weather icon Clear

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says Olympic deal is possible

Before being booed Tuesday by the fans of the newly minted Vegas Golden Knights, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman talked about the upcoming Winter Olympics and gave local fans a reason to cheer him.

A decision has to come soon as to whether the league will allow its players to go halfway around the world to Pyeongchang, South Korea in February 2018. If that happens, the Knights’ season and that of the other 30 NHL teams, will be interrupted for two weeks as the league takes an Olympic break.

If you’re a Knights fan, do you really want your inaugural season interrupted? More important, do you want to risk having one of the key Knights players get injured in the Olympics and being lost for the season?

“Right now, there isn’t a lot of enthusiasm among the owners to go (to the Olympics),” Bettman said at the team’s temporary office in Summerlin. “There’s no question it’s disruptive to all of the franchises. You’re looking at playing a compressed schedule, which increases the risk of someone getting injured. And traditionally, the NHL has never made money from participating in the Olympics, so from a business proposition, it doesn’t make sense.”

Still, there are many players who want to play for their country. Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, says he will play for Russia in 2018. And while Bettman appreciates Ovechkin’s loyalty to his country, he also knows it is Ted Leonsis who pays Ovechkin’s salary, not Vladimir Putin.

There have been reports of the NHL offering the Players Association a three-year extension to the current Collecive Bargaining Agreement in exchange for the players to go to Korea. Bettman said there have been discussions to that effect but no offer has officially been extended. That will take place when the Board of Governors meet in Florida Dec. 6 to 8.

“We haven’t even presented it to our owners yet,” Bettman said. “But the most important decision is what the framework will be for labor peace.”


Golden Knights majority owner Bill Foley said he is not seeking to bring on any minority investors at this time, refuting an ESPN.com story earlier in the week that the team was about to have Rob Gronkowski, Jose Bautista, Alexei Yashin and Carol Alt as minority owners.

“Not true,” Foley said. “Someone approached me, I won’t say who, about investing in the team. I told that person right now we’re not looking to add investors right now.

“What I think happened was that person knows the people who were mentioned in the ESPN article. But I can tell you that we’re not bringing in anyone else. Even if we did, that person would have to go through a long vetting process, and that’s not happening.”

Foley, who paid a record $500 million for the team, makes his second payment to the league in early January. The final installment will be made in March.

“Money’s not an issue; we have money,” Foley said. “But the fact is, we’re fine and we’re not bringing anyone else on at this time.”

Foley did confirm another ESPN.com report that said the team needed to get the OK from Clarkson College and the University of Central Florida to use the Golden Knights nickname that both schools also use.

“Actually, we didn’t have to do anything,” Foley said. “The NHL handled it for us. They had their lawyers talk to Clarkson and Central Florida, and both schools were great about it. They didn’t ask for any money or anything in return.”

Speaking of money, Foley said the merchandise sales Tuesday night were around $80,000 and he said sales have been brisk since.

“We’re thrilled with the response,” he said. “We think we have a great-looking logo and colors, and wait until we get our jerseys. They’ll fly off the rack.”

ETC. …

Saturday was a day to celebrate and remember for the NHL. On Nov. 26, 1917, the league was formed with four teams — two from Montreal (Canadiens and Maroons) along with Toronto and Ottawa following the suspension of operations by the National Hockey Association of Canada (NHA). The first NHL games were played on Dec. 19, 1917. … It was 25 years ago Saturday that Bob Johnson died after after a battle with brain cancer. Johnson, who had coached the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Stanley Cup in 1991 and guided the University of Wisconsin to three NCAA championships. “Badger Bob” had the catchphrase “It’s a great day for hockey!” … Nashville and Columbus are hoping November never ends. Going into Saturday, both the Predators and the Blue Jackets were 8-2-2 for the month.

Steve Carp’s NHL notebook appears every Sunday. Contact him at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow @stevecarprj on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Golden Knights Videos
Marc Andre Fleury Returns To The Ice Against Blackhawks - Video
The Golden Knights get an emotional win against the Blackhawks as Fleury returns to play on the ice.
Golden Knights On Big Win For Fleury's Return - Video
The Golden Knights get a 5-1 win against the Chicago Blackhawks as emotions were high for the team to ensure a victory for the return of Marc Andre Fleury.
Fleury save poster among ‘Gold Friday’ deals from Golden Knights - Video
The Knights announced Monday information regarding “Gold Friday” at The Arsenal at City National Arena and The Armory at T-Mobile Arena on Black Friday. Fans can get their hands on a special poster of Marc-Andre Fleury’s spectacular save against the Toronto Maple Leafs last week. Only 450 copies of the poster will be available, commemorating Fleury’s 450th NHL career win.
Cosmopolitan Tree Lighting Starts the Las Vegas Holiday Season - VIDEO
With a flip of an actual switch the Cosmopolitan lit their tree to signal the start of the Las Vegas holiday season. Golden Knights favorites Marc-Andre Fleury and Max Pacioretty were on hand to help with the event and skate around the rink with fans. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights' Max Pacioretty, Paul Stastny Host Street Hockey Clinic for Kids - Video
Golden Knights forwards Max Pacioretty and Paul Stastny hosted a street hockey clinic for local kids on Monday, Nov. 18 at Doc Pearson Community Center.
Golden Knights fans shut out of free doughnuts - VIDEO
Golden Knights fans drove up to Krispy Kreme stores on Monday morning, Nov. 18, 2019, but the stores were closed. Company officials said the promotion with the Golden Knights for fans with tickets to get free doughnuts with a shutout win at home will be honored through Sunday. (Elizabeth Page Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal @EliPagePhoto)
Golden Knights fans denied doughnuts morning after shutout - VIDEO
Golden Knights fan Todd Levings was out of luck when he tried to get his free doughnuts Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, at a Krispy Kreme store. When the Golden Knights have a shutout win at home, the doughnut chain gives a dozen free doughnuts to fans who present tickets from the game. (Glenn Puit/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights Movie Premier Remembers Why the City is 'Vegas Strong' - Video
Golden Knights fans will be treated to an exclusive viewing of 'Valiant,' on Sunday, Nov. 17. The documentary highlights the Vegas Golden Knights' remarkable run to the 2018 Stanley Cup Final after the team unified Las Vegas in wake of tragedy.
Golden Edge Mailbag | November 14th, 2019
The Review-Journal's Ben Gotz and Adam Hill are back for a new rendition of the Golden Edge mailbag! Send in your VGK questions, and they'll answer them live on the stream.
Golden Knights to honor "Miracle on Ice" team
The Golden Knights will honor the 1980 USA Olympic men’s hockey team on the 40th anniversary of its “Miracle on Ice” victory against the Soviet Union next year. On Feb. 22, a public event with the 1980 team will take place at the Thomas & Mack Center that will include video of never-before-seen moments from its implausible run at Lake Placid, New York. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Alex Tuch Returns to Practice After Second Injury - Video
Golden Knights right wing Alex Tuch returned to practice on Tuesday afternoon. Tuch missed the last four games due to an upper-body injury sustained in the team’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Nov. 3.
Golden Knights Know They Need to Play More Dominant Style of Hockey - Video
The Golden Knights recent road trip turned out to be an unsuccessful one, as the team went 1-3 away from home. Golden Knights forward Alex Tuch says one of the problems lately has been that his team is just trying to win games, instead of completely dominating their opponents.
Alex Tuch And Nate Schmidt Return To The Ice - Video
Alex Tuch and Nate Schmidt return to practice as the team becomes more energized after their win against the Anaheim Ducks.
Golden Knights Watch Party At Las Vegas Ballpark - Video
The Golden Knights host a watch party at the Las Vegas Ballpark where fans gathered to watch the game against the Pittsburg Penguins.
Golden Edge Mailbag | October 17th, 2019
The Review-Journal's Ben Gotz and Cassie Soto are back for a new rendition of the Golden Edge mailbag! Send in your VGK questions, and they'll answer them live on the stream.
Malcom Subban Day-To-Day, Gallant Talks Golden Knights' Goaltenders - VIDEO
After suffering an undisclosed lower body injury in a loss to the Arizona Coyotes, Golden Knights goaltender Malcolm Subban was announced as having a day-to-day injury when head coach Gerard Gallant spoke about his goaltenders after practice.
Golden Knights lose 4-1 to Coyotes - VIDEO
The Golden Knights lost 4-1 to the Arizona Coyotes in Glendale. VGK Goalie Malcolm Subban exited the game early with an injury and is Day-to-day.
Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant knows Coyotes are "very aggressive" - Video
The Golden Knights will head to Arizona to face the Coyotes on Thursday with hopes to bounce back from Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Bruins. Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant is fully aware that the Coyotes are a very aggressive team and knows his guys will have to match that speed.
Golden Knights Feast on Shark - Video
After swimming with (and defeating) the Sharks in their first two games of the season, the entire Vegas Golden Knights team feasted on their fair share of seafood at Zuma Las Vegas inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Golden Knights Greet Fans At Gold Carpet - Video
The Golden Knights walk the gold carpet before puck drop at their season opener against the San Jose Sharks at the T-Mobile Arena.
Golden Knights Hold Private Practice, Lunch for 1 October First Responders - Video
The Golden Knights held a private practice at City National Arena for first responders, Mandalay Bay employees and guests who were affected by the 1 October events. After practice, guests were able to meet the Golden Knights themselves to take pictures and get autographs.
Golden Knights Prepare to Honor Those Affected by 1 October - VIDEO
Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon discusses the teams upcoming practice which will honor those affected by the events on October 1, 2017. The team has invited guests including first responders, Mandalay Bay employees and others who were impacted. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon Discusses Roster Updates - VIDEO
Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon discusses the teams roster and key injuries ahead of Opening Day (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Golden Knights Max Pacioretty on the Golden Edge Podcast - VIDEO
Vegas Golden Knights forward Max Pacioretty joins the Golden Edge podcast to talk about the upcoming season for the Knights, the rivalry with the Sharks and the Pacioretty 67 burger.
Golden Knights Alex Tuch, Cody Eakin Injured in Preseason Loss to Kings
The Golden Knights not only lost to the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on Friday night, the team also saw Alex Tuch and Cody Eakin head off the ice with injuries. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writers David Schoen and Ben Gotz give an update on the players injuries as well as discuss what went wrong for the Golden Knights.
Golden Knights Suffer Second Preseason Loss to the Kings - Video
The Golden Knights suffered the team's second loss of the preseason, this time to the LA Kings 3-2. Head coach Gerard Gallant knows his team got off to a sloppy start but was impressed with the final effort.
Golden Knights Forward Ryan Reaves wants to play in the pre-season - VIDEO
Golden Knights Forward Ryan Reaves talks about coming back from an injury and a possible long term deal with the team. September 26, 2019.
Golden Knights Head Coach Gallant speaks on injuries and cuts before last two pre-season games - VIDEO
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant speaks after practice on September 26, 2019, on injuries and cuts before last two pre-season games.
Golden Knights Suffer First Preseason Loss to Avalanche, 4-1 - Video
The Golden Knights suffered the team's first preseason loss, after falling to the Avalanche 4-1. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writers David Schoen and Ben Gotz break down what went wrong for the Golden Knights.
Golden Knights React to First Preseason Loss - Video
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant called the first loss of the preseason a "team loss" that was "tough to watch."
Paul Stastny On Playing More Games - Video
Golden Knights forward Paul Stastny talks about preparing for the regular season and playing more games before the season starts.
Golden Knights Nate Schmidt Talks About Seeking Change With PED Testing - Video
The Golden Knights wrap up their practice for the day and Nate Schmidt hoping to see changes to PED testing.
Nate Schmidt On Wanting Change With PED Testing - Video
Nate Schmidt speaks about wanting to see change with PED testing in the NHL.
Fleury and Marchessault Play Heads Up - Video
Golden Knights Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and Jonathan Marchessault play heads up VGK edition.
Aliens invade City National Arena for competition - VIDEO
Aliens attended the City National Arena for a competition to see who was best dressed. The prize was out of this world. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)