NHL Fans’ Association Co-Founder Asks Bettman to Retire

NHLFA co-founder Jim Boone asks Gary Bettman to retire as commissioner of the NHL
NHLFA co-founder Jim Boone asks Gary Bettman to retire as commissioner of the NHL

Up until a few hours ago, I was not even aware of the existence of the NHL Fans’ Association. However, such an organization does exist. The group was founded in 1998 in order to give hockey fans in North America a way to express their views on the NHL.

Today, the NHLFA and co-founder Jim Boone, are making hockey headlines. In a blog post on The Hockey News, Boone has written an open letter to Gary Bettman and politely asked him to retire from his position as commissioner of the NHL.

In the blog, Boone writes:

The time has come for you to retire as the commissioner of the NHL while you carry some respect.

There is a noticeable, growing groundswell developing among fans who want a new commissioner of their sport.  As we both know, fans are the most important stakeholder in the NHL with the quietest voice. (You know my feelings about your track record when it comes to fan relations, but there’s no need to revive that dead horse today.)

If you truly care about the NHL, you would seize the moment and exit gracefully before the next round of CBA negotiations starts heating up. And what better time to usher in a new leader of the league than when the NHL Players’ Association is undergoing a governance review and is leaderless for the next few months? There’s no risk to the league when the NHL’s nemesis – the NHLPA – is in organizational turmoil.

I ask that you resign before January 1, 2010. If you are still in office in the new year, I will organize the 30,000 members of NHL Fans’ Association to encourage the NHL governors to replace you as commissioner. We feel that a new commissioner would be the best thing for the NHL.

You can read the post in its entirety at TheHockeyNews.com.

What do you guys think of this request?


  1. I’m a Coyote’s fan, and yep, I like Bettman.

    I believe Bettman gets a bad rap, and so is expected if you are the top guy. I feel he does put hockey’s best interest at the forefront, players, owners, revenue, and even fans.

    It is easy to critique someone’s decisions during and after the fact, but knowing some sort of business, every decision is based upon another decision, that was based on yet another decision, and so on.

    For those who have XM radio, try and listen to Bettman on air. I think it is Thursdays, but I could be wrong. You get to know him as a little more of a person, and it is kind of cool to see. Sure he still has to withhold the business side and not reveal all the doings of the NHL, but it is worth the time to listen. Do any other Commissioners give out their email and take phone calls form fans?

  2. “There’s no risk to the league when the NHL’s nemesis – the NHLPA – is in organizational turmoil.”

    Actually, I believe that Curling is the NHL’s nemesis… You know, based on the demographical overlap.

  3. Well, here we are August 2012 and sadly Bettman is still here.
    In the midst of another CBA negociations and seemingly, at the on-set GB threatens the NHLPA whit a lockout.

    What does he care, his pockets are full and when he ruins hockey then walks off into the sunset nothing but turmoil and devastation left to be found. Fans suffer and can’t do anything.

    To to posters back in 2009 – still like Bettman now?

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