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Dater’s Daily Links: Gary Bettman says canceling NHL season “Not something I’m even contemplating”



Bettman NHL

As I write this, my son and I are watching “Groundhog Day”, the 1980s Bill Murray movie, about reliving the same day, over and over. Can anyone relate right now? But, hey, it seems like there’s some renewed hope again for hockey resuming this spring or summer. At least, after reading this San Jose Mercury News story, with quotes from Gary Bettman.

Such as: “I believe that if the right time comes, and the right circumstances, based on all of the options that we’re considering and our ability to execute them, we’ll get this season done,” Bettman said. “I don’t want to sound Pollyanna, but canceling is too easy a solution. That means you stop working hard to do all of the things that we’re doing, and I ultimately believe that there will be an opportunity.”

Bettman did some kind of Q&A in San Jose with business partners there, and he said canceling the season is “not something I’m even contemplating.”

And, “Obviously we hope to be playing in front of fans by next season,” Bettman said. “But if we finish in August or September, there’s no magic to starting in October anymore. We can start in November. We can start in December.

“You’re going to be a little flexible with the schedule, because we want to be able to bring the game back, both to conclude this season on some basis and to have a full regular season next year. If that means we need to be more flexible, then that’s what we’ll do.”

This whole thing still seems unfathomable to me. Games in arenas with no fans? Teams all staying in the same hotel during their fight for a Stanley Cup? Daily tests for a virus? But, it seems very possible that’s exactly the way it’s going to be. Where will these games be played?

Good question. The league is still deliberating on the best city or cities to hold a playoff. Arizona proclaimed that after May 15th, pro sports can happen there again (without fans). So, too, has Florida. While Arizona may not have been a top consideration for the league before, I’m told that there is much more attention being paid to the possibility of hockey in the desert in the heat of the summer.

I still think that Minnesota is the most likely Western Conference location, because of its multitude of rinks and low COVID-19 numbers. I also think Edmonton or Vancouver is a good possibility, for the same reasons. Denver? I mean, I would love that of course. But I just haven’t heard that our fair city is in the mix.

I’m not making any predictions on any of this. I feel like, no matter what I predict, I’d DaterJinx it. So, I’m just gonna keep sitting here, sheltering in place, and living Groundhog Day over and over until they tell me I don’t have to do it anymore.

More links:

  • At 104.3 The Fan, where I remain the Avalanche Insider, they have a new weekly show called “Mile High Memories.” They are one-hour shows that delve deep into significant past Denver sports moments. Their first show, last week, was on the Jake Cutler-Josh McDaniels feud. The next show? That will be all about the Avalanche-Red Wings rivalry of the past. I will be part of the show, with Sandy Clough and Raj Sharan. Some great, old audio clips will be part of it. Tune in Saturday for the show, or get it on their website here (104.3 The Fan).
  • Are the Avalanche going to make a pitch for Penguins goalie Matt Murray? According to Dan Kingerski at our sister site, Pittsburgh Hockey Now, they very well might (Pittsburgh Hockey Now).
  • Sidney Crosby talks about life in isolation (TSN)
  • Former Av Alexander Kerfoot on what life has been like for him during the shutdown. He might be a little luckier than most players, as his family home near Vancouver, where he grew up, has its own indoor hockey rink (his father, Gregory Kerfoot, is one of the richest men in Canada, the owner of the Vancouver Whitecaps of MLS, among other things). (Toronto Star)

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