Posts Tagged ‘Gary Bettman’

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the Ottawa Senators are not looking for a new ownership group in the wake of Eugene Melnyk’s death.

“The franchise is being professionally run,” Bettman said Friday night, according to the Canadian Press’ Joshua Clipperton. “The club’s not on the market. There’s no urgency. The club’s not unstable.

“There are no problems.”

Melnyk died March 28 at 62 years old after dealing with an undisclosed illness. He helped the Senators franchise escape bankruptcy when he bought it in 2003.

Bettman said that it’s up to Melnyk’s two daughters – aged 19 and 23 – to decide what to do with the team.

Melnyk was a polarizing figure during his time in ownership. One of the main issues he faced was the Senators’ arena situation: The club has played in suburban Kanata since 1996, but there has been immense pressure in recent years to build a new rink in downtown Ottawa.

Bettman added that a new arena isn’t off the table, but that it isn’t the main focus.

“That door opens, it closes, it opens and closes,” Bettman said. “I’m hopeful that maybe at some point it’ll happen.

“Right now we’re just focusing on the family’s wishes and being supportive of the family at a very difficult time.”

The imminent return of the Quebec Nordiques appears to be a long shot at this point.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman met virtually with Quebec finance minister Eric Girard on Thursday about the possibility of an NHL franchise returning to Quebec City, according to The Canadian Press.

Although both parties described the chat as “cordial,” it did not yield the results Nordiques fans were seeking.

“We explained that, while we were appreciative and flattered by the interest expressed, unfortunately, we were not aware of any opportunity that could address that interest at the current time,” Bettman said.

“We appreciate that the lines of communication between the parties have been refreshed, and we agreed to stay in touch with each other as circumstances warrant going forward.”

Quebec Premier Francois Legault announced his interest in bringing an NHL franchise back to the province’s capital last November, stating that there were meetings set up with Bettman in the coming months.

One thing Quebec City has in its favor is an NHL-ready arena. The Videotron Centre opened in 2015 and contains 18,259 seats, which would make it the 16th-largest rink in the NHL. The QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts are currently the primary tenant.

The NHL recently expanded to 32 teams with the addition of the Seattle Kraken. With no further expansion plans on the horizon, a relocation is likely Quebec City’s best chance at getting a team.

There has been plenty of speculation about the Arizona Coyotes’ future in the desert in recent years. The city of Glendale informed the team in August that the 2021-22 campaign will be its last at Gila River Arena, but team president Xavier Gutierrez said at the time that the franchise is “100% committed to finding a long-term arena solution here in Arizona.”

The Coyotes submitted a bid in September to build an arena in nearby Tempe, Arizona, but they reportedly don’t currently have the votes in Tempe City Council to get approval. The team’s plans for 2022-23 are unknown.

The Quebec Nordiques were an NHL team from 1979-95 before relocating to Colorado and becoming the Avalanche.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is pouring cold water on the recent rumors that the Arizona Coyotes could leave the Phoenix area.

“The Coyotes aren’t going anywhere,” Bettman said following the Board of Governors meeting Friday, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.

The city of Glendale announced in August that it’ll opt out of its lease agreement for Gila River Arena after this season, which means the Coyotes need to find a new home building.

On Wednesday, it was reported that the city of Glendale was planning to lock the Coyotes out of the arena Dec. 20 due to $1.3 million in unpaid state and city taxes. On Thursday, the club reportedly settled the debt.

Bettman argued Friday that Glendale has it out for the Coyotes and reiterated that the league has no problems with the club itself.

“There’s no issue with the Arizona Coyotes,” Bettman said, according to TSN’s Rick Westhead. “It’s clear the city of Glendale has either an agenda or an edge in the way they are dealing with the Coyotes.”

There hasn’t been an update on the Coyotes’ plans for next season in months. However, the team did file a bid for land in nearby Tempe to be the construction site for a new arena.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault is set to meet with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to discuss the possibility of bringing the defunct Nordiques back to Quebec City.

“I’ve spoken with Bettman already, and there are meetings that are planned during the coming months,” Legault said Thursday on RDS’ Le 5 à 7, as translated by theScore.

“You have to look to know who is ready to invest. We have an (arena) already built in Quebec (City), and we are in contact with commissioner Gary Bettman to find out what we need to bring back the Nordiques.”

Quebec City’s Videotron Centre is an 18,259-seat arena that opened in 2015. It’s the seventh-largest indoor arena in Canada and the largest that doesn’t house an NHL team. The QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts are currently the primary tenant.

The Quebec Nordiques were an NHL team from 1979-95 before relocating to Colorado and becoming the Avalanche.

The NHL has expanded from 30 teams to 32 over the last few years with the additions of the Vegas Golden Knights and the Seattle Kraken. No further expansion plans are publicly known.

There has been much speculation about the Arizona Coyotes’ future in the desert, especially after the city of Glendale informed the team in August that the 2021-22 campaign will be its last at Gila River Arena. But team president Xavier Gutierrez said at the time the franchise is “100% committed to finding a long-term arena solution here in Arizona.”

The Coyotes submitted a bid in September to build an arena in nearby Tempe, Arizona, but their plans for the 2022-23 season are unknown.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman didn’t mince words when talking about the Montreal Canadiens‘ controversial selection of Logan Mailloux during last week’s draft.

“I was stunned. Surprised wouldn’t begin to explain my reaction,” Bettman said on “The Power Play with Steve Kouleas” on Thursday. “I’m a dad of two daughters, I have four granddaughters. What was done was horrific.”

Mailloux was charged and fined in Sweden last fall for invasion of privacy and defamation after taking a photo of a woman without consent during a sexual encounter and distributing it.

He put out a statement last Tuesday asking teams not to draft him, writing that he hadn’t “demonstrated strong enough maturity or character to earn that privilege.”

Three days later, the Habs selected him 31st overall.

“Everybody’s focusing on the player – he said he didn’t want to be drafted, the Canadiens drafted him anyway,” Bettman said. “There’s no mechanism not to be drafted, it’s not within the player’s control in any circumstance to decide when he wants to be drafted.”

Bettman acknowledged Canadiens owner Geoff Molson’s statement on the selection, adding that the situation is going to “require evaluation going forward.”

“I don’t think anybody should lose sight of the impact of what happened on the victim and the victim’s family,” Bettman said. “While (Molson) said the Canadiens and Logan are going to try and make good, we’re gonna have to see what that means moving forward in all contexts.”

Bettman added: “They’re going to continue to see how this evolves, how he progresses … and at the appropriate time, we may be called on if and when they want him to play and he wants to play.”

With the NHL looking to make some tweaks to its draft lottery system, commissioner Gary Bettman doesn’t believe teams have intentionally played poorly to obtain better picks in the past.

“There are some clubs who recently think it’s important that the teams that are struggling the most get the most help. There are other teams … that think there is nothing wrong with the present system at all,” Bettman said to media via Zoom Thursday. “I don’t believe there’s tanking in the game. I think our players, and our organizations, our coaches, are too professional.”

The NHL recently proposed to the league’s board of governors some changes to its lottery system. The reported alterations include limiting teams to no more than two lottery wins in a five-year period, allowing clubs to jump up only 10 spots, and reducing picks in the lottery from three to two.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Thursday that it’s “more likely than not” the upcoming 2021 NHL Draft will be held in July, according to The Associated Press’ Stephen Whyno. The NHL’s general managers were reportedly in favor of postponing the draft.

The league last altered its lottery format in 2016, making the top three picks available in the lottery for non-playoff teams instead of just the No. 1 selection. Bettman said he thinks the current system doesn’t need a complete overhaul, just a few minor adjustments.

“Yes there’s been an anomaly or two here and there, but the system wasn’t necessarily crying out for major change,” Bettman said. “I think these adjustments are more in the form of tweaks than anything else.”

The NHL’s last-place team has picked first overall just twice in the past nine years.

Chances of an all-Canadian division appearing more and more likely |

While the NHL and NHLPA continue to work on a framework for the 2020-21 season, commissioner Gary Bettman says the league will likely need to realign, which would include an all-Canadian division.

“There are a lot of things we have to do to return to play. … We have travel issues because of the restrictions at the border between Canada and the U.S. You can’t go back and forth, so we’re actually going to have to realign,” Bettman told the “Maccabi USA Sports Show,” according to’s Tom Gulitti.

“If everything stays the way it is, we’re probably going to have to have a Canadian division and realign in the U.S., and we’re trying to focus on dealing with all of those challenges.”

The all-Canadian division would include the Calgary FlamesEdmonton OilersMontreal CanadiensOttawa SenatorsToronto Maple LeafsVancouver Canucks, and Winnipeg Jets. It’s unclear how the 24 U.S. clubs would realign.

The NHL and NHLPA have reportedly dropped discussions regarding financial changes in an effort to begin a new season Jan. 13. Both sides apparently prefer to play a 56-game schedule in 2020-21.

The NHL has a call scheduled for 4 p.m. on Wednesday with the league’s Board of Governors to update the teams on the ongoing negotiations, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.

cut (35)

The NHL is coming down hard on the Arizona Coyotes.

The Coyotes will forfeit their 2020 second-round pick and 2021 first-round pick for violating the NHL’s combine testing policy, the league announced Wednesday. Arizona had already traded its 2020 first-round pick to the New Jersey Devils for Taylor Hall.

The Coyotes acknowledged that they had conducted physical testing on 2020 draft-eligible players prior to the combine.

“While the Combine Testing Policy Memoranda reference a fine of ‘no less than $250,000 for each violation’ of the Policy, I exercise my discretion to impose the aforementioned discipline – which I consider to be more appropriate given the specific circumstances of this case,” said Bettman, who convened a hearing on the matter on Aug. 6.

Steve Sullivan is the team’s interim general manager after John Chayka terminated his contract with the club in July.

Bettman added that no specific individuals will face punishment.

“As for the club personnel who participated in, or may have contributed to, the club’s violation of the policy, I have decided that no discipline shall be imposed on these individuals,” Bettman said. “While I conclude that certain club personnel acted in a grossly negligent manner at best, which was conceded by the club, I ultimately conclude that the record does not establish – to a standard with which I am comfortable – that those individuals engaged in intentional wrongdoing, as opposed to grossly negligent behavior.”

John-Shannon-Power-25-feature-1040x572 (1)

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the idea of beginning the next NHL campaign two months later than usual isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

“We have a great deal of flexibility in terms of when we can start,” Bettman told the NHL Network on Thursday. “There’s no magic for next season of starting in October as we traditionally do. If we have to start in November or December, that’s something that will be under consideration.”

Bettman also made it clear there’s still no definitive timeline for a resumption of the currently paused season.

“I don’t think anybody knows for certain,” he said. “We’re going to have to take things one step at a time, because the health and well-being of our players is paramount to anything we’re focused on.”

It was reported earlier this week that the league discussed the possibility of pushing the start of next season until December and that it still wanted to play a full 82-game slate next campaign.

That followed a report that suggested the NHL would be willing to delay the opening of the season until November to complete the current one.

On Wednesday night, the NHL and NHLPA said in a joint statement that they may be able to move on to “Phase 2” of a return-to-play plan – which would involve reopening team facilities – by mid-to-late May if conditions continue to progress.


The NHL is abandoning the idea of resuming its 2019-20 season using non-league arenas due to a lack of accommodations and difficulty televising games at these facilities, commissioner Gary Bettman told Sportsnet’s Ron MacLean on Wednesday.

“I know there’s been a lot of rumors about this, we can’t play in a small college rink in the middle of a smaller community because if we’re going to be centralized, we need the back of the house that NHL arenas provide,” Bettman said.

“Whether it’s multiple locker rooms, whether it’s the technology, the procedures, the video replay, the broadcasting facilities; those are the things that are in place at NHL arenas and that’s what we’re going to ultimately need if we’re going to come back in a centralized basis and play multiple games a day.”

The league is shifting its focus toward playing games at up to four regular NHL cities where the coronavirus outbreak is contained and less stringent restrictions would allow games to be played.

Bettman says that although divisional games will be centralized in one location, contests won’t necessarily be hosted in a city within the respective divisions.

The home rinks of the Carolina Hurricanes, Edmonton Oilers, and Minnesota Wild are currently the front-runners, according to ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski.

Three cities contacted the league after the NHL went on pause March 12: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; Grand Forks, North Dakota; and Manchester, New Hampshire.

Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie was among the players to discuss potentially playing neutral-site games, saying he’d play anywhere if it brought back the chance to compete for a Stanley Cup.

The NHL pushed its self-quarantine period to April 30 last week, and several options to ensure a fair format for all teams and safety for players are being considered as the pandemic persists across North America.