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Morning Skate: State of the league

Gary’s got a lot to say.

2021 NHL Draft Lottery Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images

Hey, Happy Tuesday.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly held their “State of the NHL” press conference on Monday evening, a far-ranging conversation prior to the start of the Stanley Cup Final.

The league covered a number of different topics, including:

  • The league plans on playing a full 82-game season.
  • The 2022 All-Star Game will be held in Las Vegas (that should rule).
  • The 2022 Winter Classic will be held at Target Field in Minneapolis, and will feature the St. Louis Blues playing the host Wild.
  • The 2022 Stadium Series game will be held at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, where the Predators will host the Tampa Bay Lightning
  • The league will invest $5 million in Diversity & Inclusion programs over the next 18 months.

Bettman also did a whole lot of sidestepping of the Chicago Blackhawks scandal, predictably dodging the questions due to it being an “ongoing investigation.”

Ol’ Gary also said that the NHL’s referees are the best officials in any sport, which...yeah. Obviously he’s not going to go out there and slam his own refs, but come on, Gary.

Today’s discussion topic

Bettman also tip-toed around the idea of NHL players competing in the next Olympics, saying it was still up in the air.

Do you like NHL players being in the Olympics, or prefer seeing amateurs?