NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman teases league changes

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman recently addressed the media at the conclusion of the NHL’s Board of Governors’ annual meetings, teasing some big changes that could be coming to the league in the near future. One of the most significant changes mentioned by Bettman is the possibility of an in-season international tournament.

During the press conference, Bettman discussed various topics that were covered during the two-day meetings. These included meetings with Fanatics founder Michael Rubin, discussions on artificial intelligence, emergency procedures, and the use of “cut-resistant materials” to protect against skate injuries. He also hinted at plans for new “all-access” content from the league in the future.

One of the highlights of Bettman’s address was the strong financial outlook for the NHL. He announced that the league is expected to generate around $6.2 billion in revenue this season, making it the biggest year in league history. Additionally, Bettman revealed that the salary cap for the upcoming season would be $87.7 million, the highest in league history. This increase represents the largest percentage change since the 2018-2019 season.

Another major announcement made by Bettman was the decision to hold the 2024 NHL Draft in the Las Vegas Sphere. The league is currently finalizing plans for this event, which is expected to be a unique and exciting experience for fans.

International hockey was also a significant topic of discussion during the Board of Governors meeting. Bettman mentioned ongoing discussions between the NHL Players’ Association and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) regarding the participation of NHL players in the Olympics. While construction for the arena needed for the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan has not yet started, Bettman emphasized the players’ desire to compete in the competition.

In the meantime, the NHL plans to host in-season international events in multiple locations, acting as a preview of international best-on-best hockey. Bettman referred to these events as an “appetizer” for the league’s plans to unveil a full World Cup in 2028. The intention is to alternate between the World Cup and the Olympics every two years.

Overall, Gary Bettman’s address to the media provided a glimpse into the exciting changes and developments that could be coming to the NHL. From the potential for an in-season international tournament to strong financials and plans for international competitions, the league appears to be heading towards an exciting future. Fans and players alike can look forward to the growth and expansion of the sport on both a national and international scale.

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