Bettman: NHL not currently looking at expansion

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman rejects rumors surrounding expansion at this time. (Mark Humphrey/AP)

BOSTON — Commissioner Gary Bettman says new Quebec City arena or not, the NHL is not looking at expansion right now.

He made the comment at a media availability Saturday prior to Game 2 of the Boston-Montreal playoff series when a Quebec reporter said there is sentiment in Quebec that the NHL looks more favourably on Seattle than Quebec City when it comes to future expansion.

And Quebec City is building a new arena while Seattle isn’t, the reporter noted.

"We’re not considering expansion right now," Bettman replied. "We have not engaged in (an) expansion process."

"If we reach a point in time where we decide we want to go through a formal expansion process, then we’ll evaluate all potential applicants and opportunities," he added. "I answer the questions that I get asked. I get asked about Seattle far more — other than days like today — than I get asked about Quebec City.

"But we’re not ready to expand."

Earlier, when Bettman was asked for his views on work starting on a new arena in Las Vegas, the commissioner said it was good news for Las Vegas and the people who visit it.

"Beyond that we haven’t made any plans. We, as I repeatedly have said, have received expressions of interest from people who might want to own a franchise in Las Vegas — as we have from a number of other cities — but we’re not involved in any expansion process."

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