Oly participation all about the money: Bettman
ing costs — transportation and insurance chiefly — that have been covered for the past five Olympics. PITTSBURGH — NHL commissioner Bach took over the IOC’s presidency Gary Bettman said NHL participation shortly before the 2014 Olympics and in the next Olympics would likely hinge evidently doesn’t believe, according to on money. Bettman, in “special subsidies” for any
In his annual state of the union adsports, even the NHL, which interrupts dress at the Stanley Cup final, Bettits season for participation in the Olymman said the league and NHLpics.Players’ Association might have to reconsider Bettman said that resolution of the their participation in the Olympics if expense issue would “have a signifithe International Olympic Committee cant impact on our decision,” which is went ahead with its threat of not payexpected sometime after the Septeming out-of-pocket expenses for NHL ber World Cup, likely in December or players. January, NHL deputy commissioner
“Among the various things that have Bill Daly said. to be covered, whether it’s transporta“I’m pretty sure that our teams are tion or insurance or accommodation, not really interested in paying for the it’s many, many, many millions of dolprivilege of disrupting our season,” lars,” Bettman said of the expenses. Bettman said. “But we’ll have to see “This is no small-ticket item.” what they ultimately decide to do.”
IIHF president Rene Fasel recently The 2018 Olympics will be held in revealed the IOC and its president South Korea. Thomas Bach aren’t interested in pay- Bettman also noted expenses wouldn’t be the sole issue of debate in discussions between the NHL and NHLPA as it relates to Olympic participation, but said if the IOC and IIHF aren’t going to cover what they’ve previously paid, “that almost becomes an easy showstopper and you don’t even have to get into the other discussion.”
“Everybody understands what distinguishes us from any other professional sports league or professional sport that participates in the Olympics, this comes right in the middle of the season and there are hard costs to that participation,” Bettman said. “We’re sending roughly 150 players to the Olympics if we go and there are real, logistical, costly elements to doing that.”
Bettman offered a more definitive timetable on a decision for expansion. He said the NHL’s board of governors would meet in Las Vegas prior to the June 22 NHL awards with a decision on expansion, which could include Las Vegas and Quebec City.
The three possibilities, he said, were no expansion, deferred expansion or expansion to one or perhaps both markets.
“I am not going to handicap what’s going to happen,” Bettman said.
Daly said the NHL and NHLPA discussed what the parameters of a potential expansion draft would look like. No-trade clauses, Daly noted, would not prevent a player from being exposed to expansion.
“A trade is a trade, and if you have a no-trade clause it doesn’t mean you can’t be exposed in the expansion draft,” Daly said.
The earliest any expansion team could start playing is the 2017-18 season, with deferral also a possibility on the docket.
As for the upcoming World Cup and one roster question mark, Bettman stressed suspended defenceman Slava Voynov would not be eligible to play for Russia despite being named to its final 23-man roster. He said this has been made clear to the Russian federation.
NHL commissioner Gar y Bettman has his back up over the IOC’s stance.