SUN Hockey Pool

Thanks for nothin'

ERIC FRANCIS -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:45 AM ET

The man responsible for the darkest days in NHL history wants us to believe he stepped down yesterday.

Bobby Brainwash wants us to believe the decision to forego the final three years of a $7.5-million deal was all his.

This from a man who will be remembered in the hockey world for squeezing every dime possible out of a game driven to the brink by his miscalculated greed.

Bob Goodenow, a man who told the world a week ago he loved his job and wasn't going anywhere, wants us to believe he suddenly decided it was time to walk away.

Forgive us for not drinking your Kool-Aid, Uncle Bobby -- you got turfed. Sacked. Booted. Bounced.

Busted by the owners then dusted by the players.

Your crime: Game misconduct.

Your sentence: Lifelong ridicule.

After costing the players and the game billions of dollars for miscalculating the opposition's problems and resolve, surely no one in hockey would want to employ or be associated with a man who lost the biggest game of bluff in sports lore.

Make no mistake, for the bulk of his tenure as NHLPA boss, Goodenow did wonders to escalate player salaries and benefits, making him one of the most successful union bosses in recent history. Increasing salaries five-fold in that time will do that for a guy. Unfortunately, such success led players to buy into his bafflegab wholeheartedly. And when his leadership and expertise were counted on most, he failed miserably by putting his ego ahead of his clients and the game by declaring there'd be no cap under his reign.

Turns out he was right, sort of, because now he's gone.

Had he read the situation better or behaved a little more rationally as the league looked for a solution to problems he outright refused to acknowledge -- problems he helped create -- he'd surely have his job today.

Instead, his red-faced mug is on the front of every paper in Canada today marking his humiliating exit.

Anyone who feels any hint of sadness over his necessary demise should consider these six sickening words he uttered yesterday during one of the most celebrated announcements in league history:

"I have absolutely no regrets whatsoever," said Big Bad Bob with an arrogance worthy of getting dummied by Tie Domi.

There was no apology. No share in the blame. No admittance of wrongdoing.

A season didn't have to be lost and he knows it.

He'll be remembered for making the costliest mistake in pro sports history. He just won't admit it.

Typical bully -- never in the wrong.

Sadly, the meeting with the players' executive that "accelerated" his hasty "decision" resulted in a financial arrangement that will undoubtedly see him compensated handsomely.

This, on the last day players could be bought out of their deals for 66 cents on the dollar. Bet he made out better than that -- and without the messy rollback.

Goodenow, who wanted his membership to believe NHL owners were lying about their books and about their resolve, apparently went too far when he tried to pretend he didn't lose the latest battle or the war that has produced more casualties than an egomaniac like him could possibly imagine.

So, for those keeping score, the man responsible for losing an entire season has followed it up with a loss to the owners and a loss to the players. Quite a streak.

And quite a dubious departure for a man who'd have you believe otherwise.


Videos

Photos