Although the Nashville Predators are fighting to stay alive in Nashville and although inflated player contracts and the salary cap have effectively rendered the 2004-2005 NHL lockout useless, Gary Bettman must be feeling pretty good lately. His league is no longer in the headlines for the negativities which were leaking in to the news while the NHL is in it's off season, due to the recent felonious happenings in other professional leagues, which now have bigger, badder, and more newsworthy problems.
The NFL is once again caught in a scandal which has Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick being investigated for his alleged underground dog fighting business the NBA finds itself in the middle of an ivestigation of one of its top level officials for fixing games to finance his mob debts. While this takes place, the MLB inches closer to having one of its most reverred records broken by a less than friendly player who is alleged to have taken streriods. Bettman's problems seem trivial compared to the webs of misdemeanour and treachery that commissioners Godell, Stern and Selig are respectively facing.
But just as the NHL commissioner was loosening his necktie and getting more comfortable in his recliner atop the NHL towers in New York, news comes down that now the NHL too, has athletes facing criminal charges. Today, news comes out that the brother's Staal, Eric (Carolina Hurricanes) and Jordan (Pittsburgh Penguins) have been arrested in Cook County, Minessota for disoderly conduct and obstructing the legal process after older brother Eric's bacherlor party seemed to lose control. The Penguins' young gun was also charged with consumption of alchohol under the age of 21. The Cook County Sheriff says that 14 people were arrested after harrassing motorists and Eric Staal was one of 10 who spent the night in jail.
While Eric's agent says that the charges are not too serious and may very well be dropped, it is still a black eye on the league which was always third best to the NFL and NBA and which seems to have (like Bettman always tries to do) tried to have followed suit with its counterparts with the deplorable actions of its employees.