Bettman's Lack of Support for Canadian Teams Evident

Published August 30, 2023 at 10:33 PM

Over his three-decade tenure as the NHL commissioner, Gary Bettman has consistently failed to garner favour among numerous Canadian teams' fans. His apparent disinterest in fostering the game's growth within Canada has not gone unnoticed.

Whenever he takes the stage or enters a crowd, the resounding chorus of boos and jeers from fans is a common occurrence. Despite this, Bettman seems to take it in stride, even encouraging the fans to amplify their disapproval, particularly at the outset of NHL drafts when he delivers his opening statement.

While he continues to fulfill his primary role of expanding the game's presence in the United States, often at the expense of Canada, recent news highlights a noteworthy development. The announcement today reveals that the upcoming season's U.S. National TV broadcasts will notably sideline Canadian teams during these games.

The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Edmonton Oilers are the exceptions on this list, slated to feature prominently in many Canadian games. The Oilers will enjoy coverage for 18 games, while the Maple Leafs will grace the screen for 11, and the Canucks for merely 2. Strikingly, the remaining Canadian NHL teams will not receive any coverage whatsoever. Yes, you read that correctly—none at all.

Considering the star power of players like Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Auston Matthews on these teams, the inclusion of the Leafs and Oilers is hardly surprising. However, what adds intrigue is the Arizona Coyotes' meagre appearance with just one game on a U.S. National TV platform. This raises eyebrows as the Coyotes appear to be Bettman's favoured operation, despite their lack of a proper NHL arena.

One glaring omission that puzzles many is the Montreal Canadiens. Despite their ongoing rebuilding phase, this team boasts a fan base that extends deep into the United States, particularly in southern states where Canadian visitors seek refuge from the harsh winters. Given this context, it's unexpected that the Canadiens have been allocated so few games.

30 years in power, 30 years since the last Canadian team has won the Stanley Cup.
August 31   |   130 answers
Bettman's Lack of Support for Canadian Teams Evident

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