Frustrated fan confronts Bettman about lockout

The frustration from hockey fans about the lack of an NHL season is palpable.

Proud Philadelphia Flyers fan Jaymes Hall, so frustrated by the lack of checks, hat tricks and, no doubt, icing calls spoke up for puck heads everywhere when he called out NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman during a news conference Wednesday, according to the New York Daily News.

Disguised as members of the media — not really — Hall and his sons, who were in town for Thanksgiving, waited patiently outside of the NHL negotiations in Manhattan.

However, that patience and the patience of hockey fans everywhere ended when he attempted to ask Bettman a question and was rejected.

Hall would not be ignored.

“That’s how you talk to fans,” he yelled out.

But the moment wasn’t lost on Bettman who offered to speak with Hall after his media session.

“Excuse me, in one second,” Bettman said. “I’m in the middle of a media scrum. I’d be happy to talk to you when I’m done, but if you’re not credentialed media, I think it’s unfortunate and unfair to these people. I know you’re a fan, I’m happy to talk to you, but these people are trying to do their job and I’m trying to help them.”

Hall’s exchange with the commissioner:

HALL: “Put the money [in dispute] aside so nobody touches it and let the people get back to playing hockey. Eventually that pot’s going to build. But the guy who makes money selling parking spots — let him get back to making a living.”
BETTMAN: “The impact that this is having on everybody associated with the league is not lost on us. Believe me. But the fact of the matter is, when you’re dealing with a union and they’re really not trying to negotiate any deal that you can live with for the long-term health of this game, there isn’t much else you can do. And we’re hoping that with the passage of time, the players’ association will come to realize that what we have proposed is more than fair. And the fact that we’re keeping this proposal on the table, when it was contingent upon an 82-game schedule, should be evidence of our desire to get this done the right way.”
HALL: “The $18 million a day you’re losing. There’s got to be a smarter way.”
BETTMAN: “It makes no sense (meaning it makes no sense continuing to lose that money each day). But thank you for being a fan.”
HALL: “I appreciate it, and I apologize for raising my voice.”
BETTMAN: “No, no, no. Happy Thanksgiving.”
HALL: “Thanks for your time.”

If you had the chance to ask Bettman a question about the NHL lockout what would you say?

-Matt Wilhalme