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NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman Offers Lockout Advice On WFAN

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (WFAN) - NHL commissioner Gary Bettman joined WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Monday and offered some tips to the NBA on how to handle their ongoing lockout.

NBA labor talks broke down last Thursday night, leaving the season in jeopardy.

“If you’re going to take a year off, you better really address your problems,” Bettman said.

Listen: Gary Bettman with Mike Francesa

He would know. The 2004–05 NHL lockout resulted in the cancellation of what would have been the 88th season of play of the NHL. It was the first time the Stanley Cup was not awarded since 1919, and the first time a major professional sports league in North America canceled a complete season because of a labor dispute.

“We understood that if we were going to do what we did, we better make a substantial improvement. You never say it was worth it…but if you’ve got to do it you better make it count.”

Bettman also addressed the future of the Islanders. Residents of Nassau County rejected the issue of $400 million in bonds to build a new arena for the team in August.

“It’s inconceivable to me that the Islanders wouldn’t be on Long Island. It would be malpractice for those in charge to allow that to happen.”