Some excerpts from the discussion today with Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly: more tomorrow.
On Donald Fehr:
Bettman: “Bumped into him at the Winter Classic...and periodically. If you’re asking whether or not we engaged yet, the answer is no. It would be presumptuous I guess, on both of our parts….but we’ll be ready to engage with whomever the union decides….If I endorsed him, it could be the kiss of death. And if I rejected him…It’s really fine….I’m hopeful that the players will select somebody sooner rather than later that they’re comfortable with and we’ll work with whoever they select. We believe a strong union is in the players’ interest and the league’s interest. We’re hoping all the uncertainties surrounding the union can be resolved because we need a business partner.”
The 2010-11 Salary Cap:
The Canadian dollar will probably determine it. It may be up a few hundred thousand, give or take. I don’t think it’s going up a million, I don’t think it’s going down.
(Editor’s Note: So figure somewhere over $57 million from $56.8 mil)
On the SI article concerning allegations that two men were associated with providing the Capitals with performance enhancing drugs and that the investigation by the league was flawed:
Bettman: “I’m not satisfied with the portrayal of that article, I don’t think it was accurate.”
Daly: “The emails were emails. The portrayal of the emails was inaccurate…We’re very comfortable with the level of detail in our investigation.”
Bettman: “There are different levels of agencies of law enforcement that were involved in different times, and therefore perhaps not everybody knows everything that happened or was done by us.”
Daly: “We have a history that we think is pretty suggestive that we don’t have an issue. The Olympics and World Championships are a fabric of our history. Are there improvements we can make to our program going forward? Yes…We do have independent testing agencies, but we have to administer the program. (Outsourcing totally), we don’t think that’s necessary. Some of the criticism is the scope of the testing and the timing period, and some of the prohibited substances. Both of those issues are to be discussed with the players association and I anticipate some changes will be made in the new collective bargaining agreement.”