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Bettman on Winnipeg, relocation and balanced sked

Wednesday, 06.01.2011 / 8:49 PM / Winnipeg NHL Franchise

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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Bettman on Winnipeg, relocation and balanced sked
VANCOUVER -- NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman revealed more than just the change from Colin Campbell to Brendan Shanahan in his State of the League address prior to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Here are some of the other topics he discussed:

* If the relocation of the Atlanta franchise to Winnipeg is confirmed by the Board of Governors at their meeting on June 21, something Bettman said shouldn't be a problem, the team formerly known as the Thrashers will be play in the Southeast Division for the 2011-12 season with assurances that they will be moved to the Western Conference starting with the 2012-13 season. There is a possibility that the League will go to a more balanced schedule to adhere to the geographic challenges.

* The League's revenues are "certainly within chipping distance" of $3 billion for the 2010-11 season, Bettman said. They were at $2 billion when the League came back from the work stoppage.

* There is no further update on the situation regarding the Phoenix Coyotes other than that the City of Glendale will continue to fund the potential losses of the club while trying to negotiate a sale to an owner that will keep the team in Southern Arizona.

* Finally, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly confirmed that the salary cap is expected to go up to at least $60 million for the 2011-12 season and possibly as high as $63 million. The salary cap for the 2010-11 season was $59.4 million. Bettman said the landmark 10-year deal the League recently signed with NBC Sports Group is part of the reason why the cap is going up.

Quote of the Day

[He's] real confident with the puck now, getting it off his stick quick and no second-guessing. We need that. He's such a good guy in the room. He works so hard. That's the big thing. For not a big man, he just fights for every puck and when he scores, the guys appreciate that even more.

— Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice on Mathieu Perreault, who scored two goals in win against Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday