The NHL is open for business.
Today in Las Vegas Gary Bettman officially put people on notice. If you have ever wanted a NHL expansion franchise you have a six-week window commencing July 6 to get your application into the National Hockey League.
A heads up, the Count and deputy “Dollar” Bill Daly said the rest of the owners won’t take out their ear buds unless the expansion fee starts with a five. They didn’t have to say it, but that will be in United States greenbacks please, not your piddly, cute blue five-dollar bill with kids playing shinny on the pond.
It should be pointed out, despite the league opening the door, they will not commit to any future teams, not even Las Vegas who have 13, 200 season ticket deposits already, which the NHL is very impressed with. Seattle and Quebec City were also mentioned at the gathering.
Apparently Kansas City, Milwaukee, Houston and Portland have made inquiries over the last few years about icing squads. Let’s not forget about the constant rumblings from Southern Ontario about a second team.
Even though there was not a commitment to even one new team, Daly said he was not concerned with talent dilution and he added the earliest we could see an expansion franchise on the ice would be in the 2017-18 season.
With a need for more teams in the West, Las Vegas Come on Down, We’ll see you on the strip in a couple of years.
The rest of you, the NHL would like your sustainability reports, arena plans and more importantly, have your Brinks trucks ready to drop of some bags with dollars signs on them to 1185 Avenue of the Americas in New York, NY.
Just spittin’ in the wind here, but I think by 2022 there will 34 teams in the NHL. That’s four expansion teams over the span of five years.