Darren McCarty: Gary Bettman Ruined My Game; "Screw Him"

McCarty ripped Bettman and shared his thoughts on marijuana and the NHL playoffs, among other topics

April 26, 2018 - 8:14 am

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Four-time Stanley Cup champion Darren McCarty dropped by CBS Sports Radio to discuss numerous topics, including the NHL playoffs, Gary Bettman, and marijuana, among other topics.

McCarty, who helped the Red Wings to Cup titles in 1997, 1998, 2002, and 2008, has become an outspoken supporter of medicinal marijuana.

“I can just tell my truth – and that’s my truth,” McCarty said on Ferrall on the Bench. “Whoever doesn’t think that marijuana is the answer for all these opioids – for me, coming from alcohol and coming from pills and stuff like this and watching guys – Derek Boogaard and Wade Belak – commit suicide, I’m not going to let that happen. So we get the word out. There is some benefits for it. It’s about living better and healthier, and I found it through the bud. Now I can medicate myself. I encourage, encourage, encourage people to get out there and get educated.”

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman must think McCarty is crazy, Scott Ferrall quipped.

“Who cares what Bettman thinks?” McCarty responded. “He ruined my game. Screw him. I’m glad I got to play earlier. What do you expect when you put a basketball lawyer from New York in charge of hockey? It was really a Canadian sort of game. Nothing against the Americans, but you could have made a better selection if you wanted to keep the game that it was, the game that we grew up with. This is a European game. This is a global game. Congratulations, it’s awesome. It’s great. But it’s not my game. It’s not your game.”

McCarty, 46, played in the NHL from 1992 to 2009, and was known as an enforcer.

“Where’s your hockey-fights tapes now?” he asked. “We used to talk about that stuff all the time. It’s part of moving on in all sports, but to me, everything has gotten softer. How do you play defense in football now? I never played the game, but sports are different from when we grew up. It’s just the way it is. It’s not right or wrong.”

Looking at the Stanley Cup Playoffs, McCarty believes that the Las Vegas Golden Knights have a chance to beat the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference semifinals. both teams are coming off first-round sweeps and will meet in Game 1 Thursday at 10 p.m. ET.

“Oh, absolutely,” McCarty said of the Golden Knights’ chances. “They got a shot to win the Cup. This is the steroid-expansion team. It’s all second-tier guys that teams had to give away some good guys. Where do you win? You win with goaltending. You got your Cup guy from Pittsburgh (Marc-Andre Fleury). That goes a long way. Plus those guys are experienced, and plus they got something to prove. They’ve done it all year. I think they get it done in six.”