Bettman: Falling loonie may cost NHL $200 million

Sidney Crosby has another big game for the Penguins in the Eastern Conference Final and ended up being the deciding factor in Game 6.

The Canadian dollar’s decline may harm the National Hockey League’s bottom line to the tune of $200 million, according to commissioner Gary Bettman.

Bettman spoke about the effects of the weak loonie and the possibility of an expansion announcement in a television interview with Bloomberg that aired Wednesday. Watch here:

Despite the soft Canadian dollar — which has now rebounded to 76 cents U.S. from its 13-year low of 68 cents in January — Bettman said he believes the NHL will set a revenue record this season.

“It’s a fact of life, it’s something we deal with,” Bettman said of the loonie. “If the Canadian dollar were still at par, we’d be $100 million or $200 million higher, perhaps, than we may find ourselves, but I do believe there will be a revenue increase over 2015.”

Last year the league raked an estimated $4 billion. Bettman said the game continues to grow annually in terms of attendance, revenue and media reach. The NHL’s fiscal year ends June 30.

Bettman also reminded Bloomberg that the recommendation process for expansion is still ongoing. An announcement would probably have to be made within the next couple months, he said, if the NHL is to expand in time for the 2017-18 season.

Many have speculated the NHL Awards on June 22 in Las Vegas as an appropriate date to announce expansion to that city.

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