While Gary Bettman’s state of the league/Stanley Cup press conference covered a lot of topics that we’ve covered here today, an interesting topic that was touched on was about what the league plans to do should expansion or relocation come up in discussions.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman expressed interest in seeing teams return to Winnipeg and Quebec City before another one ever comes to Southern Ontario. And he regrets allowing the Jets and Nordiques to move.
“I’d like to try and fix something that I wish might not have happened in the first place,” he said Friday during his annual state-of-the-league address prior to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final. “Not unlike what we did in Minnesota.”
The reclaim-to-glory plan worked well with the Wild in Minnesota because, well, Minnesota is the state of hockey and the team left town because Norm Green was kind of a jerk. As for the whole deal with Winnipeg, Bettman confirmed David Thomson and True North submitted an offer for the Phoenix Coyotes and elaborated a little on how that would break down.
“They are very comfortable with the process,” he said. “They understood that the likelihood was that the team was going to be remaining in Phoenix. They wanted us to know of their interest and they have told us that they are prepared to be patient.”
He’s reluctant to say how long it will be before the NHL returns to Winnipeg.
“I’m not going to put a timeline on it because I do not want to raise expectations,” Bettman said. “The interest is clear and bona fide. It’s gratifying.”
In other words, Bettman would like for them to wait until expansion, but depending on how things go in Phoenix, they may not have to wait that long.
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day