Gary Bettman

Bettman wants fairness, but concedes completing NHL regular season 'may not be possible'

Bettman wants fairness, but concedes completing NHL regular season 'may not be possible'

Completing the NHL regular season "may not be possible," league commissioner Gary Bettman said Tuesday.

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"The best thing, and the easiest thing, would be if at some point we could complete the regular season and then go into the playoffs as we normally do," Bettman told Mike Tirico in an interview on NBC Sports Network. "We understand that that may not be possible, and that's why we're considering every conceivable alternative to deal with whatever the eventuality is. Again, it doesn't even pay to speculate because nobody in any of the sports knows enough now to make those profound decisions." 

Teams had between 11 and 14 games remaining in their regular seasons when the NHL suspended play on March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Bruins, at 44-14-12 and a league-leading 100 points, had 12 games remaining.

"Our clubs if nothing else are extraordinarily competitive," Bettman said, "and whatever we do, has to be fair...but when you talk about fairness, we also have issues about if we get to play a playoff, who gets in if we can't complete the regular season. We had, I think, seven teams on the bubble and they all think they would have had a chance. We have to deal with the [draft] lottery and order of selection in the draft."

It was reported Monday that neutral-site locations, including Manchester, N.H., are being considered as possibilities to host the resumption of the NHL. 

"We're looking at all options. Nothing's been ruled in, nothing's been ruled out," Bettman said. "It's largely going to be determined ... by how much time there is, because we have next season to focus on as well and the health of the countries."

Bettman said playing into the summer is being considered "and on the NBC platforms, the fact that the Olympics have been postponed gives us a broader window to focus on when and if we can play." 

Morning Skate: Bettman the boss, villain, and many things in between

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Morning Skate: Bettman the boss, villain, and many things in between

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wondering what Justin Timberlake has in store for us at the Super Bowl. 

 

*In his 25 years as the NHL commissioner, Gary Bettman has been the boss, the villain and many things in between for the NHL. 

 

*At first many were dubious about Marian Hossa stepping away from the Chicago Blackhawks, but it’s become pretty clear that the Hawks miss Hossa these days in a big way. 

 

*If Wayne Gretzky can get traded then anybody can get traded, right? Well, not quite as there are plenty of great NHL players that were never traded. 

 

*A great piece from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Darren Dreger about the mysterious exit of Paul Ranger from the NHL. 

 

*It’s a dad’s trip for the St. Louis Blues as they head into Boston for a big showdown with the Bruins that always seems to be a heavy, tightly-contested affair between the two teams. 

 

*For something completely different: It’s a sad story for Meat Loaf and his health issues that are keeping him from performing these days. 

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Morning Skate: Why the Leafs for ex-Bruin Dominic Moore?

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Morning Skate: Why the Leafs for ex-Bruin Dominic Moore?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while all the while knowing that the North Remembers.

*Dominic Moore talks in this piece about his reasoning behind signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs and leaving behind the Bruins in the process. Moore was a solid fourth-line cog for the Black and Gold last season and a good signing for the B’s, so it will be a challenge for them to get the same kind of play from that spot this upcoming season from what we assume will be a younger player.

*Are the Carolina Hurricanes losing fans? As much as any franchise their crowds are completely dependent on how the team is playing. A good season and the Canes fans can be pretty good, but they simply don’t show up if the team isn’t good.

*Gary Bettman talks about a number of subjects at a meeting of all four major sports commissioners, including the challenges he’s had with the NHLPA since taking over the job.

*Part of the Dallas Stars comeback plan is improving the penalty kill, and that was behind some of their pickups this summer.

*The Hockey News is in the throes of the summertime, so today is the day they decided to rate the top 50 Russian hockey players of all time. I wonder if Dmitri Kvartalnov cracked the top-20. I’m expecting not.

*Ranking the best plays in Philadelphia Flyers history is another time-honored summertime activity. Where can I rank the Flyers getting swept by the Bruins on their way to the Stanley Cup in 2011?

*For something completely different: Dude, stop invading all of our television shows. The Game of Thrones appearance will be the most egregious, but Ed Sheeran is also going to pop up in the Simpsons.