So, have you heard that they need new NHL arenas in Calgary and Ottawa?

The commissioner is certainly aware.

Amid growing talk about Houston’s desire to land a hockey team, and with Seattle pushing towards finally getting an NHL-ready building, Gary Bettman gently pointed out that his league has some budding dance partners. Lest anyone forget in the only two cities where teams are known to be lobbying for a new facility.

“We believe in all of the places that we have franchises now,” Bettman said Friday after a luncheon with Montreal’s chamber of commerce. “We think all of our markets are capable of supporting our clubs. We’re not looking to threaten markets, but there is a certain inevitability if a club needs a new arena to stay competitive, to stay viable and have stability, that if it can’t for whatever reason get a new facility then at some point ownership has to look at what options it may have.

“It’s great to know that there are lots of places that are interested in having a franchise that don’t, but we’re not running around actively soliciting interest. We listen to whoever wants to come and talk to us, and we’re aware of the interest, but our preference is to have our franchises right where they are.”

Translation: This isn’t code red.

But if you’re a fan who sits among the “C of Red” it’s pretty clear what’s being implied in that answer. There’s no guarantee the Flames will continue playing in the outdated Scotiabank Saddledome ad infinitum.