BUFFALO, NY — Before puck drop at KeyBank Center between the New York Islanders and the Buffalo Sabres, National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman spoke to the media on a variety of topics, including former Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller and his retirement ceremony, more on Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov and his refusal to wear Pride Warmup jersey and more.
Bettman shared how important Miller was to the organization and turning the franchise around.
Here’s what Bettman said regarding Provorov:
“At the end of the day, I think everybody knows what the league stands for in terms of our values, what the Flyers stand for in terms of their values, but in the final analysis, individual players are going to make decisions and follow their beliefs. Having said that, when you look at all of our players and the commitments that they’ve made to social causes and to making our game welcoming and inclusive, let’s focus on the 700 that embrace it and not one or two that may have some issues for their own personal reasons.”
Gary Bettman was also asked about the New York Islanders hosting league events in the near future.
“Well, actually, I was talking to Scott Malkin last night,” Bettman said. “I was at the game last night, just coincidentally, but we want to bring league events to UBS.”
However, there is a caveat.
“But everybody’s agreed that we want to bring it to the finished product, which is the surrounding area,” Bettman said.
The Islanders are working on creating more a “Lighthouse Project” type situation, with restaurants, shopping, and hotels around the arena. If you parked in the South Lot during the 2021-22 season, that lot no longer exists, as that’s a location for at least some of the upcoming construction.
“That arena is great. I took the train out last night, 29 minutes from my office. And once they finish the developments surrounding it, it’s going to be terrific, and we’ll bring our events there,” Bettman said.
Bettman redirected that question back to the Islanders organization when asked about a timeline.
“You need to talk to the Islanders about that. I mean, you know, buildings just don’t pop out of the grounds,” Bettman said. “It takes a little bit of time and work.”
“By the way, the plans are there, and they’re committed to doing it.”