NEW YORK -- On Monday afternoon, a select group of Chicago media members and broadcasters had a private session with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman at his offices in New York. Here are some of the highlights of that hour-long conversation:
Chicago is more likely to host an upcoming NHL draft than an All-Star Game. 2012 is the earliest for that possibility to occur.
Bettman said fans “overwhelmingly” still support a shootout to end tie games and the league has no intention of changing that rule.
Bettman indicated that all bonuses have to count against the cap, including those like the one received by Jonathan Toews for winning last season’s Conn Smythe award, otherwise the door for circumventing the salary cap would open.
The league is opposed to awarding a winning team three points for a regulation victory for fear teams will really try to sit on a lead which makes for boring third periods. That was a pre-lockout problem.
Bettman indicated any talk of a new collective bargaining agreement is way premature, noting that the other sports all have deals expiring before the NHL’s will. Their agreement with the players’ union expires at the end of the 2011-2012 season.
The league isn’t necessarily considering changing the schedule so all teams can play each other at home and on the road each season. Bettman said while many teams want it, many oppose it, especially in the Eastern Conference where rivalries are more pronounced and long-standing than in the West.