It seems like we’ve all come to the conclusion the league will expand and Las Vegas will be the recipient of a shiny new NHL franchise, the league’s 31st. But, that Gary Bettman is a tricky little (mean word of your choice) and as long as there has been an announcement there’s always the chance he and the league pull the plug on The Creator.
Our favorite Wyshynski, Greg Wyshynski, laid out a pretty nice backup plan if indeed the expansion rug is indeed pulled out from under Las Vegas.
It would even out the conferences at 15 and 15. It would give Vegas a team that’s closer to contention than an expansion draft would provide. And it would potentially take a team that’s losing money with ownership looking to get out to a city where revenues could be more consistent and new ownership. It does make a little sense. -Greg Wyshynski, Puck Daddy
In fact, it would actually get The Creator a team at a discounted rate, and if you aren’t buying the loose expansion draft rumors, Las Vegas could actually get a team closer to contending quicker via this route.
I’ll still argue that an expansion team has a much better chance at succeeding in the long term in the valley, but if the options are the Hurricanes or no one, I’m pretty sure we’re all on the same page with that answer.
We seem to have come far enough that expansion seems like almost an inevitability, but it’s always great to have a fail safe, and Peter Karmanos and the dumpster fire he created in Carolina might just be the perfect safety net.
We should note late last night Deputy Commish Bill Daly said there’s “no chance” the Hurricanes move to Quebec. But, that’s pretty much what he has to say, so we aren’t reading too deeply into it.