NHL News: Gary Bettman claims shutting down would be “cheaper”, Evander Kane files for bankruptcy, and outdoor games announced

Gary Bettman addressed the media yesterday to give some updates on the season and announce two outdoor games. He had some interesting comments about why the NHL decided to come back and play this season.

NHL News: Gary Bettman claims cheaper to shutdown

“It would be cheaper for us to shut the doors and not play,” the Commissioner explained to the media. “We are going to lose more money at the club level and at the league level by playing than by not playing. But the owners unanimously are OK with that because they know how important it is for our fans and for the game.”

Gary Bettman
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Bettman cited that returning to play would also feel like a return to normalcy for many who have been in basic isolation for almost a year now.

The NHL’s altruistic reasoning of course didn’t resonate with outspoken critic and NHLPA Agent, Allan Walsh. He claims the statements by Bettman are misleading, citing the 50/50 split which will eventually make the owners whole for their losses.

Listen, there are two sides to every story. I’ve been involved on both sides of this argument and can tell you, eventually getting your money back has no bearing at the moment you are taking financial losses. Especially when you have to pull in or borrow resources elsewhere to stay afloat. Some owners can without the batting of an eye, while many others simply are unable to.

NHL Outdoor Games

Gary Bettman also announced a new event for this season called NHL Outdoors which will be held at Lake Tahoe. The two games will feature the Colorado Avalanche against Vegas Golden Knights on February 20 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC. The next game on February 21 will see the Boston Bruins versus Philadelphia Flyers at 3 p.m. ET on NBC.

Evander Kane Bankrupt

San Jose Sharks forward, Evander Kane could be forced to sit out the season as reports have surfaced he is in debt for over $26 million. According to the bankruptcy filing:

“Debtor may terminate his contract and he may opt out of the season, as allowed under current rules, because of health concerns given the recent birth of his first child. Should he terminate his contract or opt out at a point in the season, Debtor will not receive his salary.”

The filing is dated 1/9/21 and the deadline to opt out was in December. This of course is an extraneous circumstance and remains to be seen what will happen.

Kane is not the only NHL player to ever file for bankruptcy. According to a report in The Athletic, Jack Johnson, Darren McCarty and Bryan Trottier have also filed.