Ryan Dadoun

AP Photo

Bettman: No timetable or guarantee of expansion


After three phases of due diligence the NHL isn’t ready to put a timetable on the expansion process or guarantee that the league will add teams at all.

That was the major takeaway from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s press conference following the executive committee’s meeting with Quebecor and Bill Foley to discuss their bids to bring the NHL to Quebec City and Las Vegas respectively.

“We have work to do,” Bettman said. “The committee is going to have to get together at least one time, if not more, and ultimately begin deliberations. There are a lot of issues and questions that are going to have to be answered before any decision can be made.”

He countered the idea that the NHL is shooting for the new teams to debut in 2017, insisting instead that simply represents the earliest possible date for expansion. He did confirm though that the expansion fee would “start with a five,” as in at least $500 million.

Bettman also met with the Board of Governors this afternoon and Avery Schenfeld, who is a chief economist at CIBC, talked to them about the Canadian Dollar, which currently sits at about 74.5 cents American. Schenfeld advised them that people making predictions about what the dollar will do “make weatherman look good.”

Is the weakened Canadian dollar ultimately concern when it comes to the league as a whole or the Quebec City bid though?

“It’s the reality that we live with,” Bettman said. “In my two-decades-plus of doing this, I’ve seen the Canadian dollar lower and I’ve seen it over par. So it’s just something we deal with and the system takes account for it. It’s not something that people are concerned about on a daily basis.”

It’s worth adding that in order for the league to expand, three-quarters of the Board of Governors would have to approve the move. So if the executive committee is split when it comes to making a recommendation, then it’s unlikely that the board would vote to expand.

On another subject, Bettman touched on 3-on-3 overtime. Based on the preseason games thus far, 77% of overtime periods have resulted in a goal and the average end time is 2:49 minutes into OT.

You can listen to the full audio of the press conference here.


Vegas group makes expansion pitch, fields ‘a lot of really good questions’

Quebec City’s NHL bid has a former Canadian prime minister on its side

Bruins cut goalies McIntyre, Subban from camp roster

AP Photo

The Bruins’ goaltending picture is beginning to clear, although the matter is far from resolved.

Boston announced that goaltenders Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban have been reassigned to AHL Providence, ending their individual campaigns to secure Boston’s number two slot behind Tuukka Rask.

While neither goaltender was the favorite to win the backup job, either one would have been an intriguing choice. Subban, 21, is a former first round pick (24th overall, 2012) and has two strong seasons in the AHL under his belt. McIntyre, 23, is just starting his pro career, but he was the 2015 Richter Award winner as the NCAA’s top goaltender for his work with the University of North Dakota.

It’s likely though that the Bruins felt their development would have been better served splitting the goaltending duties in the minors rather than spending most games warming the bench in the NHL.

With both of them off of the training camp roster, the battle for the number two spot is between Jeremy Smith and Jonas Gustavsson. Smith, 26, posted a 2.05 GAA and .933 save percentage in 39 AHL contests last season. Gustavsson, who has been attending the Bruins’ camp on a tryout basis, has the edge in experience though with 148 NHL games under his belt.

PHT Morning Skate: Price, P.K. Subban have lighthearted sparring match

AP Photo
1 Comment

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Carey Price and P.K. Subban decided to engage in a playful fight during a Montreal Canadiens practice:

There are plenty of good rookies set to make the leap in 2015 outside of Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid. Here’s 10 of them. (USA Today)

Will Alex Ovechkin lead T.J. Oshie to new heights? (Puck Daddy)

The 2014-15 Chicago Blackhawks’ names are on the Cup:

Ryan Stanton is in the hunt for Washington’s seventh defensive spot. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)

The New York Rangers’ opening game picture is starting to come into focus. (The Record)

Video: Maurice seems unhappy with Yeo using top players late in blowout

The Associated Press

The Winnipeg Jets struggled on the ice tonight, but head coach Paul Maurice’s dry wit was a cut above.

After suffering an 8-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild tonight, Maurice seemed to disapprove of Wild coach Mike Yeo’s decision to put out his top players in a preseason game that had already been decided.

“You get in those games, and they’re going to keep putting out good players,” Maurice said. “Like when they got an 8-1 lead. They got a power play. The best is coming out. In an exhibition game.”

He was deadpanned in his delivery, which prompted a reporter to ask Maurice if his initial comment should be taken as a sign that he’s frustrated with Yeo.

“No, no, I thought it was just an honor to be in the same building with him tonight,” Maurice replied.

You can watch it for yourself below:

The silver lining in all of this for Winnipeg is that, of course, the game didn’t count.

Wild’s Fontaine will likely miss opener

Getty Images

Minnesota’s Justin Fontaine probably won’t be available for the start of the season and it has nothing to do with David Clarkson.

While Clarkson was booted early from Thursday’s preseason contest for kneeing Fontaine, the Wild forward is dealing with an ailment from a separate hit that occurred later in the contest. Fontaine did exit the game after the Clarkson hit, but he attempted to return before leaving again.

Wild coach Mike Yeo described Fontaine’s ailment as a “sore side,” per the Star Tribune. The bench boss described the decision to hold Fontaine back as “precautionary” as they don’t want to “risk him injuring anything any worse.”

If he does miss Minnesota’s opener as expected, then it will be the second straight season a training camp injury has cost Fontaine.

His projected absence could lead to Tyler Graovac or Brett Bulmer potentially starting the season in the NHL.