Holding Next World Cup Of Hockey In '20 Could Hinge On NHL CBA Negotiations
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the league would "like to" stage the World Cup of Hockey every four years, but because players or owners can opt out of the current CBA in September '19, that serves as a potential "problem" with holding the event in '20, according to Eric Duhatschek of THE ATHLETIC. Bettman: "I said to the union last fall ‘we have a choice.’ If we each give up our reopeners, we can do a World Cup in 2020. Otherwise, we need to pick a different year." Bettman said he does not "like work stoppages." He said, "The system we have now has worked well for the game and for our fans. ... It's the reason our game is as compelling as it is now." Meanwhile, Bettman said the Golden Knights were "never about tourism" in Las Vegas. Bettman: "That was the reason not to go there. When we were talking with (owner) Bill Foley about possibilities, the decision was made to do the season-ticket drive and he was told: Do not go to major corporations. Do not go to the casinos." He added, "This team was designed to have a local fan base -- and unless we were convinced they were going to have a local fan base, we weren’t going to do this." Bettman also talked about the current media landscape, saying he recently "was in Silicon Valley for two days at Apple and Google and Facebook and I met with Amazon." Bettman: "You need to understand what’s available and what’s coming and you need to be adaptable -- particularly for millennials and GenZs because they are consuming content, and especially sports, differently." He said more than 50% of the connection to the NHL "is on mobile as opposed to" computer screens (THEATHLETIC.com, 11/19).
CHANGE FOR THE BETTER: Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello said "without question the game is going in the right direction" with the NHL's recent rules changes. Lamoriello: "How much more has to be done is an unknown because right now I think we’ve got a great game." He added, "The [replay] review is extremely positive. What (the changes have) done is improve the game. We’ve (cracked down) on slashing to allow the skilled players to feel comfortable in doing what they do best. We’ve taken certain parts of the game out to prevent injuries to keep our players playing" (TORONTO STAR, 11/18).