On Monday afternoon before Game 1 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman spoke with reporters on the current state of the NHL.
To begin the press conference, Bettman addressed the two clubs that have made it to the finals. In addition, Bettman addressed that television viewership is up in the playoffs for NBC.
The NHL has some exciting things coming in the near future. Here are some of the top topics that were discussed in the press conference:
NEW ADIDAS JERSEYS
With Reebok being replaced by Adidas, 31 teams will debut new jerseys for next season. The new jerseys are expected to debut in Las Vegas on June 21. Hockey fans will likely be relieved to know that the new jerseys will not feature advertisements on them.
There isn’t a Bettman press conference that goes by without a discussion about the Olympics. Bettman said that the players are not going to the Olympics and he said that the Olympics would be a “disruption” to the regular season. Bettman has stuck to his guns on the Olympics decision and it does not look like things are going to be changing anytime soon.
Bettman announced the Stadium Series game at the US Naval Academy and the 2018 NHL All-Star Game in Tampa Bay. In addition to those special events, the NHL will be conducting several exhibition games overseas in various countries. Bettman seemed optimistic with these events, as they should garner attention in foreign markets.
Despite a lot of controversy, Bettman stood by the coach’s challenge in regards to goaltender interference and offside. Bettman stated that the replays have worked just as they were intended to work.
Another controversial topic is the playoff format. For now, there are no changes planned for the format. Since most of the NHL’s top teams were in the Metropolitan Division this year, the format did not give the league a good look. While the format makes sense for television ratings, it does not make sense for the teams on the ice that battle every night for top positioning in the standings.
Bettman and Bill Daly discussed the salary cap for next season. It appears that the cap may not adjust too much and it could even stay flat. With Vegas now in the fold, it is highly unlikely that the salary cap will rise that much this offseason.
By: George Foussekis