NHL governors ponder Olympic involvement

Archived from 1998-99 season.

NHL teams

The NHL governors opened their annual meeting and discussed the leagues involvement in the Olympics; this season's two-referee experiment; overtime options to help break ties; how well offseason tinkering has worked to increase scoring; and the status of troubled franchises in Pittsburgh and New York's Long Island.

"We were given an Olympic update, and we're waiting to see what arrangements we can make that would make it sensible for us to go," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said.

Last February the NHL shut down for ten days allowing its players to participate in the Olympics for the first time. To the league's disappointement, CBS relegated hockey games to the late-night part of the Olympic coverage.

"We're on a 60- to 90-day window to either do this or not," Bettman said. "As a practical matter, it's got to be resolved sometime in February, because the national federations have to put teams together."

The two-referee system draw praise from Colin Campbell, the NHL's senior vice president of hockey operations.

"The flow is better and the obstruction is less." he said.

Bettman said the governors wouldn't decide at this meeting whether to make the experiment permanent or use it in playoff games.

"We have it scheduled through February games," he said. "There's no reason to make a judgment until all the data is in, so if they continue to perform well we'll use it."

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