Gary Bettman was giving a speech to announce the Islanders’ move from Long Island to Brooklyn. It was a monumental day for a once-proud franchise. However, the topic soon turned into an update on the NHL’s lockout.
There was hope that if a deal could be reached by today, then the regular season could start Nov. 2. That optimism has fizzled. The NHL and NHLPA haven’t met since last Thursday despite the league handing out a proposal that called for a 50-50 split.
“Things seem to be not progressing the way we would like. It’s disappointing,” commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters, via NHL.com. “The union has chosen not to engage on our proposal or to make a new proposal of their own, so unfortunately it looks like an 82-game season is not going to be a reality.”
While an 82-game season appears to be off the table, Bettman did express hope that an abbreviated season of some sorts could still be salvaged. It’s not the best option, but it may be the only option.
“I’d rather play a full season and I’m sure our fans would rather we play a full season,” Bettman said. “That’s why we made the offer we did.”
Meanwhile, the Islanders are officially headed to Brooklyn to play at the new Barclays Center starting in the 2015-16 season. The franchise signed a 25-year lease yesterday.
Islanders will share the building with the recently moved Brooklyn Nets basketball franchise. The two shared the Nassau Coliseum from 1972-77. “This announcement today reunites these two franchises,” Islanders owner Charles Wang said.