The NHL Is In Good Shape At The All Star Break 

Financially things seem to be good.

The National Hockey League is about halfway through its regular season at the All-Star Game break. St. Louis is hosting the all-star events. So far in 2019-2020, National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman has seen the groundbreaking for the New York Islanders arena at Belmont Park and it appears the Islanders franchise will be in the new building in a year and a half. Bettman also eliminated Calgary as a problem franchise as Flames ownership and Calgary officials reached an arena deal to build a venue that will open in 2024. Glendale, Arizona and Coyotes management have extended the arena contract for another year. Arizona ownership is still looking for an arena in the Phoenix metropolitan market. Seattle seemingly is on pace to opening the rebuilt Seattle Center Coliseum in October 2021 when the Seattle expansion team hits for ice as the NHL’s 32nd franchise. There is labor peace for the moment although the owners and players collective bargaining agreement ends after the 2021-22 season. There is no agreement between the owners and players that would allow certain players to participate in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. The NHL owners refused to allow players to take part in the 2018 South Korea Winter Olympics, but China is the world’s largest consumer market and the NHL is attempting to expand its presence in China.

But Bettman has a problem in Ottawa. Senators owner Eugene Melnyk seemingly wants a new arena, but it is unclear just want Melnyk has in mind. In early 2018, Melnyk was going to partner with developer John Ruddy to develop the LeBreton Flats site in Ottawa which would have included an arena-village. By November 2018 Melnyk and Ruddy were suing each other. Ottawa officials are hoping to get Melnyk to move downtown. Meanwhile Melnyk is still thinking and that’s not doing Bettman and the NHL any favors.

(AP Photo/Adam Hunger)