The worst-kept secret in the NHL is that an expansion to 32 teams is bound to happen sooner than later. Reports, rumors and speculation all make it sound as though expansion is a matter of when it's going to happen and not if it's going to happen.

However, commissioner Gary Bettman stated on Tuesday afternoon that things aren't that cut and dry. In speaking with the assembled media in between meetings at the NHL Board of Governors gathering, Bettman stated that expansion is not something the league has decided upon yet.

New arenas are being built around North America, with the project in Seattle having the most heat around it, at least in terms of media reports. Speculation has remained that the project could potentially become the home of an NHL team, as Bettman reportedly recommended to the Board of Governors in July that the league should consider opening the market to an expansion franchise. In addition, it was viewed as the primary relocation option if the Phoenix Coyotes were unable to resolve their negotiations with the city of Glendale.