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Bettmann: NHL salary cap could rise significantly for '23-24 season

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NEW YORK (AP) — The NHL salary cap could rise significantly sooner than expected, even before the pandemic.

Commissioner Gary Bettman The player said he could finish paying back what he owed to owners this season from lost revenue due to the pandemic.

The original project slated an additional $1 million in small and large increases in the summer of 2024, but after Bettmann said the league had generated $5.4 billion in hockey-related revenue, he said he would not be able to afford it. There is growing optimism about 2023. last season.

“The earnings are very strong,” Bettmann said Tuesday after a meeting of the NHL’s board of directors. “Business is good and there’s a good chance[the players’ debt]will be paid off this year. If we miss it, it’s over and it will be next year.”

The league and unions have agreed to keep caps constant after the pandemic is over and use escrow payments to cover what owners are obligated to split the proceeds 50/50. So the cap remained at $81.5 million for two seasons, and this year he was raised to $82.5 million.

With new U.S. media rights deals and other revenue streams rolling in, it could exceed $86 million in the not too distant future.

World Cup question

Discussions continue between the league, the NHL Players Association and the International Ice Hockey Federation about hosting the World Cup of Hockey. In February 2024. Bettmann acknowledged that those involved are running out of time to meet that timeline.

“We’re getting close to that deadline,” Bettmann said. “In the near future we have to be in a position to solve all the problems, otherwise the World Cup will be delayed.”

Among the ongoing issues is the war in Ukraine and what to do with Russia given the number of Russian-born stars currently playing in the NHL. One option is to have them play as non-Russian entities, but the other countries that may be involved have let the league know that it’s not good enough and doesn’t want Russian players on board.

“The conflict in Ukraine makes it difficult to deal with Russia’s problems. We have certainly heard voices against Russia’s participation in the World Cup from participating and prospective countries.” It is relevant) and we take it into account when making decisions.”

Bettmann emphasizes: We still have a lot of work to do before we get to that problem. ”

call fallout

After a league investigation, nothing was found to substantiate In response to the allegations against Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Ian Cole, Bettman said those who did it had exhausted all possible ways to contact the person who posted anonymously on social media. called it “pretty comprehensive”.

“I tried everything I could from anonymous tweets from recently set up accounts,” Bettmann said. “We found nothing to substantiate these claims.”

Lightning Suspension Call If the investigation is ongoing, the NHLPA raised the issue after he was reinstated. The union said in a statement last weekend: It would be inappropriate and grossly unfair to remove a player from a team under these circumstances. ”

Bettmann said he understood the point of view and entrusted the team’s decision to suspend Cole to the Lightning. Going forward, the league will continue to address similar situations on a case-by-case basis, as it has for several years.

“It depends,” said Bettmann. “I don’t think we can give blanket rules on how to deal with it, but we are sensitive to the issue.”

hockey canada review

Bettmann said of the NHL investigation: The ongoing scandal involving Hockey Canada is “closer to the end than the beginning.”

The league will conduct its own review after news surfaced that Hockey Canada had settled a lawsuit against a woman who alleged she was sexually assaulted by eight members of the country’s world junior team at a 2018 gala. Started the process. The winning team is now in the NHL.

Bettmann said the timing of the report the league has promised to release to the public will depend on police investigations taking place in London, Ontario.

“Comprehensive reporting helps us focus on what we need to do to feel like we’re making progress,” says Bettman.


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