The National Hockey League feels good about its current number of teams and overall setup, said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Wednesday. As a result, the league has no immediate plans to expand or make other significant changes.
“We’re not in an expansion mode right now,” Bettman told reporters.
According to Bettman, “a number of people, entities, and cities expressing interest in having an NHL franchise “and mentioned Atlanta, Houston, and Quebec City as proposed options. However, the league is determined to stay put despite the interest.
“But it’s not really something, at least right now, that’s anywhere close to the front burner for us, “he added.
Bettman’s statement comes after a series of reports that indicated the league is looking to tap into new markets. Atlanta is the most frequently mentioned city, considering that it was home to NHL franchises the Flames and the Thrashers in the past.
Speaking about other league-related topics, Bettman also confirmed there are no plans to make tweaks to its current playoff format. NHL previously had a 1-8 system before switching to a wild-card format in 2013-14.
“If you’ve been tracking it for the last month, there isn’t much difference [in who plays whom] between either format. This is working well, and we aren’t looking to make any changes,” he shared.