Gary Bettman and the NHL had a very good year.
The calendar year is flipping to 2018, but for the National Hockey League and Commissioner Gary Bettman 2018 may bring some challenges in Canada as owners in Calgary and Ottawa look for new arenas. Bettman and the NHL had a very good year. Las Vegas has been good on the ice and it appears the market has thrown full support to the team. The New York Islanders franchise has apparently solved a 20-year-old arena problem with the Islanders owners winning a bid to develop land near the Belmont racetrack at the New York City/Nassau County border. It appears Seattle is going to become the league’s 32nd franchise sometime in 2018 and will begin play in 2020. The NHL ownership group will not allow contracted players to participate in the 2018 South Korea Olympics. The Arizona situation has not changed much, the franchise owners have extended a deal to play in Glendale another year and the Carolina Hurricanes new ownership group will attempt to revitalize the franchise in Raleigh. The NHL is not expanding into Quebec City and there is some interest in Houston to bring an NHL team to the Texas city.
Bettman was able to finish off the Islanders arena deal although it is unclear just how involved he was with the ultimate agreement. The Belmont request for proposal by New York State officials seemed to be tailored made for the Islanders ownership. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo allegedly was not needed to approve the deal, a state board did that. But the Islanders group led by a New York real estate developer, the New York Mets ownership, the Madison Square Garden ownership had the right stuff to get development rights. Bettman is looking for that dynamic in Calgary as Flames ownership and city officials are at a dead end in getting a new arena deal done. Ottawa’s owners Eugene Melnyk is threatening to move. Two problems for 2018.
The Belmont Racetrack is getting a new neighbor in 2020, a New York Islanders arena.