Gary Bettman was in Los Angeles to see the Kings raise their Stanley Cup banner on Wednesday night, and during a pregame press conference, he insinuated that, unlike NFL players, NHL players know the difference between right and wrong.
Bettman suggesting NHL doesn't need to do more to create rules for outside issues, ala the NFL - 'Our players know what's right and wrong'
— The Mayor John Hoven (@mayorNHL) October 9, 2014
The full quote has Bettman discussing the league's current policy regarding domestic violence, substance abuse and other issues. But in the end, his basic summation is that "hey, we're good" and "our players conduct themselves better than those in other sports."
"So I'm not sure for us there is any need for any code of conduct other than our players, who overwhelming conduct themselves magnificently off the ice -- we deal with it on a case by case basis. I don't think we need to formalize anything more. Our players know what's right and wrong, and as I said, we have the mechanisms in place to hopefully not get to that point."
While it's true that NHL players have an arrest rate lower than athletes in the other major sports, this is an odd conclusion for a number of reasons. A sample of those reasons:
- Mike Danton went to prison for hiring somebody to kill his father.
- Dany Heatley killed teammate Dan Snyder while speeding in his car.
- Todd Bertuzzi assaulted a man on the ice in the middle of an NHL game.
- Seymon Varlamov was arrested last year in a domestic violence incident. Another NHLer, Fedor Tyutin, blamed Varlamov's alleged victim.
- Patrick Kane was charged with assaulting and robbing a cabbie in 2009.
- Bobby Hull beat at least one of his wives, is still on the Blackhawks payroll. (Hull also said that the Nazis "had some good ideas" but "just went a little bit too far")