Bettman was irked by Melnyk's relocation comments before NHL100 Classic
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman took issue not only with recent comments made by Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, but also the way they were portrayed.
On the eve of the NHL100 Classic in Ottawa, Melnyk mentioned the remote possibility of relocation at some point down the road if ticket sales don't improve.
Speaking on Sportsnet 590's "Prime Time Sports" on Thursday, Bettman admitted the comments were poorly timed.
"If you're asking me if I was happy about the swirl of attention that those comments got while we were basically closing out our centennial celebration, the answer is no," Bettman said.
At the same time, how those comments were interpreted may have also been out of line.
"How what he said was portrayed was blown out of proportion because he never said, 'I'm moving,'" Bettman added. "What he said was 'I need a new building and for the long term if things got bad I'll have to deal with it.'"
Melnyk's comments were a matter of long-term forecasting, but in Bettman's opinion, would have been better off left unsaid, especially given the occasion.