NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks to the media before Game...

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks to the media before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals on May 29, 2017. Credit: AP / Gene J. Puskar

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says he’s bullish about the Islanders’ future and hopes the team can break ground on its new Belmont Park arena “in the not-too-distant future.”

“My understanding is there’s processes they have to go through,” Bettman said Thursday night. “But they’re hopeful . . . It’s going to take some number of months to break ground and get moving.”

As for a timetable on when the team can start playing at Belmont, Bettman said: “You’d have to ask the Islanders. From what I’m hearing, it’s probably in the two- to three-year range. Little faster, little longer. What’s clear is the commitment’s there and the momentum’s there and we’re excited that this is going to happen.”

Speaking between periods of the Islanders-Rangers game on MSG+, Bettman praised Islanders owners Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin for breathing life into the franchise as it tries to transition back to Long Island.

“I think they’ve been terrific,” Bettman said. “They’ve brought a new energy, a strong commitment and the resources necessary to give this team a bright future both on the ice and with the prospect of the new arena, which we expect to come out of the ground shortly at Belmont.

“What excites me is perhaps for the first time in Islanders history, they’re going to have a world-class, state-of-the-art arena that is hockey-focused. That’s great news for the Islander fan base and it’s great news for the Islanders players, who are so much part of the Long Island community.”

Bettman said he believes it will take $6 million to $10 million to upgrade the refurbished Nassau Coliseum for the games the Islanders are going to play at their former home as they split time with Brooklyn’s Barclays Center before the new arena is ready to go.

“As a temporary measure, I think it’s good for Islanders fans,” Bettman said. “And I think it’s good for the players, most of whom live on Long Island . . . The Nassau Coliseum and the Barclays people who run it did a nice job updating it. But it’s still the Nassau Coliseum.”

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