Reports: NHL Expansion Coming… To Vegas?

It’s not news that the NHL is looking to expand.

But will a team call Las Vegas home?

Our friends at The Fourth Period have been preaching expansion for well over a year, and new reports on Tuesday indicate that Las Vegas is now on the short list for potential NHL destinations when (not if) the league adds teams.

Seattle and Quebec City have also been mentioned prominently has a potential landing spot for an NHL franchise.

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12 Responses to Reports: NHL Expansion Coming… To Vegas?

  1. Ernie says:

    Would rather see Seattle get it. Then move Florida to QC. Las Vegas just seems like its a transplant market a la Florida. Seattle’s problem is arena. Their is a guy there (Chris Hansen) that holds the rights to any arena built for a mythical NBA team. A Vancouver based investor just went into partnership with Hansen for a Seattle arena, and he wants an NHL team. Said investor met with the mayor of Seattle along with Daly and Bettman earlier this summer. At the time of the meeting, nobody knew it was anybody but Bettman and Daly, but apparently this guy is for real. I would love to see a team in Seattle. KC also has a nice new arena, but I don’t think it has the fanbase to support a team.

  2. Sr. Brad says:

    Careful with Seattle per se, they lost an NBA franchise due to ambivalence…and an NHL team is no guarantee for success…NHL talent is watered down as is…most teams in the league can no longer feature 2 top lines, which is a sham. I think the goaltending is there to expand, but both D and FWD are thin as it is…and the draft is very hit and miss already…adding 2 more teams means a lot more misses than hits…

    Quebec City deserves a team and would support it with Gov’t assistance, but going past that is potentially dangerous for this league IMO. I have often thought the NHL should have folded two more franchises and thickened the talent back up…these days it is too easy for kids to make this league…once upon a time guys, it was VERY tough to make the NHL, it was a very exclusive club.

  3. Mike says:

    There are lots of forces at play here. For a 22-23 man roster the salary cap is low compared to other major sports. While it has created parity the league wants, it has also been the reason some players have left. Each team added would allow for 4-5 more $5mm plus players. Yes, a little more watering down BUT some B and B+ players might come back to the league.

    I here all the talk about big Cap increases, but only a handful of teams spend to near the limit. Raising the Cap alot would benefit only that handful of teams. The Hawks are included in those teams who will benefit.

    What I think is more likely to happen is a slow to moderate increase in the Cap. Expansion by 2 or 3 teams in the next few years. More revenue sharing. An increase in the Cap floor that will outpace the Cap upper limits.

    NHL expansion has to

  4. David says:

    The league needs 2 Western Conference teams to even out the conferences (16 teams each). Las Vegas is a weak option compared to Quebec City. Seattle would be solid, that city is booming but not sure the level of interest in hockey.

  5. Tab Bamford says:

    Seattle lost the Sonics because of ownership & building issues, not because there was a lack of people caring about the team. In 2006-07, the Sonics averaged over 93% of capacity at home games, good for 12th in the NBA. Careful before throwing fans under the bus…

  6. EbonyRaptor says:

    I’m not so sure expansion will raise the salary cap and in fact it may slow increase unless there is a provision in the CBA to change the formula in the event of expansion. The Cap is determined by the number of teams that share in the player’s 50% of HRR, currently 30. If the number of teams increase to 32 (a 6.67% increase), then HRR would need to increase 6.67% just to break even.

  7. Ernie says:

    Mike- 14 teams are within 5 million of the salary cap. Of those teams, how many tried to land a big free agent or trade for a player to take up a good size of their 5 million or are leaving that just in case someone becomes available via trade? I think way more than a handful spend or want to spend to the cap.

  8. Dave says:

    Mike, if they expand by 3 teams, then there will be an odd number of teams in the league.

  9. RyanDale says:

    30 is already too many for me.
    Less teams =better hockey

  10. Mike says:

    ER, that is actually what I am saying. I think the Cap FLOOR will rise faster than the Cap upper limit.

    Ernie, my point was that last year, including all player movements, 8 teams spent less than $60mm against a $64.3mm cap. So the Cap rises to $69mm…..do those teams suddenly have another $5mm to spend?

    The answer historically is no. As the Cap rises the rich use 100% of the increase while the poorer teams use 50% of the increase creating more separation as the Cap goes higher and higher. This is why I think that the FLOOR will rise faster than the CEILING.

  11. Sr. Brad says:

    Not so Tab, the Sonics had 93% of capacity because of season tickets and corporate sponsorships…over the last 2 seasons in Seattle players and ownership complained of how many empty seats were in the building…people had “paid for” tickets and still weren’t showing up…it is what it is in Seattle…this is a city of active people with a lot on the go…no need to argue, the Pacific Northwest is just like this…

  12. morrison says:

    Yea, eject 2 teams or 4 & then add 2 fresh ones.

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