NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly had their annual state of the union session with the media prior to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final and once again the major topic of conversation surrounded the situation in Phoenix with the Coyotes.

"Obviously we're getting to the point where some decisions are going to have to be made both by the city of Glendale and by us," Bettman said of the lingering ownership uncertainty. "I haven't set a timeline but time is running shorter.

"It's been a complicated process. In our minds we understand we're dealing with a timeframe but a specific day isn't going to do it. But time is getting short. This is really going to be a decision that the city of Glendale is going to have to make."

Neither Bettman nor Daly would commit to the team remaining in Arizona for next season but did continue to reiterate the desire is for the team to remain where it is.

If the team were to not play in Arizona next season, they weren't ready to answer where they might play ... or if they would play at all.

"There are a number of markets that have expressed interest to us over the years and our phone keeps ringing the longer the Coyotes situation goes unresolved," Bettman said.

I don't want to begin a process, particularly publicly to where there is going to be a lot of speculation to where the team might go if it moved," Bettman said. "That would unfairly raise expectations in places and I don't want to do that those communities."

As to a possible hiatus for the franchise, Bettman went into full-on lawyer mode without actually shooting the idea down.

"There are a myriad of options and we're not prepared to engage in speculation about what the optionality is. The focus, at least for the time being, remains on having the Coyotes be in Arizona. Obviously we'll have lots of choices and decisions and if we get to that time -- hopefully we won't -- we'll focus on which one is the best."

This has been a thorn in the NHL's side for a long time and listening to Bettman he made it sound as if this was possibly close to coming to a head, one way or another. But still, it could drag on even longer -- and would anybody really be surprised if it did?

Just to be clear, though, the NHL remains committed on the team not moving. Why this undying devotion to the desert?

"We try to avoid franchise relocation. We don't think it's right to the fans, we don't think it's fair to communities that build you buildings," Bettman explained. "We're going to try to preserve what's in place."

Plus, the league still believes it could be a good market.