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Bettman: Next NHL season could start in December or January

Commissioner Gary Bettman says he wouldn't be surprised if the next NHL season begins after the tentatively planned Dec. 1 start date.

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Commissioner Gary Bettman says he wouldn't be surprised if the next NHL season begins after the tentatively planned Dec. 1 start date.

Bettman said Saturday in his annual pre-Stanley Cup Final news conference there is still too much uncertainty to know what that season will look like. 

He refused to speculate on the possibility of an all-Canadian division given the closure of the U.S.-Canada border. 

The NHL has seven teams in Canada and 24 in the U.S. until Seattle is set to become the 32nd franchise in 2021. 

Canada did not allow Major League Baseball's Blue Jays to play in Toronto this season because of cross-border travel.