We are usually much more concerned about how everything going on in the expansion process will effect our future team here in Vegas. But the eventual decision, and it’s timing, will have a radical effect on every one of the other 30 teams currently in the NHL.
This idea was first brought to us on the most recent SinBin.vegas Podcast by the great Brian Blessing (#Attribution). General managers across the league have to know if and when a new team is coming in to the league before the NHL Entry Draft so they can properly plan for changes in salary cap, the expansion draft, and any other roster implications going forward.
We could even take it a step further in saying teams deserve the right to know before the trade deadline coming up in a few days on the 29th of February.
Any trade, waiver addition, or draft pick must be made with an eye toward the future. Adding aging veterans to take a shot at the Cup this year may expose younger players in the expansion draft. Dumping salary might be unnecessary as the expansion team may be forced to take some of it on through the draft. Trading picks cannot reasonably be done without the understanding of where a new team may select in the Entry Draft.
It’s fair to say an expansion decision must be settled before any major roster changes occur on any team in the league.
There’s a pretty strong case to be made that heading into this trade deadline GM’s already know the ramifications of an expansion team being added in 2017-18, but the fact there’s been no announcement leads me to believe they may be heading into the deadline blind.
If this is the case, they’ll certainly put up a bit of a stink and make sure they have a better idea of the future of the league going into the Entry Draft.
For the sake of fairness across the league, every team deserves to know, cause if they don’t, someone is going to get a raw deal either via trade, in the draft, or even both.
Even the most optimistic of us can’t fathom an announcement coming in time for the trade deadline, but the Entry Draft is another story. I’d recommend marking down June 24th in your calendar, we certainly should hear something before then.