The wheels inside the head of one of the best reporters in hockey, Gary Lawless, were spinning after the first week of May came and went without any significant expansion news.
Lawless, who brought us this huge news last week suggested relocation, a year long expansion delay, and a timeline that has the official announcement coming before the Stanley Cup Finals. Here’s the recap of what he wrote…
One other rumour making the rounds on Friday has expansion being announced this spring but pushed back by a year until the 2018-19 season.
There’s the possibility the league will wait until the beginning of June. Bettman may want to squeeze the announcement into the days between the conference finals and the Stanley Cup to not take any attention away from the games on the ice.
One National Hockey League Players’ Association insider suggested this week that Carolina relocating to Las Vegas is a storyline to watch. –Gary Lawless, TSN
Next, the Carolina stuff. No matter who you talk to, or what is written in the media, relocation rumors are nearly impossible to decipher. Could it happen? Maybe. Is it likely? No.
Expansion still seems like the best option for everyone involved, but my mind keeps wandering back to something The Creator told me directly, when he said, “I’d love to get my hands on the Coyotes.” He went on to explain how much quicker and easier it would be than assembling a completely new franchise. But, he reiterated multiple times that neither Carolina nor Arizona had spoken to him about relocation. It may be a “storyline to watch,” and we will, but it’s a mega-longshot.
Finally to the most positive of the rumors and the one that makes the most sense based on our working knowledge. The Stanley Cup Finals are set to start on June 1st, which does indeed leave a few days from the end of the Conference Finals. There’s no doubt that would make a lot of sense, and assuming the Board of Governors meeting occurs in the next week or two, it all adds up perfectly.
At this point though, we’ll still stand by our report that expansion is a done deal and the announcement will come in May. So just hang in there a little bit longer, our time in purgatory is coming to an end soon.