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Bettman: No decision on expansion, but they’re listening

Dec 10, 2013, 6:52 PM EST

bettmangetty Getty Images

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman addressed the media regarding a variety of issues stemming from this week’s Board of Governors meetings, including his claim that expansion hasn’t been fully addressed.

Various outlets at least clarified one thing: it doesn’t look like any teams will be added for the 2014-15 season. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t discussions about future expansion, however.

“All we’re saying is we listen when somebody wants us to listen. That’s all,” Bettman said. “We’ve gone from people saying we should relocate to talk now of expansion. People need to slow down.”

Good luck with that.

Seattle-area network King TV’s Chris Daniels adds a note that Bettman said the league isn’t “ranking cities” regarding expansion, for what that’s worth. If nothing else, the NHL believes that franchises “have never been stronger.”

Expect a post regarding the league’s feelings about player safety soon, but here are a few other noteworthy takeaways from the meetings:

  • The Winnipeg Free Press’ Gary Lawless reports that Winnipeg will host an upcoming Heritage Classic, with 2016 being the most likely year.
  • TSN’s Darren Dreger breaks down how NHL teams struggling to hit the cap floor might get some help. There are enough numbers that some of us might need to sit down for a second after reading them (not naming names).
  • The league seems happy with PED testing, though there are discussions with the NHLPA about screening for HGH. They also appear pleased with the NHL’s mental health program (via Yahoo’s Nick Cotsonika).
  • Also via Cotsonika: the league claims it had people checking out venues at Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics and the general takeaway was that “it’s going to be great for hockey.”

So, in a nutshell, Bettman & Co. are painting an extremely positive picture about the league’s health … it just might take a while before we find out if there will be a new “member” or two added to that big, happy family.

Cotsonika has an amusing Cliffs Notes version of the updates, too, if you’d rather not read so much:

  1. nj666 - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    so they’re happy with this mess of a realignment of divisions….? not to mention the imbalance of the conferences…

    • micasa81 - Dec 10, 2013 at 11:12 PM

      I’ve always thought a 32-team league makes sense simply because every team that makes the playoff is definitively an above average team in their conference. Then the league threw reason out the window and allowed one conference to be bigger…

  2. vbcaps - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    Expansion to Quebec and Seattle both within the next 3-5 season

    • ethanmacleod1685 - Dec 10, 2013 at 11:10 PM

      Nope, the conferences will still be unbalanced. Expansion to Seattle, relocation to Quebec? Also, I don’t think the NHL wants an 8th canadian team ( no offense )

      • ethanmacleod1685 - Dec 10, 2013 at 11:13 PM

        If they do relocate a team, it’s going to be Florida, sorry panther fans but you guys can’t support a hockey team. I know it’s not all your fault, you’ve had a terrible squads over the years. My heart goes out to ya’s

  3. mkpllck - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    I’m an unabashed Bruins fan who would like to point out not all of us can or want to defend the cheapshot thornton delivered in the form of punches to a downed player. I like physical hockey, but it sickens me when a player is stretchered off the ice for ANY team. Thornton is a tough guy sure, but lets also be honest… he plays 9-10 minutes a game and brings energy and burst while not being a liability. He’s not a cheap player, never been suspended before this incident and I think feels worse about it than anyone else. Its certainly a bad look for a long time defender of the code, but bruins fans with s brain hope orpik is healthy and back on the pens blue line soon.

    • hockeyflow33 - Dec 10, 2013 at 8:59 PM

      enough

  4. canucks30 - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    No mention of the impending 2021 NHL Lockout Gary?

  5. muckleflugga - Dec 10, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    ethanmacleod1685

    no offence taken, but you’re under notice…

    anymore bashing on the true, true north strong and free, and we’ll bring one of our four, thirty year old submarines out of dry dock, and invade colorado

    just you wait and see…

  6. jwalsh217 - Dec 10, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    Every time expansion rumors come up with the NBA, NFL and MLB they are immediately shot down by their league offices, The NHL on the other hand…
    Also, it always made for sense to expand for 2015=2016. Quebec City will have their rink and a decision on new arena in Seattle will be made by then

    • dirt2013 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:58 AM

      So you think Quebec will support a team playing in the western conference? Games starting at 10 PM are a lot of fun just ask Wing fans.

  7. greatmiamisportsmind - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    The Panthers are locked into their lease until after the 2027-28. Even then, a new owner isn’t going to move a team less than a year after purchasing them. Maybe Vinny will start spending money on free agents to help get this team winning. No location will ever draw fans when you miss the playoffs 11 of 12 years

  8. blomfeld - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    BETTMAN RULES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

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