The commissioner of the National Hockey League is ready to return to the job that he left after his stint as executive vice president and chief operating officer at the United Center in Chicago.
Commissioner Bettman announced the news Friday, telling reporters in Washington that he would “absolutely” return as a member of the NHL Board of Governors.
Bettman’s time in the White House was cut short in late 2016, when President Donald Trump fired him.
But the commissioner’s decision to step down in the face of such an intense political environment was a strong one for the league.
He is the right person to lead us forward.””
Bettmen decision to leave the White Houses White House in early 2016 is a positive and an important step forward for the NHL.
He is the right person to lead us forward.”
The commissioner said Bettman’s departure was a “tremendous loss” for the game, but he would be ready to take on the role again.
“The league and the fans have been waiting for the right time to bring back Bettman, and that time has come,” Bettman told reporters.
“He has been a valued member of our organization and his long-time commitment to the game has been very meaningful and invaluable.”
Bettmans move comes just days after the NHL announced that it had hired former NBA commissioner David Stern to serve as commissioner.
Stern will serve until the 2019-2020 season.
“David Stern is a highly respected and respected individual in the business world,” Bettmans spokesman John McKenna said in a statement.
“The league will have a long and fruitful partnership with him and he will be instrumental in ensuring that the league continues to thrive in the 21st century.”
The announcement was welcomed by many NHL fans.
“It’s a great day,” tweeted Scott Cullen, who grew up in St. Louis and attended a game with Bettman during his tenure with the Chicago Blackhawks.
“David Stern will be a great asset to us.”
“Biden will be awesome.
His experience, knowledge and leadership will help build a better game for us and a better league for all,” tweeted former NHL star Brian Gionta.”
We need a new GM,” tweeted hockey analyst John Shannon.
Betts appointment to the Board of Directors was a surprise to some fans.
Bettman was an integral part of the Blackhawks success in the 1990s, when the team won two Stanley Cups.
Bettleman left Chicago for New York in January 2001 and joined the New York Rangers in 2002.
During his tenure, the NHL added the Stanley Cup to its trophy cabinet and established a new arena in the East Village.
He was the longest-serving NHL executive and oversaw the expansion of the league from 24 teams in 1990 to 60 teams in 2003.
Bidens tenure in New York was marred by an investigation into alleged bribery by a New York businessman who was also in the process of purchasing the team.
That investigation led to the firing of Bettman in 2015.
Bets departure comes as the NHL faces a $1 billion fine over a scheme to lure a Las Vegas arena deal through the state of Nevada.
The league has pleaded guilty to criminal charges, and the company that was once the most popular destination for a potential arena in Nevada has announced plans to shutter its arena in time for the 2019 NHL Winter Classic.