For the eighth straight year the NHL Awards Show will be held in Las Vegas.

The Hard Rock Hotel will host the league’s annual gathering of its best players on June 22 at The Joint. The NHL confirmed Monday the site and date. -Steve Carp, LVRJ

It’s long been discussed that the Awards Show will be the perfect spot for the league to finally announce expansion to Las Vegas. However, I’ve been pretty firm in my stance that the league will make an announcement prior to the awards and will use the show in Vegas as a big gala to celebrate the new franchise.

My theory is the league will have a press conference “later this week” to announce the Awards Show and will use the same presser to have The Creator on the stage and deliver the good news we’ve all been waiting for.

The reason they would want to do this is simple. The NHL Awards on their own are not a huge media draw across the league. Outlets from around the country (and Canada) send reporters, but it’s not the massive gathering the league would love for the announcement of an expansion team. If they announce the announcement the NHL Awards in Vegas will be a madhouse for sports media and the NHL will have the opportunity to properly spotlight it’s 31st franchise rather than sort of springing it upon us all like most suspect.

If my suspicions hold true, there will be an announcement later this week. If not, the league will simply release the details of the NHL Awards, and the waiting game will continue.

EDIT: has reached out to the league and they would not confirm any details on the Awards. We will have much more on this when we receive more information from the league.