Obviously local media and sites such as ours have been excited for hockey in Las Vegas for a long time. But the outpouring of support from national media outlets across North America has never been lacking either. From TSN to NBC to my personal favorite, Puck Daddy, pundits from all over our fine continent have been penning their support for expansion to Las Vegas. Here’s a collection of quotes from some of hockey’s respected insiders on Las Vegas expansion.
Our favorite Wyshynski, Greg Wyshynski this week,
The expansion draft for the Las Vegas team – it’s coming, people – is expected to take place sometime between the end of the 2016-17 season and the 2017 NHL Draft. That’s been known for months. -Greg Wyshynski
The NY Post’s Larry Brooks and his Slap Shots column might not like it but he believes.
Slap Shots has learned that rules for the 2017 expansion draft that will precede Las Vegas’ anticipated 2017-18 admission to the league as its 31st franchise (“Done deal,” we’re told). -Larry Brooks
Climbing up SinBin.vegas’ Pierre Power Rankings, TSN’s Pierre Lebrun chimed in.
The betting money, no pun intended, all along has been expansion only to Las Vegas and for the 2017-18 season. It is also what I’ve heard from other hockey executives around the league during the past few weeks, although none of them were being kept in the tightly controlled loop by the commissioner… I figure it will leak out at some point after the league sends out that recommendation as part of the official agenda ahead of the June 22 board of governors meeting. Between now and then, I suspect word will get out. And when it does, I would be pretty surprised if the decision wasn’t expansion to Vegas. -Pierre LeBrun
Even ESPN’s hockey guys believed early on.
I believe there will be a move to expand from the current 30 to 31 teams, with Las Vegas getting the nod and starting play in 2017. I think the time is ripe for the league to make this move. Las Vegas represents an interesting marketplace, even though there remains skepticism from some owners and executives that it can support an NHL franchise and make it successful so it won’t drain revenue sharing. Instead, this has been a slow process as owners and executives turned over every stone before getting to the point where this year’s awards ceremony and meeting of governors in Sin City will serve as an official welcome to the club for Las Vegas hockey fans. -Scott Burnside
RDS.ca reporter with impossibly French name Francois Gagnon,
(Translated) The National Hockey League will expand its staff to 31 teams from the 2017-2018 season… According to reliable information, the Association of NHL (NHLPA) looked in recent weeks on all the terms surrounding the expansion process. Depending on the parameters submitted to the players union to obtain its approval, the expansion process involves only one club and it is to Las Vegas as the League turned. “In all the discussions we have had and all the documentation provided, there was never any question of Quebec. The name Las Vegas is mentioned, however, even indicating that the new team will enter the league from the beginning of the 2017-2018 season and the club will evolve in the Pacific Division, “said a source close to RDS.CA folder. -Francois Gagnon
Sportsnet’s hockey insider Elliotte Friedman,
My personal guess is the NHL will expand to Las Vegas, but for 2018-19. However, a couple of GMs disagreed. “Bettman has made it clear any expansion team is going to be competitive,” one said. -Elliotte Friedman
Sportsnet’s other hockey insider, Nick Kypreos,
Huge appetite for Vegas. Everything points in the direction that they could be in the league… With the amount of talent they’d be exposed to, a Vegas team could look good on paper very quickly. –Nick Kypreos
Cool as the Rule, ESPN’s Barry Melrose on a Las Vegas team succeeding.
You know what? A lot of smart people think they can. The NHL wants to be the first team in [the market]. Gary Bettman hasn’t been wrong in too many things he’s done. The NHL thinks they can – obviously it will take the right ownership – so, I wouldn’t bet against them. –Barry Melrose
For the fun of it, here’s some quotes by some of the NHL’s best on Las Vegas expansion from last year’s NHL’s Award Ceremony.
I don’t see why not… I think everyone would be happy to bring a team here. The visiting teams when they come here obviously would enjoy it, and the players living here would have a lot of fun. I think it’s good for the league. It would be cool. Hopefully we can get a rivalry going. –Drew Doughty
I’m all for anywhere they can make money at this point… There’s teams that are struggling a lot, and if [Vegas] has the support that goes behind it, then I’m all for it. … I’m sure you’d have some issues at some point, like in any city, but you’re a professional. –Ryan Getzlaf
I like the weather here… It’s always fun to come here. I’m not a big gambler, but there’s a lot more to Las Vegas than just the casinos and the Strip. People have to come here and really get to know what Las Vegas is all about, other than the party scene. It’s a great place. –P.K. Subban
Can’t wait to make it official on June 22nd.