Gary Bettman (The Canadian Press)

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says no plans to cancel rest of season

The league is looking at plans to centralize groups of teams in low-risk centres,

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says he has no plans to cancel the remainder of the NHL season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bettman spoke Tuesday at a virtual town hall hosted by the San Jose Sharks for members of their business alliance.

According to The Mercury News, Bettman responded to a question on the state of the season by saying ending it early was “not something I’m even contemplating.”

“I believe that if the right time comes, and the right circumstances, based on all of the options that we’re considering and our ability to execute them, we’ll get this season done,” Bettman said, adding that cancelling is “too easy a solution.”

“States are reopening, cities are reopening,” Bettman said. “And if we do the right things, I think we’ll be able to finish the season.”

The NHL suspended the season on March 12 with 189 games left in the season due to the novel coronavirus.

ALSO READ: Mixed feelings around hockey about holding NHL draft early

The league is looking at plans to centralize groups of teams in low-risk centres, with games being held in empty arenas, in hopes of resuming the 2019-20 campaign this summer.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has said he has been in touch with Bettman about the possibility of Edmonton acting as one of these “hub cities,” and Ontario Premier Doug Ford has said he has talked to the NHL commissioner about playing games out of Toronto.

British Columbia Premier John Horgan, meanwhile, talked with Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly late Tuesday. He said he could see Vancouver being a potential hub city and also floated the possibility of other B.C. rinks hosting more games if the league wanted to centralize in one province.

“The sky’s really the limit,” Horgan said Wednesday. “I wanted the let the commissioner know that British Columbia stands ready to assist in looking at a plan brought forward by the players and the NHL. If we can make it work, I think it would be great for B.C. and great for the NHL.”

The NHL did not award the Stanley Cup in 1919 during the Spanish Flu epidemic, and in 2005 because of a lockout.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusNHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

SHARE: Rainy days of summer in Maple Ridge still a sight to behold

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

Flames honour their best from last season

Maple Ridge’s Amsler the MVP and team scoring leader

Q&A with Premier John Horgan in Maple Ridge

Talks health care, COVID-19 and Canucks

Maple Ridge food bank receives $10,000 donation

Friends In Need Food Bank received cheque from Ironworkers Local 97

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

PHOTOS: Moving day for 110-year-old Fraser Valley heritage house

Chilliwack heritage house makes 1.7-kilometre journey to new location

Plainclothes Abbotsford police officer deletes cellphone video after drawing gun on innocent man

‘They never asked me what I was doing there, strictly came out with guns, threatening to shoot me’

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for Aug. 7

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Most Read