Perhaps Chris Chelios, Tie Domi, Jeremy Roenick and other dissatisfied NHLers (or is that ex-NHLers now) were in the voting booth. But for Gary Bettman this has not been a great way to start off 2005, the votes are in and he's the pits.
Bettman has seen his professional ranking drop in not one, but two major American publications. First he found his Sporting News power ranking tumble from 13th place last year to 40th in the annual listing of the top 100 important people in sport. To add insult to that injury, looking down at Gary from number 39 is none other than Bob Goodenow. No wonder nobody is taking any calls at the NHL office.
And as if that wasn't bad enough, Business Week magazine has released its poll of the seven worst managers in Business and Gary placed fifth in the stumbling seven. Gary shares office space in the doghouse with the likes of Michael Eisner, forced out at Disney in a shareholder revolt, Raymond Gilmartin, he of the troubled makers of Vioxx and Scott Livengood of Krispy Kreme donuts who are in the midst of an investigation into accounting problems.
Also listed in the article in the category of fallen managers is former Nortel CEO Frank Dunn, who has been on watch at the bridge as Nortel took on water. Gary can only hope that he doesn't suffer the same fate, as most hockey fans wish the same for their beloved sport.
Should Gary wish to talk to someone about how to turn things around, Paul Tagliabue is the fellow to chat with. He's listed as the number one sports manager in the pros. Perhaps Gary could ask Scott to send him some donuts for the meeting!