My question for Gary Bettman was, in comparison to the mega-mess just made of the NHL's labor talks Thursday night, a fairly simple one.
Here it is verbatim: "Gary, how could any commissioner justify canceling two full seasons in a span of eight years in any major professional sport?"
You had to be an elementary school principal to truly grasp the glare shot across the media room at the Westin Times Square.
"First of all," Bettman began, "lockouts and strikes happen in all sports. Baseball had eight work stoppages in a row before they had labor peace. The NBA and NFL have had them, too."
That's when he tilted his head a bit, always a sign he's about to get testy, his left eye twitched, his left handed pointed and trembled, and he added: "I'm not happy about this. But I've got to play the hand that I'm dealt."