Bettman Praises Shanahan For Player Safety Work, Says No Replacement Lined Up Yet
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on Wednesday said that former NHL VP/Player Safety & Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan, who became Maple Leafs President this week, "leaves a lasting legacy with his involvement with the league's player safety department, a position that did not exist until he took it on," according to Scott Burnside of ESPN.com. Bettman said, "What I like is that he created it. ... He put in place a series of systems, the department and personnel -- and I believe that we, through the creation of that department, have begun to effectuate a change in the culture of the game in terms of types of hits that are out of the game now." Bettman said that he "hasn't given any thought to who might replace Shanahan long term in the role." Meanwhile, Bettman said that the NHL and NHLPA have had "zero discussions about what the league's position is going to be moving forward" regarding Olympic participation (ESPN.com, 4/17). Bettman said, "From the moment we left Sochi, we have not given the Olympics any thought." Meanwhile, he said of plans for a hockey World Cup, "It's something we've repeatedly said we're interested in. We've been in discussion with the Players Association, which obviously is our partner in this. We have a pretty good idea of what we want to do. We're waiting for the PA to sign off" (TRIBLIVE.com, 4/16).