In one of the biggest weeks of the year for NHL leadership, the league’s Board of Governors met Monday and Tuesday this week for their biannual meeting. This year’s convergence was held in Seattle, the home of the NHL’s newest franchise and next Winter Classic site. The Board of Governors meetings, which were attended this year by Blackhawks owner Danny Wirtz, can be used to handle any number of different topics, from new franchise applications to salary cap management. While NHL expansion wasn’t on the agenda this week, the league and commissioner Gary Bettman announced a handful of major updates.
The highlight for many fans from the meetings this week was an update on the 2024 NHL Draft. The event, which is shifting after next year to a rather unpopular decentralized version, will be in the “fishbowl” for one last time. It was announced Tuesday that picks will be made next season at the Spere in Las Vegas. The move will undoubtedly raise viewership on June 28-29 as well as in-person attendance. Based on the current state of the Blackhawks’ season, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if the Sphere was the location where one of Chicago’s future franchise cornerstones was selected. Will Macklin Celebrini or Cole Eiserman come in and lead the up-and-coming franchise?
Another bit of news Bettman mentioned Tuesday that may be of note to fans is that the players and the NHL are making plans for a “smaller international event” next February that will somewhat resemble the World Cup of Hockey, albeit on a smaller scale. The commissioner also noted that the league hopes to participate in the World Cup and Olympics in the next five years. NHL representation on a global stage is always a big hit with fans, and it seems they’ll get their wish.
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The NHL also took the opportunity to announce a significant increase in the salary cap for next year. The number, which currently sits at $83.5 million, is scheduled to be raised by five percent to $87.7 million for 2024-25. According to CapFriendly, that means the Blackhawks are projected to have more than $52 million in cap space to work with next season. With that many contracts coming off the books, general manager Kyle Davidson has a clean slate from which to start next summer.
Bettman on Corey Perry
In Bettman’s availability with the media on Tuesday, Corey Perry was brought up. Per Elliotte Friedman, Bettman is “comfortable” with how the Blackhawks handled the situation last month. The commissioner has not yet determined whether a conversation or hearing would be necessary for Perry to re-enter the league if he chose to do so.
From future excitement surrounding the draft and salary cap to the Corey Perry issue seemingly being put to bed, the NHL Board of Governors meetings were packed with big news. The abundance of solid decisions is good news for a league that almost seemed “on ice”, both literally and figuratively.