NHL commissioner Gary Bettman addressed Chicago Blackhawks TV play-by-play announcer Pat Foley's late start rant during a Friday session at the Associated Press Sports Editors commissioner meetings.
With about seven minutes to go in the third period, play stopped, Foley laid into the 8:42 p.m. start times. Comcast SportsNet aired the full rant, while the NBC Sports Network feed cut off Foley's rant.
"Eddie, we've had a tremendous series between two great teams here. And it has been compelling theater: The two teams have been tied or one-goal games 96 percent of the time so far. But this is the third time in five games that a start time of 8:42 [p.m.] local was mandated. I can say with certainty: Players can not stand these late starts. Coaches can not stand them. Most importantly, the fans can't stand them.
"So as we approach midnight eastern - AGAIN - on a work night, a school night, a simple question: An 8:42 puck drop serves, who?"
Chris De Luca of the Chicago Sun Times reported some of Bettman's thoughts on Foley's rant.
Bettman: "I spoke to John McDonough this morning & told him we'll play at midnight if you want. We are not playing at midnight. #Blackhawks— Chris De Luca (@ChrisDeLuca) April 22, 2016
Bettman: "Mr. Foley didn't have his facts straight ... that everybody hates it. It was off the mark." #Blackhawks— Chris De Luca (@ChrisDeLuca) April 22, 2016
Bettman says #Blackhawks are comfortable with 8:30 starts.— Chris De Luca (@ChrisDeLuca) April 22, 2016
Will Bettman discipline Foley? "He doesn't work for us." #Blackhawks— Chris De Luca (@ChrisDeLuca) April 22, 2016
Deputy commish Bill Daly says "clubs buy in" to goal of showing all games, but "it's not ideal to them." #Blackhawks— Chris De Luca (@ChrisDeLuca) April 22, 2016