Gary Bettman addresses fans' beliefs that he dislikes Canadian clubs

Sam Jones
June 24, 2024  (5:03 PM)

Gary Bettman addresses fans' beliefs that he hates Canadian clubs
Photo credit: Jon Blacker

In a recent turn of events that has sparked conversations across the hockey world, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman addressed the persistent rumor accusing him of bias against Canadian teams.

This speculation has been fuelled by the conspicuous absence of a Canadian team from the Stanley Cup winners' list since 1991. Speaking out in an effort to quell these conspiracy theories, Bettman strongly denied any preferential treatment influencing the outcomes on ice.
They're not true, but there are conspiracy theorists who think that we have something to do with that, and we don't . . . I understand that the passion for the in Canada is off the charts and incredible, but ultimately it's up to the teams to decide what happens on the ice, and I don't think what country they play in has much to do with it. - Gary Bettman

While Bettman's stance remains firm on the league's neutrality, the challenges faced by Canadian teams in attracting players willing to endure the intense media spotlight, coupled with financial discrepancies like lower tax rates in some U.S. states, add layers of complexity to the issue. These factors might unintentionally disadvantage Canadian teams, though not through any orchestrated effort by the league itself.
The ongoing discourse took a palpable turn when, just a day prior to Bettman's statements, a fan directly confronted him about his alleged distaste for Canadian teams. The encounter, which saw security stepping in as Bettman refrained from commenting, only added fuel to the speculative fire.
Amidst these swirling allegations and denials, the Edmonton Oilers are on the brink of potentially historic victory. If they clinch the Stanley Cup tonight, it would mark the first Canadian triumph since the Montreal Canadiens won during Bettman's first year as commissioner. This possibility has unified Canadian fans in an unprecedented wave of support, eager for a victory not just for the team, but for the nation.
As the narrative unfolds, it's crucial to navigate the facts with a clear understanding of the inherent challenges within the league, without lending credence to baseless conspiracies. Tonight's game could not only change the course for the Oilers but also shift the narrative surrounding Canadian teams in the NHL.
24 JUIN   |   283 ANSWERS
Gary Bettman addresses fans' beliefs that he dislikes Canadian clubs

Do you believe the NHL is biased against Canadian clubs, or that Canada has some disadvantages?

Yes, NHL is biased against Canada21074.2 %
No, there isn't a bias against Canada165.7 %
No bias, but they have disadvantages5118 %
Nothing at all, the NHL is totally fair62.1 %
Latest 10 stories