NHL general managers are set to meet at the site where the league was founded 100 years ago and Commissioner Gary Bettman will be in town as the league celebrates its centennial this weekend.
MONTREAL (AP) NHL general managers are set to meet at the site where the league was founded 100 years ago and Commissioner Gary Bettman will be in town as the league celebrates its centennial this weekend.
On Friday, the 31 GMs have a three-hour meeting scheduled at Le Windsor, an office, condominium and ballroom complex that was part of the Windsor Hotel when owners of the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators and Quebec Bulldogs met to form the NHL on Nov. 26, 1917. A plaque is to be unveiled marking the building as the founding site.
Later, Bettman is to address the Montreal chamber of commerce at a nearby hotel.
On hand will be six Hall of Fame players, each representing a team from the so-called Original Six—Ray Bourque (Boston), Yvan Cournoyer (Montreal), Rod Gilbert (New York Rangers), Dave Keon (Toronto), Frank Mahovlich (Detroit) and Denis Savard (Chicago).
While the general managers are expected to go over rule tweaks brought in this year, such as the crack down on faceoff fouls and slashing, most attention will be on Bettman. A report this week said Bettman met recently with Tilman Fertitta, the owner of the NBA's Houston Rockets who is interested in adding an NHL team at the 17,800-seat Toyota Centre.
Fertitta acknowledged in a Tweet on Thursday that he's interested ''but it will have to be a deal that works for my organization'' as well as the city, the fans and the NHL. The emergence of Houston with an NHL-ready rink gives the league an option should it wish to expand to 32 clubs or move a team that is financial trouble. Bettman has denied that any NHL club is about to move.
It could also affect efforts by teams in Calgary, Ottawa and Arizona to get governments to put money into new arenas. Houston could also be a rival to Quebec City, which wants a team in the already built Videotron Centre.
The weekend celebration also has activities for fans at the Bell Centre and the adjacent Windsor Station, where portraits of the league's 100 greatest players will be displayed. On Saturday night, the Canadiens will face Toronto.
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