Tuesday, August 3

Commissioner Gary Bettman Addresses Blackhawks Scandal, Umpiring, 2021-22 NHL Season

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman held his annual press conference leading up to the Stanley Cup final on Monday before Game 1 between the Lightning and the Canadiens.

He spoke on various topics, including allegations of sexual assault at the Blackhawks organization; He said the league only recently learned of the allegations against former Blackhawks coach Brad Aldrich. Citing that it is a “matter of litigation,” he said the NHL would await the findings of the independent investigation, but said the league could impose punishment on individuals or the club.

“All options are available if there is something that justifies punishment,” he said. “What we know is what is based on what is public. And that is why we are going to be interested in seeing, what the investigation reveals and does not reveal. I believe that everyone should not anticipate. They are accusations … When we have all the information, we will do whatever is necessary and appropriate. “

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Bettman spontaneously also addressed recent rumors about umpiring in postseason games.

“Let’s be clear. Our officials are not only the best hockey officials in the world, they are the best officials in any sport,” he said. “Our officials have the most difficult game to referee because no sport comes close to matching the speed and fraction of a second reaction time required to make or not make hundreds of calls in real time.

“Yes, our officials miss calls, not as many as some suggest, but occasionally they miss calls, just like coaches and players make mistakes, officials sometimes do it too. We don’t like it when it happens. In fact, we hate it, but It is the nature of the human element to call our game … As a civil servant, you work well, you continue to work. You don’t work well, then you don’t work. “

The commissioner also spoke on various other topics. Sporting News has all the information below:

What are the key dates, information for the next NHL season 2021-22?

The NHL will release the schedule for next season sometime between now and the draft, scheduled for July 23-24. While the overall look is TBD, there are a few things that are known as of today:

  • The Winter classic it’s back. Scheduled for Saturday, January 1, the Minnesota Wild will host the St. Louis Blues at Target Field in Minneapolis.
  • The All-Star Game 2022 and the holiday weekend will take place in Las Vegas.
  • The Predators will house the Lightning in the 2022 Stadium Series at NFL Nissan Stadium on February 26, 2022.
  • The NHL is planning a Classic heritage in Canada in the 2021-22 season.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman tweeted after the press that next year’s draft will be held in Montreal.

Will NHL players compete in the 2022 Olympics in Beijing?

“We don’t know at this point,” Bettman said, emphasizing that time is of the essence.

According to Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, who attended the news conference with Bettman, the remaining problems are “games on the other side of the world” and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Having said that, we negotiated in good faith with the players’ association last summer,” he added. “We agreed that if the conditions were right and we could reach an agreement on all material matters, we would commit and support going to the Olympics.”

Will teams get compliance purchases with a fixed cap in 2021-22?

Most likely, the flat answer is no. Much of what has happened in recent history, according to Bettman, was due to a lack of income.

“We believe that what we have is designed to properly size our economy and recoup the overpayments we made,” he said. So, what we have established and agreed with the players association, I do not imagine that it will change. “

Are helmet sponsors here to stay?

Yes. But Bettman noted that there will be no advertising on the uniforms for next season.

Will there be more transparency with injuries, lineups and starting goalkeepers as sports betting grows?

According to a report from Daly, that’s a no. He said sports betting partners have not requested any changes to current NHL policies.

“At the end of the day, we have to have policies that facilitate play on the ice (which) is the most important thing,” he said.


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