Gary Bettman Praises NHL’s ‘Extraordinary’ Competitive Balance

BOSTON — The NHL has a lot of parity. Making the playoffs one season can just as easily be followed by missing the 16-team tournament the very next year.

It’s a hard league to establish consistency.

When the league made several rule changes — including the creation of a salary cap — coming out of the 2004-05 lockout, parity greatly increased. The next seven seasons featured seven different champions, and just two of the 14 finalists over that span reached that...

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