Katie Strang of the Athletic joined Matt and Blake to talk about the latest in the NHL. After taking some time to dissect the Bettman presser from yesterday, there was a lack of empathy from the Commissioner and the NHL. The most gobsmacking part of the conference was when Westhead asked Gary if they will support the young Michigan player and he couldn’t come up with an answer. She doesn’t even think that he is calculating that ticket holders or sponsors will walk out by the thousands. There is a disconnect in the NHL in how Kyle Beach was let down. Gary is a shrewd legal mind and his first defence is to act like a lawyer. There is a cost of inaction and there is a cost in not acting with human empathy. This is something that we’ve come to expect from Gary Bettman in his tenure as Commissioner. Talked about Rick Westhead and the role he played in all of this. Says that none of this would have happened without him. This work is very difficult to do and Rick is exceptional at it. There is no conceivable way that he should have been called on so late in the press conference. Thinks that the general hockey community sees value in this type of reporting. It’s encouraging in the term of the work that we do. Talked about the pending lawsuit in PIT. Talked about the future of Gary Bettman. He works at the behest of the owners and unless they feel the bottom line is going to suffer, doesn’t see them making any sort of bold move to replace him with someone else. There has been public outcry but power is very centralized. Thinks that Kyle Beach taking this public will save lives. This alone won’t do it but there will need to be a push within the league.
Patrick Johnston of Post Media joined the show for his regular Tuesday hit. Started off chatting about Travis Hamonic and how he came to play his first game. Guesses he got his shot, at the end of the day he got vaccinated. Though, they went against their word and the whole team is not 100% vaccinated. He won’t be able to go on the road next week. It is their right to dock him pay. In the end of the day, this is a player they want in the lineup, they paid him as such. Notes that the team didn’t hide him and gave him a chance to tell him his side of the story, or at least part of it. Media can only do their best to fill in the gaps. Fans want to know what the lineup will look like. Thinks that people were respectful of TH situation. The core of the story is the willingness to get vaccinated and that was what was reported. Talked about what he will bring to the lineup.
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