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Bettman: Plan is to hold '22 NHL draft in person in Montreal

By STEPHEN WHYNO AP Hockey Writer

SECAUCUS, N.J. (AP) — Commissioner Gary Bettman said Friday night the plan is to hold the 2022 NHL draft at Bell Centre in Montreal, which is where the 2020 event was scheduled to take place before the pandemic forced the festivities online.

The 2021 draft was the second to be held virtually with team staff in their home cities. Bettman ran the draft from the NHL Network studio in Secaucus, New Jersey.

Bettman told The Associated Press the league is aiming for full arenas at the start of next season and an in-person draft in Montreal but would be ready to adjust as circumstances dictate.

If NHL players go to the Olympics, the Stanley Cup would likely be handed out in late June with the draft pushed to July. There is currently no agreement in place between the league, players and international officials to guarantee participation in Beijing in February.

The schedule for next season that was released Thursday night includes an Olympic break from Feb. 7-22. Bettman said negotiations with the Players’ Association, International Ice Hockey Federation and International Olympic Committee are ongoing.

There’s no official deadline for when an Olympic agreement must be reached.

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Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno

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