REPORT: Gary Bettman Shows Blatant Favoritism For Expansion Teams

James Connelly
October 7, 2023  (10:24)

Gary Bettman has continued to show his blatant favoritism for the expansion teams and it is being seen in how he is bending the rules for the new teams.

Bettman Bends The Rules For Wright And Seattle

Earlier this offseason, Shane Wright was given an exemption from the CHL (the OHL, WHL, and QMJHL) meaning the Seattle Kraken could play him in the AHL with no need to send him back to the OHL.
Good news for Shane Wright: he'll be eligible to play in the AHL next season if he doesn't make the #SeaKraken roster out of training camp!

This exemption helps the Kraken a lot with Wright's development because there are many players who are too good for the CHL in their D+2 year but not quite good enough for the NHL.
It is widely speculated that Wright will be starting in the AHL this year which is beneficial to the Kraken as they can ensure Wright plays against high-quality competition and have a better development curve than if he were simply in the CHL.

Bettman's Favoritism Shows

While Wright is too good for the CHL, he is not the only one. The Columbus Blue Jackets have two players, Jordan Dumais and Denton Mateychuk who both could be in the AHL next year.
According to Aaron Portzline, it's been made clear to the Blue Jackets that neither Jordan Dumais nor Denton Mateychuk will receive an exemption from the NHL/CHL agreement.

If they don't make the #CBJ roster, they cannot play in the AHL (will be sent back to juniors)

Mateychuk was the 12th overall pick in the 2022 draft and seems to be too good for the WHL. Mateychuk was over a point per game with the Moose Jaw Warriors last year and does not have anything to prove at that level right now. However, he is not quite good enough to make the Blue Jackets roster as is which means the AHL would be perfect for him.
Dumais is a more interesting situation. The 2022 third-rounder had 140 points in 64 QMJHL games last year and clearly is head and shoulders above his competition. For comparison, Dumais was producing at a 2.19 point per game while Wright was producing at a 1.85 point per game pace. While the QMJHL is a tad weaker than the OHL, the competition is still relatively close.
For Gary Bettman to say that the Blue Jackets need to send these two players, one of whom was more productive than Wright, back to their respective CHL teams is blatant favoritism for the Kraken.
As seen on Blade of Steel - Gary Bettman continues to prove he'll bend the rules for expansion teams, but refuses to help others
REPORT: Gary Bettman Shows Blatant Favoritism For Expansion Teams

Does Gary Bettman rig the league in favor of new teams?

Yes5291.2 %
No58.8 %
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