lastly, unlike the other papers, the content needs to be constantly refreshed throughout the day, the Sun website, even the new version, in my opinion is very static. You don’t come back to the site more than 1x per day.

Speaking of the Sun, I am not sure how many people caught Steve Buffery’s blog post last week. One of you sent it to me, otherwise I wouldn’t have seen it. Nothing offensive in it, no real gems per se, rather just a good example of why it’s great that we have 2 radio stations right now. There are a ton of tastes out there and no 2 are alike:

“During the week, I’ll likely listen to guys I like personally — guys like James Cybulski and Steve Kouleas on TSN Radio, Gord Stellick, Eric Smith, Paul Jones and Mike Wilner on The Fan 590 (I especially enjoy listening to Wilner put whimpering Jays fans in their place) and Bill Watters on 640. And, you know what, Jim Ralph is doing a great job on the Watters show this week. Ralph also has a wicked sense of humour.

And Sunday, of course, I listen to Toth at noon — and, yes, I appear Mike’s show, but I don’t listen to myself. The feedback from the radio is too irritating. I’m also going to give my old Grill Room pal Matt Cauz a listen on weekends. Matt’s a good Etobicoke boy, like myself, although definitely from the other side of the tracks. (The side with grass).”

Interesting read for sure, don’t agree or disagree with all of it and got a good chuckle out of some. I am sure you’ll let me know what you think.



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