Against better judgment, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman not only attended the Hockey Hall of Fame induction of Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin, Pavel Bure and Adam Oates on Monday night but took to the stage for a short speech.
And it was … awkward. Check out the crowd reaction and Bettman's uncomfortable reference to the NHL lockout at the end.
As we said last night: He didn't need to be there. His presence took everyone out of the moment, and that was underscored by his reference to the lockout at the end. (Well, he took everyone out of the moment save for Roy MacGregor; nothing was going to knock the smile off that scribe's face.)
What was the "even in difficult times" thing supposed to be? Poignant? Mournful? When you're the guy who pulled the brakes on the season, it's not going to come off as anything but self-serving, much like the appearance itself at the Hockey Hall of Fame. Which led to reactions like this: