From the beginning, The Creator and his team have said that their intentions on bringing a team to Vegas are through the expansion route. Rather than purchase a team and relocate them to the valley, they want that “new car smell.”
While an expansion team would absolutely suit this city well, there’s absolutely no reason not to be the home to relocated team if it’s the only path available.
When the expansion process began there were groups from Las Vegas, Kansas City, Sacramento, Seattle, and Quebec City all vying for a team. But when all was said and done, only Vegas and Quebec came through.
The initial thought was that the NHL would like to add two teams bringing the league from 30 to 32 franchises.
But with the possible issues with the Quebec (market size, strength of the Canadian dollar, effect on the Canadiens, etc.), Vegas is put in a peculiar place as the only true strong (and that’s not to say we aren’t without concerns either) option. The NHL simply cannot add a single franchise. So relocation may be the only option.
“When it comes to the NHL, it’s simple: Las Vegas needs that new car smell.
Leave all the troubled franchises and nutjobs tasering city officials exactly where they are,” says Ed Graney of the LVRJ.
I have an issue with one word. “Las Vegas NEEDS that new car smell,” should really be, “Las Vegas WOULD PREFER, that new car smell.”
If a team were to relocate to Vegas, who’s to say The Creator could not change the logo, brand the team with new colors, blow up the front office, take a hacksaw to the roster, and anything else he wants to do? If treated like an expansion team, within a few years, everyone would completely forget where they came from in the first place.
It’s absolutely true that the best case scenario would be for Las Vegas to be awarded one of two brand new franchises and start from scratch, but there’s no reason to think that a relocated team would be received any differently here than a new one.
There’s going to be challenges one way or the other. They are different in each case. But the goal stated by The Creator was “to bring NHL hockey to Las Vegas,” not “to be awarded an expansion franchise.”
New car or used car smell, they both wear out with time. In the end you wind up with the same thing, a vehicle. Give us our vehicle, and let The Creator drive.