NHL Opens Training Camps During Stanley Cup Final

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (SBP) — Shortly after approving the move of the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman sent ripples through the sporting world by announcing that training camps are scheduled to open during the Stanley Cup Final. The move is intended to give the league maximum exposure during its showcase event.

“This is a wonderful time to add preseason workouts concurrently with the Stanley Cup final,” said Bettman, who hastily caught a flight out of Winnipeg to head to New Mexico for the announcement, “The NHL has record revenues and the prospects for having Americans mentioning us — even in passing — remain extraordinarily bright.”

Dubbed the “NHL Preseason Season”, training camps will start with each team doing two-a-day workouts for the month of June. In July, a 35 game preseason schedule, followed by 4 rounds of preseason playoff and championship, will commence until the regular season starts in late September.

“And, this is the most poignant point,” Bettman continued, “We would like to stress to the fans that, should they fail to purchase sufficient preseason season ticket packages, the board of governors may not approve the viability of their team. Which may result in team relocation.”

The Stanley Cup finalists from Vancouver and Boston will join the preseason season immediately after deciding the 2010-2011 champion.

“Hopefully the series won’t go the full 7 games,” said Bettman, “Because both of those teams are scheduled to play an important preseason season opener game that night.

“We don’t like to force franchises to play both a regular season playoff game and a preseason game in one night but, sometimes, we simply have no choice.”

When asked about possible overexposure, Bettman assured that is not an issue as nobody talks about the league in half of it’s American markets as it is.