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Bettman Frustrates The Entire NHL With Major Announcement


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Hunter Bowman
October 25, 2023  (10:38 PM)
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The NHL is at a crossroads in its draft process, contemplating a seismic shift. Talks of 'decentralizing' the event, in which teams would stay at their home bases while prospects attend, have been gaining momentum. This move is akin to the setup seen in the NFL and NBA.

Leading up to this revelation, NHL teams were given until the end of business on Tuesday to express their stances regarding the proposed decentralized draft format. In response, the league issued a memo signaling a groundswell of support for this change, with the majority backing it. Nonetheless, the precise timing of this transition, tentatively set for 2024, remains hazy, pending the resolution of several logistical intricacies.
Elliotte Friedman's "32 Thoughts" column paints a vivid picture of how decentralization would impact the process. It envisions team front offices remaining at their respective headquarters, while drafted players assemble at a centralized location. Here, they would be welcomed by the commissioner, mirroring the NFL's approach. Friedman, however, expressed his discontent with this proposed change, emphasizing the vibrancy of having everyone physically present, which he feels enhances the experience.
The shift towards decentralization has not been without resistance. Various concerns have been raised, encompassing the draft's timing, associated costs, and the inadvertent exposure of team strategies due to the proximity of draft tables.
As the draft process stands on the precipice of transformation, the potential switch is projected to come into effect during the summer of 2025, according to Friedman's forecasts. This prospective change raises questions about its influence on the draft's dynamics and the overall fan engagement.
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Bettman Frustrates The Entire NHL With Major Announcement

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