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Bettman: NHL continues to grow, but ‘we’re not in an expansion process’

May 23, 2014, 9:30 PM EDT

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Two days ago, the National Hockey League scored big at the SportsBusiness Journal Awards.

So, with all the success it has had since emerging from the lockout in January 2013, talk and speculation continues into whether the league will expand beyond its 30 markets. Seattle remains at the forefront of the discussion around the hockey world, along with Quebec City and Las Vegas. In fact, all three of those cities have been mentioned as potential expansion markets for some time now. Not really anything new there.

In fact, commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly were in Seattle recently to get a better idea of the situation involving a new arena in the city.

It’s also been reported that Los Angeles-based real estate tycoon Victor Coleman wants to bring a team to Seattle.

But, as Pierre LeBrun of ESPN reported, the NHL still has no plans to expand just yet.

“Things are popping up, but we’re not in an expansion process. Could we get to one at some point? Maybe,” Bettman told ESPN. “But right now we’re not focused on going through an expansion process.”

  1. flyboystransport - May 23, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    There’s no reason to be in Seattle otherwise. It would bring more positive attention to the sport and I’m pretty sure the players association are gonna start getting on you about it (they can rip apart the current realignment. ..).

    • blomfeld - May 23, 2014 at 11:15 PM


      BETTMAN KNOWS THE DEAL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


      GO JOEY !!! :)

      GO BETTMAN !!! :)


  2. canucks30 - May 23, 2014 at 9:39 PM

    “We’re not locking out the players”

    -Gary Bettman (1994,2004,2012)

    Sure. Whatever you say Gary.

    • avfanforlife - May 24, 2014 at 11:39 AM

      Ha! Good one. Of course Mr. B wants a team in Seattle. “Not in the process…” just means they don’t know how yet.
      Conferences should be even. Like MLB, when divisions were uneven with 4 in some and 6 in others, it was obvious they needed to change it up and now they have. Seattle is an important market and possibly Portland. Instant rivalry, less travel time for Western teams, all good…

  3. jcmeyer10 - May 23, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    It’s a no brainer for Seattle to get a team. There is an imbalance of teams and franchises in Seattle and Portland would make things even and take advantage of the work the MLS has done in creating rivalries.

    • joey4id - May 24, 2014 at 9:18 AM

      Why shoot the messenger? Blame the money craved owners.

  4. canucks30 - May 23, 2014 at 9:44 PM

  5. titansbro - May 23, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    Seattle should have a team already, that’s a fact. Personally I think relocation is better than expansion. But I guess whatever gets a team to Seattle is ok by me.

    • c9castine - May 24, 2014 at 6:54 PM

      please tell me how “seattle should have a team already” is a fact.

  6. sixchr - May 23, 2014 at 10:31 PM

    Nobody is asking for an expansion. An expansion is unnecessary at this point. However, relocation is necessary. get hockey out of the markets that don’t care.

  7. greatmiamisportsmind - May 23, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    Expansion is gonna happen, my guess within 2-5 years tops.

  8. oneil1234 - May 23, 2014 at 10:51 PM

    Quebec and Toronto do NOT deserve another team. If anywhere id like to see a team in the maritimes.

    • storminator16 - May 24, 2014 at 4:13 PM

      A team in the maritimes would be interesting. Not sure it would ever happen, but it would be interesting to see.

  9. isphet71 - May 23, 2014 at 11:19 PM

    It’s a crime to not have a team in Quebec City or Seattle. It probably IS a crime to have one in Vegas.

    The Western Conference is screaming for 2 more teams to even things out…

  10. mrhyperpants - May 23, 2014 at 11:40 PM

    The nhl is just a brand and a money spinner.

    Too many games in a season. Which most are meaning less. Rangers got smashed by the sharks whom scored 9 goals. ……. Where are the sharks now? Mean while the sharks are in a conference final.

    Most of the playoffs this season have gone to game 7. It’s all about money made from tv.

    If you played every team twice a season home and away. It would be more entertaining then playing the same team 5 or 6 times in regular season form the same division. The you end up meeting the same teams form your division in the play offs again.

    It’s a bit over kill. Yawn!

    • joey4id - May 24, 2014 at 7:35 AM

      Can you name one business that isn’t about money? How is a game during the season meaningless? Each point earn/lost has an impact on the overall standing. i.e. helps determine whether or not you make the playoffs, who you meet in the playoffs, who has home ice advantage….

      Have you thought about the consequences of you regular season suggestion? It would actual be less entertaining. Less games means less hockey related revenue for and less money for player salaries. i.e. Players would bolt for the KHL and we would end up watching second rate players as opposed to the best players in the world.

      Here’s my suggestion. Lets leave the big boy decisions to the men wearing the big boy pants. 😉 Bettman, for now > mrhyperpants.

  11. mrhyperpants - May 23, 2014 at 11:43 PM

    I mean rangers are in the conference final.

  12. mrhyperpants - May 23, 2014 at 11:45 PM

    I meant rangers are in the conference final.

  13. canada2014gold - May 24, 2014 at 1:31 AM

    Lol wow too much wrong with the above to list.

  14. jackdaniels1 - May 24, 2014 at 7:38 AM

    Seattle?? Come on, joke of a sports town. They should stick to the WNBA and major league soccer.

  15. xdj511 - May 24, 2014 at 7:46 AM

    I used to worry about diluting the hockey talent pool with expansion but after seeing the officiating in the playoffs I worry about adding a bunch more incompetent referees and linesmen to the mix.

  16. patshal - May 24, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    Seattle doesn’t seem like a good place for a hockey team

  17. zinger99 - May 24, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    Ya,keep adding more teams. The top goal scorer in the NHL will be a 30 goal scorer.
    More water Gary! More water!!

    • storminator16 - May 24, 2014 at 4:17 PM

      I don’t think the player talent pool isn’t thin; the coaching creativity pool is thin.

      • storminator16 - May 24, 2014 at 4:18 PM

        Freaking double negatives and no way to edit my un-proofread posts.

  18. mrhyperpants - May 25, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    joey4id the typical North American that needs loads of games to entertain the hamster on its wheel in his head. Just like baseball is entertaining with its 144 games a season. Yeah right.

    Less games would be more entertaining as it would be harder to qualify for the play offs. Therefore the quality of games and competitiveness would be higher. I mean really do we need half the league in the play offs. It’s all over kill. As with 82 games a season is. Yay let’s play the same 6 teams in our division 6 times a year. Now that’s entertaining. Yawn!

    Yes you are correct about paying the salaries of these overpaid sports professionals if there are fewer games. But that’s because everyone is a greedy c¥nt.

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