NASHVILLE – Gary Bettman would make a rotten sports writer. On Saturday in Nashville, he buried the lead. The NHL commissioner discussed myriad topics from expansion to the salary cap in a state-of-the-union press conference Saturday afternoon during All-Star weekend. But he failed to mention the news that broke Sunday morning: According to Sports Illustrated’s Michael Farber, Bettman has signed a new contract as commissioner through the 2022 calendar year. FOLLOW THE DAILY NEWS SPORTS ON FACEBOOK. “LIKE” US HERE. The league has not commented, but SportsNet’s John Shannon confirmed the report. It is a meaningful extension specifically because the current collective bargaining agreement with the players’ association will expire after the 2021-22 season. Bettman has overseen three NHL lockouts, including a full canceled season (2004-05) and two partially-canceled seasons (1994-95 and 2012-13). Bettman has been the league’s head since 1993 when it had 24 teams. There are now 30 franchises and the Board of Governors’ executive committee currently is evaluating expansion bids for Quebec City and Las Vegas.
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