I long for the days when I can just second guess The Creator’s General Manager or when I can play Head Coach and suggest line changes. That would be easy. Instead, we have been forced to play a year long game of charades where Las Vegas has been left to guess the body language of the NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman, mostly because we know about as much after a Bettman press conference as we did before it started. Until Gary learns how to use his words we are left to speculate.
This brings me to latest rumblings that the Carolina Hurricanes are moving to Las Vegas in time for next season. The news is coming just days before the NHL’s Executive Committee are to meet at a not so “secret” meeting in New York. A meeting that Hurricane owner, Peter Karmanos, will attend. It’s not inconceivable that this could happen considering how many hurdles this wave of expansion presents over the last wave additions in 2000. Not inconceivable but about as likely the Arizona Coyotes making Southern Nevada home next season, another hot rumor that was just that.
Inevitably the Hurricanes move has to happen if things don’t change quickly, but why wouldn’t they move them to Quebec who financially needs a team who are closer to winning more than Las Vegas does. Our city is perfectly happy to go through the growing pains with our new team as long as we feel the goal of winning is the end game. Let’s be honest, we’d much rather create our own culture with our own team.
The Hurricanes will have to move and soon if they continue to fill only 61% of their building. Karmanos has already tried to sell off part of his team which no one wants anything to do with. That really tells you a lot about the state and perception of the organization. The Canes lost 1.3 million in the fiscal year ending last June. It’s easy to speculate that Karmanos would love the 17 million that an expansion team would bring to each NHL franchise, money the owners do not have to share with the players. With a debt to value ratio of only 53% it’s almost a necessity that Karmanos gets expansion money now and moves the team later.
I’ve seen nothing to change my mind that Las Vegas will get an expansion team and Quebec eventually gets the Hurricanes.