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| May 10, 2017 | 0 Comments

Gary Bettman

The National Hockey League commissioner has overseen a period of considerable expansion of the league, including several new events.

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Gary Bettman was named commissioner of the National Hockey League in 1993, making him the longest-serving leader of the major North American sports leagues. In that time, the league has expanded to 30 teams and will add a new franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights, next season. In the meantime, the NHL has created a popular outdoor series of events and in September launched a revamped World Cup of Hockey with eight international squads. That move came as the league was deciding whether to send players to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, as it has for every Games since 1998. In April, Bettman announced the league would skip next year’s event, citing the need to shut down the season for three weeks to make it happen.

In this interview with SportsTravel’s Jason Gewirtz, Bettman discusses the decision to leave the Olympics, Las Vegas as a hockey market and the NHL’s outdoor schedule.

A number of factors were at play in your decision not to send NHL players to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, including costs. In the end, was the shutdown of the season the largest issue for the league?

The league has never been anti-Olympics. But we’re anti-disruption to the season and it disrupts the season in a whole host of ways and you don’t need me to list those ways. But it is a terrible disruption to the season with no offsetting benefit.

To read the rest of this Q&A in the digital edition of SportsTravel, please click here.

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Category: Q&A

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