Commissioner Gary Bettman has made it clear that the NHL is considering all options while trying to determine if the league possibly could resume its paused season.

One of those possibilities, unfortunately, could be scratching the remainder of the regular season and instead focusing on a Stanley Cup Playoff.

“We’re looking at all options. Nothing has been ruled in, nothing has been ruled out,” Bettman said during an interview on NBCSN’s “Lunch Talk Live” with Mike Tirico. “And it’s largely going to be determined, what we do, by how much time there is, because we have next season to focus on as well, and the health of the country — and by the country I mean both Canada and the US, obviously.”

Bettman continued about the implication on the regular season, specifically.

“The best thing, and the easiest thing, would be if at some point we could complete the rest of the regular season and go into the playoffs as we normally do. We understand that may not be possible, and that’s why we’re considering every conceivable alternative to deal with whatever the eventuality is,” Bettman said. “But again, it doesn’t even pay to speculate because nobody in any of the sports knows enough now to make those profound decisions.”

Bettman’s appearance Tuesday marked the first time he had mentioned the possibility of the league not being able to complete the regular season. There were 189 regular-season games left when the NHL paused its season March 12 due to the coronavirus.

Reports also have swirled the NHL may be looking into neutral-site contests in Grand Forks, ND, and Manchester, NH.

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