The Sharks are not preoccupied merely with hockey matters in this Summer of Shame.

Yes, the local hockey team is the process of a fairly radical roster reboot following their humiliating playoff exit after taking a 3-0 lead over the Los Angeles Kings. That's all been outlined by Shark executives.

But beneath the surface, the franchise is fighting an even more important battle. That struggle is taking place in executive offices from here to the east coast.

Simply put, the Sharks' local television contract is not acceptable to them. They think it stinks. Stinks so bad, in fact, that it could affect the team's long-term ability to stay in San Jose and the Bay Area.

This has nothing to do with the departure of popular television analyst Drew Remenda, which was made public Tuesday. That's unfortunate, but comparatively small potatoes.

How serious is the concern over the Sharks' television deal? I have learned and confirmed that National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman has taken the extraordinary step of personally intervening in the matter. Bettman has contacted high-level honchos at Comcast corporate offices in Philadelphia to see if the Sharks' local television deal can be reworked. Comcast is the parent company of Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area, which broadcasts Shark games. So far, the Bettman talks have not been fruitful.

Here's the issue: The Sharks' local deal pales compared to most other NHL teams. The team is in the middle of a long-term contract with Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area that yields the Sharks $7 million per season. And it has 14 more seasons to run.