NHL Expansion Coming Soon?

On Wednesday in Las Vegas, the NHL Board of Governors authorized the undertaking of a formal process to evaluate expansion of the league. The NHL will make applications available starting on Monday, July 6, and applications should be filed no later than Monday, August 10.

“The fact that we are beginning this process does not necessarily mean that any expansion teams will be granted as a result of this process,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said.

Las Vegas and Seattle are two cities that immediately come to mind as both have recently expressed public interest in being home to an NHL club. The League also indicated that Milwaukee and Portland have shown interest in the past.

17 thoughts on “NHL Expansion Coming Soon?

  1. Quebec, Vegas and Seattle would be logical choices. Then make 3 conferences with 11 teams in each – west coast, east coast, middle of the continent. Neat and simple.

  2. Vegas, Portland ,Hamilton or Quebec . Seattle doesn’t have an arena ready Portland has two available now, rose garden is ready. Or to piss off Canadian fans, Seattle Portland and Vegas laugh out loud

  3. Milwaukee would be kinda cool…insant rivalry with the Wild and the Blackhawks. Quebec city just finished building an beautiful new arena “ready for use” but there are many hurdles with that franchise. Who knows? could be a political play with the Canadian Federal Government looking to tone down Quebec nationalism,,,hockey is the one trump card that could beat seperatism in that province. Vegas is still a gamble in my opinion ( pun intended) …be lots of comp tickets from the casinos but will be a better bet ( pun intended) than Glendale ever was and fits into Bettmans philosophy of new markets in non traditional areas. Seattle I don’t know…the “Coffee Beans”, the “Double Double’s” …nice town but fans will be thin in number and kinda strange, no?

  4. If markets like Carolina, Nashville, and Tampa Bay can support franchises I’m sure some of the new ones that are mentioned can also. The more franchises the more revenue that comes with it. I heard the buy in is $500,000,000 per franchise. It would be interesting to see where that money will go.

  5. Keith-
    that money is split between the owners of the teams (almost 100%) . 2 teams–Owners-1 billion $ richer.

  6. Why not move some struggling teams before making some new ones. Can’t imagine the ice being great in Vegas with the heat that it can get

  7. I gotta ask myself….If I had $500mm would I buy an NHL franchise? $500mm seems far fetched. According to Forbes Bus Mag……. only 11 teams are worth $500mm or more (meaning 19 teams are worth less). 10 teams lose money while the next 5 teams make a tiny amount. The NYR are the most profitable club at $85mm average last 3 seasons. The Hawks made $50mm. SO, even if you are the MOST profitable club in the league, it will take 6 years to recoup your money. I don’t think Mark Cuban would do that.

    IMO the NHL has to broaden its appeal. The last threads discussed how the shootout appeals to casual fans. I hate the shootout but agree it is a necessary evil. I believe that the NHL’s biggest problem is that 20 miles outside of team’s arenas no one cares.

    How can hockey become casual conversation like baseball, football and even the NBA? Cleveland and Golden State series drew 10 times the viewers that the SCF drew. Everybody in the country knows who Mike Trout and Bryce Harper are. Who, outside of Montreal knows who Cory Price is? Hell, who outside of Chicago knows who JT is? Sydney Crosby is the most recognized name in hockey. Big whoop. That is what has to change.

  8. @Mike

    If I was wanting to improve NHL’s image, I would probably start with the in-studio analysts : Milberry, Keith Jones, and JR.

    We just finished one of the most exciting, high skilled, closely contested, clean SCFs in history; yet, every intermission those guys come on with a scowl and a warning that the trailing team is playing awful, is in big trouble, and needs to turn it around NOW. No excitement, no pulse, nothing …

    Just me, but I’ve enjoyed Jamal Mayers and Dave Reid as analysts. Eddie O brings a lot to the table too. Anybody that loves the game and can express that enthusiasm would be welcome. Sorry, Barry Melrose, Mike Keenan, and Peter Puck need not apply.

  9. I could see 2 more teams at max, so that the conferences are even, but honestly I’m not for expansion beyond that. Part of what I love about this sport is hasn’t been totally ruined by society…yet. I think the bigger it gets, the less it will be about the sport and the more it will be about player drama and the money (though you could argue that is beginning to change already). The idea of having a team as close Milwaukee with potentially cheaper tickets does sound great though

  10. Mining Man- Spent a stint in Seattle area. If a hockey team can garner as many fans as the Seattle Sounders did, and as fast, I say go Seattle. I was stunned to see how fast the Sounders built a loyal, rabid following. May have had something to do with Sonics departure- but the Sounders get 30-45K fans per game. For soccer, no less!!
    Drop the puck in Seattle. Loyal folks out there.

  11. Sounds good Gallboy. Have read they do not have an arena. If 2017-2018 -2019 and all went smooth as silk I suppose it could be done. Great instant rivals with Vancouver, and the California teams.

  12. Mike re the 500 Mil., If you own stock it is typical that the estimates of valuation (PE ratio) for large companies are generally at 15-20 times earnings. Even at 14 times earning someone is receiving a 7% cash return on cash and this doesn’t include appreciation and other benefits of owning a team. So a $50 Mil/yr profit could easily translate into a $700 Mil or more valuation. Therefore if a owner can make $35 Mil per year (7% return) on a 500 Mil buy in it’s actually a very good investment and I’m sure there are some high net worth individuals that wouldn’t mind a lower return for the opportunity to be a team owner.

  13. Kieth,
    I am OK with your argument. Problem is MOST NHL teams don’t make any where near $35mm. In fact, according to Forbes…….
    6 teams make $35mm+,
    5 teams make $20 to $26mm (no teams between 26-30mm)
    3 teams make $10 to $20mm
    6 teams $0 to $10mm
    10 teams lose money…..a full 1/3 of the league

    My point is that the NHL needs to shore up the existing teams before adding more teams. There are some glaring financial issues in the NHL. Of course there are the usual suspects like the Panthers. But some quality clubs like St. Louis and the Islanders operate in the Red. Add to the $500mm for the league the cost of starting a team must also cost tens of or even hundreds of millions of $$$.

    No I don’t think I would do that unless the market population has 4 or more million people. Milwaukee and Las Vegas are both bad ideas

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