With just Las Vegas and Quebec left in the expansion process, there might be a real concern from the league that choosing only Vegas, or not expanding at all, could alienate the Canadian fans.
There’s a lot of support for Vegas, while Quebec faces the problem that the NHL really doesn’t need another eastern-based franchise right now. Accepting Vegas and rejecting Quebec, however, risks a Canadian backlash. So this is going to take a delicate touch from Gary Bettman.
If there’s anyone who knows about angering Canadian hockey fans, it’s Damien Cox of the Toronto Star (tell me that doesn’t look like the face of a man who has been yelled at by Canadians?)
We already showed how the league could go about bringing only Las Vegas into the league, but that still seems rather unlikely. We also had the brilliant quote from Gary Bettman about lopsided conferences that bodes well for Quebec.
However, this is a legitimate concern. The NHL needs Canada and Canadian fans. Leaving Quebec hurt back in 1995, and now passing over them when it looks so promising could reopen that wound.
The NHL has really dangled the carrot right in front of the faces of fans from Quebec and Vegas, but the question remains, are they arrogant enough about their image that they’d be willing to pass on one or both later this year. I doubt it, but I can guarantee you this, there will be at least one website out there that will be REALLY ticked if they do.
We know you’ve all been doing mock drafts for the past year preparing for the big day on June 21st when we finally learn the identity of the 30 players selected by the Vegas Golden Knights. It’s now time to put those mock to action and enter the SinBin.vegas Expansion Draft Contest where you can win a Hockey Fat Bike, VGK gear, and possibly even a pair of tickets to opening night at T-Mobile Arena.
Here’s how it works. All you have to do is hop on over to CapFriendly.com’s Expansion Tool and draft your team. Protect players, pick Vegas’ 30 selections, and then publish it using the name “SinBin2017 YOUR NAME” (For a complete guide on how to enter, click here.)
Grand Prize – A Vegas Golden Knights^ Hockey Fat Bike by Schwinn ($655 value)
2nd Prize – A Golden Knights prize pack from SportsTown in Downtown Summerlin ($150 value)
PLUS if you happen to get at least 25 of the 30 selections right, and score the highest total in the contest you win the Hockey Fat Bike AND…
Super Grand Prize – A pair of tickets to the Vegas Golden Knights regular season home opener at T-Mobile Arena (Date and opponent TBA)
Here’s how the scoring works. You get one point for every correctly predicted player you select compared to the actual selections made by George McPhee and the Golden Knights. If there’s a tie, we’ll use protected players as a tiebreaker (see official rules for details).
Once again, here’s the link to draft your team. Just remember, when you publish your entry use the name “SinBin2017 YOUR NAME” and you are automatically entered.
Enter now and win a Schwinn Hockey Fat Bike!!!
^The Vegas Golden Knights design Hockey Fat Bike is still in the approval phase with the NHL. Assuming it gets approved, the winner will receive the VGK design bike. If for whatever reason the design is not approved, the winner will be able to select any of the bikes from the Hockey Fat Bike lineup.