NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman gave his All-Star state of the game message Saturday night before the skills competition.
Among the highlights:
On whether NHL players will eventually return to Olympics
“We find — the clubs find, the owners find — the Olympics are very disruptive on our season. For that and a whole host of other reasons we’ve gone over repeatedly for the last year or so, it didn’t make sense for us to attend. Could that circumstance change at some point in the future? I suppose so. But it’s not something we’re currently contemplating.”
On goalie interference confusion
“We just had a meeting (senior executive vice-president of hockey operations) Colie Campbell put together with hockey operations and the officiating department. A couple of officials were there. There were coaches who happened to be in town, some general managers. When you say there is a bit of confusion, that’s right. Overall, the system works. But I think we’ve gotten to the point where everybody is overthinking the review. The intention is, particularly on a goaltender is, did we miss something? Not to search for something that might overturn the call. I think the consensus of the meeting was really we need to get a refresher to the officials –take a quick look but don’t search it to death. The presumption should be the call on the ice was good unless you have a good reason. You shouldn’t have to search for a good reason.”
On Seattle’s potential expansion bid
Bettman confirmed that there was an expansion application coming, but he had no timetable for its review.
On whether more teams will be added to playoffs if league expands again
“I know there are lots of people who think we should put more teams in the playoffs. I’m not one of them. I think we have a very meaningful, competitive regular season and I like it. If we were to add a 32nd team, not having given it a lot of thought — so I can only get myself into to trouble — I don’t think I’d be in favor of making any changes to the number of teams that make the playoffs.
San Jose will host 2019 All-Star Game
The Sharks last held the All-Star festivities in 1997 as a six-year-old franchise. Now it will take place in San Jose again, this time on Jan. 25-27.
On potential eSports league
“Our goal is to unveil something before the end of the regular season, which would have a series of competitions using the EA game and we’ll have more details when we’re ready to launch.”