Gary Bettman is at it again. Speaking this time at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference the commish was asked a few questions on expansion.

At this point we’ve basically heard Gary Bettman say the same thing a hundred times in different ways. Something like this from that conference of geeks…

There’s been a lot of speculation about it. We have two applications, one from Quebec City and one from Las Vegas. That’s exactly what we expected when we began the process. – Gary Bettman

However, one geek pressed a little harder, asking Bettman about realignment and how it may work if Quebec City is awarded a franchise. Bettman confirmed something we’ve never heard before.

We’re going to have to look at (geography). If, for example, you’re a fan of the Red Wings or the Blue Jackets, you should know your club, under no circumstances, is moving back to the West. So one of the factors we’re going to have to evaluate is, depending on how the owners want to do expansion — if they want to do expansion at all — how do you deal with alignment? That’s one of the things we need to talk about.

Sounds to me like they’ve already talked about it. Nonetheless, it’s an interesting nugget which further cements the likelihood of Las Vegas being awarded a franchise. The league needs two more teams in the Western Conference, and the commissioner isn’t afraid to say it. It still seems like just a matter of time.

Bettman did however take the time to drive the bus directly over the corpse of Georges Lararque’s report from last week.

Georges Laraque, the former player, made an announcement that we had made a decision to exclude Quebec. But that’s not true. We haven’t made any decisions. Nothing has changed. He said the players’ association said that, and the players’ association swiftly issued a denial. They don’t always do that.

Have a feeling if the league does indeed choose Vegas and only Vegas, this one might stick in the craw of many of our friends up north of the border.

All in all, it’s a lot more Gary Bettman speak, and we all know, trying to read between the lines of what that guy says is about as easy trying to decipher the words to a Sting song. So, lets just leave it at that and move on with our weekends.