For some, tonight is all about the best on best matchup between two stacked teams, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Colorado Avalanche. For others tonight is a bit about gaining some insight into the direction the league is going and how long we’re committed to flat caps and hockey deep into the summer. For his part, Gary Bettman provided some actual good news on both of those fronts and there was some other interesting information to boot.
Gary Bettman says the 2022-23 #NHL regular season will begin on Oct. 11.
Schedule will be released in “early July.”
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) June 15, 2022
In the true spirit of the NHL, I’d take that early July release to mean “July 14th”, but given that falls during the start of free agency, we might see the NHL truly stick their word and we could see a schedule in that window of time between the draft and free agency. It seems too much to ask for that they’d give it to us any earlier than that. It doesn’t really matter anyway, the big thing is being back to a normal hockey schedule that should see everything moved up two weeks next year.
Gary Bettman mentioned "record" #NHL revenues this year. Says now that number could be in excess of $5.2 billion.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) June 15, 2022
Cool. That’s a lot of money for billionaires. They sure work hard for it. For the rest of us, I guess we can take comfort in the fact that the league won’t be folding anytime soon, the salary cap should go up significantly at some point in the post escrow balanced world, and really not a lot else. It’s funny how the league always does so well financially when they are in the early part of the collective agreement and not actively negotiating with the players.
Bettman stated HRR was just over $5.2b in 21-22. In order for the escrow balance to be paid off in 2 years, HRR will need to grow 5% to ~$5.46b in 22-23, and ~$5.75b in 23-24.
They will need to keep looking for new revenue sources if they want a significant cap jump in 24-25. https://t.co/SnSY19JDed
— Earl Schwartz (@EarlSchwartz27) June 15, 2022
I’ve included Earl’s comments above on the fact that we’ll see normal salary cap increases because he captures the cap realities better than any of us with our simple wishful thinking that the Leafs can blank cheque Auston Matthews in a couple of years. There are still some big escrow related issues that need to be dealt with before we see the inevitable $100M salary cap.
Bill Daly says the league doesn’t believe at this point changes are needed to the LTIR system. It had been discussed at the GM meetings in March that perhaps it should be further discussed. But the league now says no changes needed. (The idea was maybe a playoff salary cap).
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 15, 2022
That’s a tough one to deal with without NHLPA buy-in anyways, and with Fehr on his way out this summer, the NHL shouldn’t be overstepping too much when they might get an actual hardliner to deal with who will fight them on things. I’m kidding, the NHLPA won’t get a hardliner, they’ll get someone who will give up all their leverage for a chance for a few players to go to the next Olympics. (Damn I’m salty about this league.)
Gary Bettman said nothing has changed when it comes to the Ottawa Senators status:
"The ownership is the ownership…the franchise is completely stable and functioning in normal course."
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) June 15, 2022
I mean, this is in no way true and I guess whatever is happening right now in Ottawa is no better or worse than it was before so it’s not an outright lie.
Bill Daly says it's important for the NHL to conduct the next World Cup of Hockey in-season. Talks have been held for a possible February 2024 tournament, although that's a "work in progress" because it creates issues for the European leagues.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 15, 2022
Personally, I can’t think of a worse time to hold the World Cup than in February, but as demonstrated by most of my comments above, I don’t have a lot I agree with the league on. You are going to coordinate a non-Olympic tournament with multiple leagues in the middle of their season, likely not share the revenue with them, and hold a hockey tournament just as teams are trying to prepare themselves for their playoff runs and concerned about injuries. None of this seems like it will go well.
The success of World Cups, Canada Cups, etc. is that they are held at a time in the summer when people are getting anxious for the return of hockey, so much that we often have people caring way too much about the preseason. Why not hold the tournament when there is a captive audience for meaningful hockey, not at a time when the tournament has the potential to punish club teams and not garner as much interest because we’ve already through four months of continuous hockey?
It feels like we are a season and a half away from the Leafs playoff run being cut short due to Auston Matthews getting slashed on the wrist while he’s playing for Team USA.
Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said the NHL expects to be able to interview each of the players on Hockey Canada's 2018 World Juniors team.
Bettman adds the NHL was not aware of the alleged sexual assault before a lawsuit was filed in April.
— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) June 15, 2022
It’s nice to see that Rick Westhead was given a question to address a matter of importance, and despite the fact that it is highly unlikely that the NHL was not aware of what had happened prior to April, the fact that there will be some level of transparency from the league on their investigation is a step in the right direction, although one that is likely born of a fear of the findings being leaked.
This is a serious matter and with the NHL’s track record one they should be trying to get right.
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