The NHL is “heading toward record revenue with new highs” in U.S. TV ratings, according to Kevin McGran of the TORONTO STAR. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said, “Coming out of the last two years, our franchises are all healthy, strong, in good shape.” Bettman: “We have no issues. We got through it. It was painful for our franchises. They all had to forego lots and lots of revenue, but ownership was able to withstand it.” He also said that the NHL could hit $5.4B in "total revenue." Meanwhile, the NHL is not “ready to ban Russia” from hockey’s World Cup. Bettman: “It’s fair to point out that our players play for their NHL teams -- they’re not playing for Russia -- and they’re in a pretty difficult situation, particularly those that have family back in Russia. And that may be hard for a lot of people understand, but it’s a reality.” Bettman said that the Senators’ situation is "stable,” with the daughters of late Owner Eugene Melnyk "inheriting the team." He also reiterated that the Coyotes “will be as financially viable in a 5,000-seat college rink for the next three years as they were” while playing in Glendale. Bettman "praised" NHLPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr, who is "stepping down." Bettman: “Don and I understood each other. He is a fierce advocate for the players” (TORONTO STAR, 5/7).