Bettman listens | The Journal of Montreal

That Minister Eric Girard is getting another meeting with Gary Bettman is not surprising.

The two men had agreed to continue talks that had started a few months ago to promote the exchange of information. It is in the Commissioner’s best interest to find solutions to a plan B. He’s said to go against the grain on the Arizona Coyotes file, but there’s a reason he’s desperate to keep professional hockey in Arizona State.

  • Some argue that US broadcasters require that state’s large market to appear on the schedule.
  • Others believe the commissioner knows full well that in the event of a setback in Arizona, he can always turn to Texas, where the cities of Houston and Austin already have all the infrastructure to host a National League concession.

On the surface, the Coyotes case raises many questions. We keep asking ourselves: Why this stubbornness? Why insist on staying in Arizona? There is more than the demands of American television.

But what ?

The commissioner really needs to have a solid case to convince the other 31 owners that having a team representing the state of Arizona is important to the league.

And Bettman certainly hinted to owners that if that concession ever became a concern for the league, he’d know how to change the shot.

Out of politeness?

Did he meet the “Nordic Minister” out of courtesy? I doubt. He had also informed Mr. Girard that the NHL had no plans to expand leadership and that there was no prospect of a franchise transfer.

Except he left the door open… Because he always makes sure he has a back-up plan in case a few teams ever get into some pretty sticky conditions.

Does the Ottawa Senators’ situation call for extreme caution on the part of Bettman in this regard? Possible.

After the death of Eugene Melnyk, the team is now owned by the two daughters of the deceased. And while the commissioner says governors have no qualms about the senators’ day-to-day business, it’s best to develop a business model to handle any eventuality.

Minister Girard has certainly discussed the intentions of the CAQ government. His job is to convince Bettman that the city of Quebec has all the resources to return to the fold of professional hockey.

The postponed project

When the Vegas Golden Knights joined a few years ago, Quebec could have gotten in. However, the project was delayed due to economic conditions and the devaluation of the Canadian dollar. In addition, the starting price had increased from $500 million in US currency to $650 million.

Bettman will never reveal his game and anyone who knows him well will tell you that he is an excellent negotiator. He didn’t hesitate to close the company for a season because he wanted to establish a salary cap. It was assumed that Donald Fehr, who had rocked Major League Baseball’s owners, would do the same to National League owners. He drew a space in front of smart Bettman. No wonder hockey has grown by leaps and bounds in terms of sponsorships and annual revenue.

Minister Girard outlined the plan hatched by the provincial government at their first meeting. He probably took the opportunity yesterday to raise some important issues.

  • Has he informed the Commissioner of the identity of the businessmen who have expressed an interest in a concession?
  • Has he given any further details on the implications the government intends to play in this file?

Earning Bettman’s trust is a big challenge.

did we make it

Possibly.

But Bettman will always be in a strong position. He can pass everything on to the owners. He knows how to pull the strings.

However, Minister Girard did what he had to do.

Some would say this is an interesting strategy given the upcoming elections. Without doubt. Then again, you never know what can happen as long as Bettman is listening.

A match and we hand the towel

The beauty of the playoffs is that you can give up nine goals, you can win by a margin of four or five goals, but when the game is over you erase everything.

In two days it’s a new challenge.

Mike Smith was terrible on Wednesday night. The Oilers also received a warning. The flames are a formidable opponent.

But this series will have twists and turns.

Take the Rangers example. Everything was swimming in oil. They were heading for a 1-0 victory in the Hurricane stronghold. Can they bounce back from a 2-1 overtime loss?

Why not ?

Igor Shesterkin was brilliant so Rangers can hope.

After all, they basically still have six games to play. The same goes for Connor McDavid and the Oilers.

The playoffs are one night’s story. Point. We’re not talking about an 82-game marathon anymore. It is also an opportunity for support players to take to the floor and perform brilliantly to surprise everyone.

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