In an exclusive interview with NHL.com, league officials say they’re moving quickly to develop an audit risk management model for the NHL, a key focus of the league’s $1.9 billion, three-year arena plan.
The model, which will be overseen by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, is aimed at creating a baseline of risk to determine how much money the league can spend on hockey programs and facilities.
It’s similar to the one used by the NFL’s CBA to calculate its annual operating budget.
Bettman said he expects the NHL will launch an audit in the next few weeks to help him evaluate its progress.
The audit could include analyzing financial information and identifying the most cost-effective ways to manage risk, Bettman said.
“The goal of the audit is to understand how much the league has, in the best possible way, spent on hockey operations and how much it needs to spend in the future to stay competitive,” Bettman told NHL.net.
“We’re looking to be very, very cautious about how much we spend, what we do, how much other leagues have, what other players are doing.
That’s where I’m most concerned.”
The NHLPA will have a say in how much is spent on its own operations, which include the salaries and benefits of its 25,000 players and staff, and the costs of playing games, according to a source familiar with the league.
The union will also have an input into the NHL audit, but Bettman’s office will oversee that process, said the source.
“Gary Bettman will be a part of this, but he won’t have an opinion on the audit itself,” the source said.
The NHL’s auditor will not have a seat at the table, and will not be asked to review any spending by other leagues.
The union is not part of the NHL or its union representatives, nor is it required to sign off on any spending decisions made by the union.
The league has been working with Bettman and his staff for a year to come up with a model, a source close to the process told NHL News.
The source described the model as an “internal” audit that will look at all the information Bettman has access to and is willing to share with the union to make a recommendation to the league and Bettman.
The source also said the union would have an “open-ended” input into any decisions made at the NHL and the NHLPA.
“It’s really a way for us to really understand where our priorities are and how we can maximize those resources, and hopefully have the league stay competitive in the long run,” Bettmen said.
“In this case, that means the players, our fans, the players themselves.
That means getting all the numbers and all the data we have on how much people are spending and what the impact is on their spending.”
The source said Bettman was pleased with the results of the internal audit.
“Gary is really looking forward to seeing it and is excited to get it out to the players and to the fans,” the person said.
Bidens’ office declined to comment on Bettman when asked about the union’s involvement.
“There is no comment on internal audits,” said spokesman Scott Brown.
The full extent of the union involvement in the audit will be determined once Bettman is finished with the process, the source told NHL Network Insider Bob McKenzie.
“The goal is to be transparent with the players,” the NHL executive said.
In a separate interview, Bettmen told McKenzie he expects to have the NHL Audit Review Panel, headed by former NHL commissioner David Branch, in place by early November, and it will consist of Bettman himself, NHLPA Executive Director Gary Bettmann and union representatives.
Bettsman said the process for the audit process is “the most difficult part of any audit,” but it’s also the most time-consuming and difficult.
“I’m not going to sit here and say we’re going to get all the answers right,” he said.
As Bettman prepared for the internal auditor’s report, Bettmans office was also preparing to meet with representatives from the union and the union-run National Hockey League Players Association, according a source.
Bettman also plans to meet privately with a group of NHLPA players and coaches, including former league star Jamie Benn, on Wednesday, Betterman said.
While Bettman isn’t commenting on the internal review, he did say he is committed to the union working with the organization to find a solution.
“My commitment is to working with these people,” Bettmans statement read.
Betson also said he wants the union involved in the process to create a framework for what Bettman sees as an important part of their collective bargaining agreement.
“I want them to understand what the players are going through,” Bettons statement read, “and what the NHL is going through.
That is a very important part, and I think it’s really important to have that dialogue