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Gary Bettman's Latest Decision Shows Huge Favouritism To Newly Expanded Teams

Published October 7, 2023 at 1:08 PM
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Bettman's Decision Raises Questions About Expansion Teams

This offseason saw an interesting move where Shane Wright was granted an exemption from the CHL, allowing the Seattle Kraken the option of playing him in the AHL without returning him 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 is undoubtedly a great advantage for the Kraken's developmental strategy. There's a bracket of players who, in their D+2 year, surpass the CHL level but might not be entirely NHL-ready. Having Wright in the AHL gives him the chance to face tougher competition, helping his growth curve.

Bettman's Favoritism Under Critics



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However, Shane Wright isn't the only talent who's in such a developmental spot. Consider the Columbus Blue Jackets' situation. They have two prospects, Jordan Dumais and Denton Mateychuk, who could be vying for similar exemptions.

As reported by Aaron Portzline

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, who was picked 12th in the 2022 draft, has showcased skills suggesting he's surpassed the WHL. His statistics with the Moose Jaw Warriors from last year support this sentiment. Yet, without the exemption, he might not get the AHL experience that could be pivotal for his progression.

Denton Mateychuk out there chucking darts.

Make it 13 goals and 64 points in 65 WHL games - good for a share of the lead among draft-eligible defenders"


Dumais's case is even more intriguing. A third-round pick in 2022, he amassed an impressive 140 points in 64 QMJHL games last season. In fact, he boasted a 2.19 point-per-game rate, outpacing Wright's 1.85 in the same category.

"Jordan. Dumais.

He has a career high 7 points against Moncton with 4 goals! All 4 goals ⬇️

He now has 105 points on the season and 28 points on a 10 game point streak 🔥"


Given these circumstances, the decision to not extend similar exemptions to Dumais and Mateychuk, especially considering Dumais's performance, clearly shows Bettman's seeming preference for the Seattle Kraken.

As seen on Hockey OTB - REPORT: Gary Bettman Shows Blatant Favoritism For Expansion Teams
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October 7   |   66 answers
Gary Bettman's Latest Decision Shows Huge Favouritism To Newly Expanded Teams

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