Why Bettman deserves a standing ovation on opening night

There’s no doubt that Winnipeg Jets hockey fans have more than one thing in common. Of course, they love the Jets. And a very close second is they hate the NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. Why do they hate him so much? Well, each fan has their own reasons – and no doubt you do too.

Whether they blame him for the departure of the old Jets to Phoenix, or the salary cap issues. Or even the lock out back in the 1994-95 season, Mr. Bettman was at the helm the entire time.

Well, all that needs to change come tonight when the Winnipeg Jets return to the regular season play in the NHL versus the Montreal Canadiens. We don’t think he’ll be wearing a tuxedo that night, and think you should be working on your white out. But what we do think is that while Gary is in attendance, we should all actually get to our feet and give the man the credit he deserves.

After all, without him there would be no Jets back in Winnipeg. Granted, it’s a small part he played in comparison to the likes of Mark Chipman and David Thompson, but he still needed to bless the deal. Without Gary, we would likely be cheering on the Moose still of the AHL and while that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, it wouldn’t be half as awesome as us all standing in unison cheering “GO JETS GO!”

So tonight, stand up. Clap loudly. Scream your heart out. And respect Mr. Bettman for what he’s done in recent history. Tomorrow we can all go back to the ominous rounds of “Gaarrrryyyy.”

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Marshall Stevenson regularly contributes to one of the best Winnipeg Jets blogs as an editor and co-founder while also working on JET FUEL – a documentary about Winnipeg Jets fans. Of course he's also behind the only official, unofficial Jets fan gear site. And as if he wasn't busy enough, a co-host on the popular Winnipeg Jets focused Jets Hockey Podcast.