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NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says ads on World Cup jerseys a possibility

NHL.com @NHL

VANCOUVER - NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says advertisements could be included on jerseys at the World Cup of Hockey.

The league has so far resisted putting ads on the sweaters of its 30 teams, but Bettman said Friday that corporate logos on jerseys are possible for the tournament in 2016.

"World Cup, international competition, I don't know," Bettman said at a press conference at Rogers Arena. "We may take a look at it. It might be a valuable opportunity."

None of North America's four major professional sports leagues currently have ads on jerseys, but the practice is widespread elsewhere in the world.

Bettman said that won't be happening any time soon in the NHL.

"I'm in no rush to put advertising on our sweaters," he said. "I think we've got the best jerseys in all of sports. I like the history, the tradition. I like the way they look and I've repeatedly said we wouldn't be the first (in North America) and you'd probably have to bring me kicking and screaming."

The World Cup of Hockey will be held in Toronto prior to the 2016-'17 NHL season and is expected to generate more than US$100 million in profits.

"The World Cup jerseys don't have the same legacy as far as I'm concerned that our regular jerseys have," added Bettman, who was in Vancouver to watch the Canucks host the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night. "So (advertising on jerseys) could happen in the World Cup ... might not, but it's not anything we're focused on doing for the league itself."

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