The National Hockey League's commissioner has just given a non-answer that has peaked the curiosity of a ton of fans.
On Saturday Gary Bettman, aka the commish, addressed the media for what was his annual state of the league update and as you would expect the press conference largely focused in on the unique challenges the NHL is facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns. Bettman touched on a variety of these topics throughout his press conference but it was when the topic of potentially changing up the NHL's divisions came up that Bettman chose to dodge a rather interesting question.
Bettman was asked about the rumblings there have been regarding the possibility of an all Canadian division for the 2020 - 2021 NHL regular season, and although the NHL commissioner would not comment on the speculation he did give a generic answer that suggests it will at least be on the table.
"If there's an option to consider, believe me, we're considering it," said Bettman in regards to the NHL's upcoming season.
Now your first thought might be to wonder why the hell the league would choose to throw all of the Canadian teams into a single division regardless of their vastly different time zones, and the answer is really quite simple. The league has been forced to deal with some complicated issues as a result of how difficult crossing between the American and Canadian borders is at this time and putting all the Canadian teams into a single division would eliminate that problem entirely. At least that would be true of the regular season, but the NHL has already demonstrated that it can handle hosting the playoffs regardless of where or when they do it for next season.
This would also open the door to a ton of really exciting matchups for fans in Canada who don't normally get to see their rival Canadian teams compete against one another outside of a few times a year or occasionally in the playoffs. It also raises the question of what some of the other divisions might looks like under a scenario like this, a very interesting prospect indeed.