News From Gary Bettman’s Annual “State Of The Union” Press Conference: Salary Cap, Expansion, Arizona Coyotes, Ottawa Senators

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly held their annual “State Of The Union” press conference Saturday evening in Las Vegas prior to the start of the 2023 Stanley Cup Finals. Here are the highlights from the abbreviated presser.


Bettman said the Arizona Coyotes are studying options in the Phoenix area.

Bettman was asked why he is so patient with the Coyotes situation: “It’s a terrific market, there are a lot of sports fans there, it’s a growing market, it’s one of the larger markets in N.A. and I think the club and by implications its fans have been in situations that have been unfortunate and maybe they’ve been a little bit a victim of circumstance and so if we can make something work…We’re at a stage now where the league, ownerships, our teams are strong, we are in a better position to resist moving than maybe we were 20 or 30 yrs ago and we want to make sure we explore all options at this stage of where we are before we would have to consider relocating a club and I’m hopeful we won’t have to.”


Bettman said the Senators sale process is ongoing and could take a couple more weeks. “a very good outcome in the next few weeks.”

2023-24 SALARY CAP

Bettman said the players’ escrow debt won’t be paid off by the end of the season. That likely means a $1M salary cap increase next season, with a much larger bump expected for 2024-25.


Daly said “expansion is not at the top of our priorities list” but confirms there’s interest from different parties (I would read into that Atlanta and Houston most likely).

Daly confirmed the NHL has heard directly from Salt Lake City (Utah Jazz/Ryan Smith) about their interest in having an NHL team.  (Potential relocation spot for the Coyotes although Bettman doubled down on saying he hopes to find a solution in Arizona)


Heritage Classic, Oct. 29: Flames @ Oilers (Commonwealth Stadium)

Winter Classic, Jan. 1, 2024 : Vegas @ Seattle (T-Mobile Park, home of the Seattle Mariners)

Stadium Series at MetLife: Devils vs Flyers (Feb. 17) & Rangers vs Islanders (Feb. 18)


Bettman: “We think we are approaching $6B in hockey related revenue for this year, that’s an estimate, we still have beans to count from the bean counters.”


  • Deputy Commissioner Daly said the NHL’s independent investigator has completed their investigation into the 2018 World Junior gala and is putting together their report. It is expected early in the summer.
  • Bettman said Joel Quenneville and Stan Bowman have independently requested meetings with him that will be held after the Stanley Cup Final. Neither is currently eligible to return to work with a NHL team.
  • Bill Daly said there’s no ongoing investigation into the Valeri Nichushkin incident in Seattle during the playoffs. “We know exactly what happened and we think it was handled appropriately.”
  • Bettman said they just had a meeting with the players and the new NHLPA regime, an international, best-on-best event is a top priority for both parties.
  • Bettman was asked about a 2nd team in Toronto: “The discussion takes place in your world more than it does in ours. It’s a matter of speculation, it’s a matter of putting things out there, but in terms of the interest, the reality, what’s involved, it’s not something that seems to be resonating the way other markets and other ownership requests are resonating for whatever reason or reasons”

This year’s presser was really short, as media in attendance ran out of questions very quickly. That’s rare, but considering they are in Vegas, it’s understandable.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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11 Responses to News From Gary Bettman’s Annual “State Of The Union” Press Conference: Salary Cap, Expansion, Arizona Coyotes, Ottawa Senators

  1. Joe says:

    Really think Bettman’s time has Cup and the league needs a fresh look on the business end……

    • GRin430 says:

      I might agree from our standpoint as fans, but $6B in hockey revenue and 31 strong teams/owners (and the other one basically Bettman’s special project for decades) indicate that Bettman isn’t going away any time soon. We tend to forget as fans that the commissioners of major sports leagues work for the owners, and only the owners. That often sucks for us as fans, but the owners really don’t care about us as long as we keep giving them money, directly or indirectly.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree. I can’t stand his “everything is going great” response to every questions. It insults the intelligence of the fans.

  2. Prevent Defense says:

    Gory Bottmann is a heavy hitter in the worldwide globalist financial syndicate, especially the international sports wagering racket. It is he who leads the NHL owners around by the nose — not the other way around. The greatest day in NHL history will be when Bottmann is finally gone from the scene

    Coachella Valley 2, Milwaukee Admirals 1. CV leads series 3-2

    CV coached by Dan Bylsma who owned the Caps like a Medieval Despot. Nelson’s boys need to be ready if CV is their Finals opponent next week

    • Lenny says:

      It’s nice to know that exactly what someone means when they say globalist.

    • redLitYogi says:

      wow Bylsma only coaching at the AHL level? You would think he’d be getting a look at the top level after all the success he had with the Pens. He must be scary to the GMs. If you’re talking about Bettman, I’d say I disagree: we don’t know where the NHL would be if there had been another commissioner for the last twenty plus years, but the league has thrived under Bettman: there are more good players than there ever have been and the league is able so support 32 teams. I think it’s close to being over-expanded but then again, what do I know?

  3. Stephen Panossian says:

    I don’t understand why Atlanta is still considered for a new team after the Flames and the Thrashers both left the city.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Bettman is a boob.

  5. DWGie26 says:

    I don’t hate Bettman. He is better than other commissioners (cough cough Goodell). He has done a lot for hockey and the NHL.

  6. Jon Sorensen says:

    Greetings folks! Just a quick note, if you haven’t done so already, please consider subscribing to NoVa Caps posts in the “subscribe” box located in the upper right corner. Thank you!

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