Gary Bettman

Bettman would prefer World Cup to Olympics


If it were up to Gary Bettman — and we suppose it is, partly — the 2014 Sochi Games in Russia would be the last time in the foreseeable future that NHL players would participate in the Olympics.

Instead, the NHL commissioner would prefer the world’s top players compete for international supremacy at a league-sanctioned World Cup.

Bettman was speaking today at a sports marketing conference in Toronto.

Following are tweets from reporters covering the event:

Bettman’s comments were not a huge surprise. The conventional wisdom says the Sochi Olympics will indeed be the last time that the NHL sends players to participate, at least for quite some time.

The 2018 Winter Olympics are in Pyeongchang, South Korea, a country that won’t have the draw for the league’s players that Sochi did for outspoken Russian stars like Alex Ovechkin.

Wrote NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly in an email to PHT: “It’s our joint intention (NHL and NHLPA) to assess the experience in Sochi before even considering whether to continue with Olympic participation going forward.”

Here are the 10 oldest players to play a game this season

Jaromir Jagr
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This isn’t breaking news or anything. We just thought you’d like to know that three of the NHL’s 10 oldest players (who’ve played at least one game this season) are members of the Florida Panthers.

Oh, and the Panthers’ starting goalie? He’s the oldest starter in the league. (Scroll down.)

Here’s the list of skaters, topped by 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr:


Yet another veteran Panther, 36-year-old defenseman Brian Campbell, ranks 17th on the list.

Granted, the above list does not include 39-year-old Patrik Elias (who’s hurt) or 39-year-old Eric Boulton (who just re-signed with the Isles). As soon as those two play, Thornton will get pushed out of the top 10.

Now here’s the list of goalies who’ve started at least one game this season, topped by 36-year-old Roberto Luongo:


For the record, Luongo isn’t the oldest goalie under contract. That would be Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom, who’s 37.

Related: Can Florida’s old guys hang on while the young guys get better?

Hamburglar (groin) returns, Sens demote O’Connor

Andrew Hammond
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Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.

O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.

The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.

He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.