Bettman after recent visit to Seattle: 'We're not in an expansion process'

NHL expansion appears to be a hot topic these days, especially in light of commissioner Gary Bettman's recent visit to Seattle with deputy Bill Daly. However, hockey fans in cities without a pro club should not get their hopes up just yet.

In an interview with ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, Bettman stated quite matter-of-factly that there are no imminent plans to expand, saying "Nothing has changed other than the well-chronicled visit to Seattle when we were in the neighborhood."

Yes, Bettman and Daly just happened to be out for a Sunday drive and popped into Seattle for a casual visit. That's his story, anyway, and he's sticking to it.

We had a few hours to kill, we were in the neighborhood, so I figured I'd go to Seattle to find out what the building story was. We weren't there campaigning, we weren't asking for anything, and that's been misreported. Based on the level of interest we're getting from lots of people in Seattle and a fair amount of uncertainty and confusion about the building, we decided 'Let's go find out for ourselves what the story is with the building.' And there's no prospect of a building right now.

Bettman reiterated a new arena would be necessary in order for a team to be planted in Seattle, but added nothing is imminent in the Pacific Northwest or anywhere else at this time. 

"Things are popping up, but we're not in an expansion process," he said. "Could we get to one at some point? Maybe. But right now we're not focused on going through an expansion process."

Bettman after recent visit to Seattle: 'We're not in an expansion process'
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