No new arena talks as Bettman heads to Calgary, where he says he's been accused of 'evil things'
NHL commissioner says Flames have given up on leaving Saddledome
For the latest development, see: Bettman blames old arena for Calgary Flames' financial situation that 'continues to deteriorate'
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is heading to Calgary Friday but says anything to do with a new arena for the Flames franchise is not on the agenda.
He says he'll meet with sponsors, some season ticket holders and team officials.
But he says he won't be wading into the issue of a new rink because the Flames have decided there's no point.
"I can only assist when there's a will and an invitation," Bettman said while speaking to the Chamber of Commerce in Edmonton on Thursday.
"I have been accused of all sorts of evil things south of here, so I am not even weighing in. I mean, suffice it to say the Flames have given up pursuing a new arena and that's where things are."
The Flames pulled out of talks with the City of Calgary last fall, saying negotiations were going nowhere on reaching a deal to build a new facility to replace the 34-year-old Scotiabank Saddledome.
Bettman has said previously that playing in the Saddledome threatens the team's ability to compete, and the Flames say they'll continue operations there for as long as they can remain viable and then look at options.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi has said the Flames' proposal for a $500-million arena places a heavy tax burden on the city, but the Flames say the city's plan would ultimately see the team foot the entire cost of construction.
With files from CBC News