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Sources Reconfirm NHL Expansion To Las Vegas, Update Timeline

Here at we previously confirmed the NHL is coming to Las Vegas with a mid-May announcement from the league to make it official. Sources close to the team have reconfirmed the franchise is coming, but the information they received indicating it would be announced in early to mid-May was premature.

According to our source, NHL owners were prepped by the league to be ready for a special Board of Governors meeting to finalize the expansion process. This info was relayed to the Las Vegas organization through an owner and not directly from the league, leading the Vegas team to expect an imminent Board of Governors meeting with an announcement following shortly there after.

When Bill Daly visited T-Mobile Arena last week for the Canelo/Khan boxing match he would not confirm any specific timeline only to consistently reiterate that he and the league are optimistic.

The Las Vegas organization is now back in wait and see mode and when we asked when they expected the announcement to come, we were told, “we honestly don’t know if it’ll come next week, at the NHL Awards Show (on June 22nd) or sometime in between.”

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Official Expansion Announcement Will Come From Bettman Not Foley

It’s been a point of contention among many close to the expansion process since the beginning; who exactly will make the announcement when the league officially awards Las Vegas the 31st franchise in the NHL?

All along here at we assumed it would be Gary Bettman and the league to surprise us one morning and make it official, but when we were apprised on the timeline of events that has to occur to seal the deal, it started to look like the announcement would fall into The Creator’s lap as approving the contract is the final step.

Well, we’ve now confirmed it will indeed be Gary Bettman and the NHL, probably with The Creator in attendance, that will make the announcement, and it will most likely occur in New York.

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Guest Post: TV Ratings Indicate Long Term Success For NHL In Las Vegas

One of our goals here at is to be the voice of the valley when it comes to the NHL. In trying to do so we often have the opportunity to interact with some incredible people (and excellent writers) who are equally as passionate about hockey in Las Vegas as we are. Therefore, we wanted to give you, our readers, the opportunity to let your voice be heard via guest posts to the site.

Our next guest post comes from the Vegas Hockey Podcast’s Mark Warner.

The question of whether or not the NHL is coming to Las Vegas has been answered. With the unforeseen total of season ticket commitments now past 14,500 when the pundits mockingly cited 5,000 or less as a max, the people of Las Vegas have spoken. With the recent opening of the first class, $400 million NHL ready T-Mobile Arena, the community has spoken. With a privately written $500 million check for entry into the club, The Creator has spoken loud and clear. (Looking at you Mark Davis…) As first reported by your very own the vote happens in early May and the team will be announced a couple of weeks after that. Let us now look to the future and answer some lingering questions for the doubters.

One of the most common themes among detractors is that in a few years Las Vegas will be host to a stadium full of empty seats, like Phoenix or Florida. These are often the same folks who said Mr. Foley wouldn’t sell any tickets. The reality is that the long term outlook for continued success after the honeymoon is quite good. There is, in fact, an avid hockey fan base of 110,000 to 130,000 people who live in Las Vegas. Small compared to major cities like New York, Toronto, and Los Angeles, but not bad. In reality, if people didn’t have such a skewed opinion of the city from their own experiences or how we are portrayed in the movies we would have had a team a long time ago. We are the largest metropolitan area in North America without a major sports team. The 2.3 million residents in the valley make Las Vegas the 30th largest media market in the country.

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Gary Bettman Holds Party Line, Says Expansion Not Guaranteed

Early last week we shared all the information we received from our source close to the team and confirmed an NHL franchise is indeed heading to Las Vegas. The league, in the form of Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, was quick to jump all over our report and say what they’ve been saying the entire time, “the process is ongoing, no time table has been set.”

Gary Bettman came out yesterday and did just the same.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told a group of sports editors Friday that there was nothing new on expansion, which he again repeated wasn’t a guarantee for 2017-18 or at all. -Associated Press

He went on to once again rule out Seattle saying even if a building broke ground tomorrow (which it isn’t) it wouldn’t matter.

Throughout the entire week we’ve continued contacting our sources and can confirm nothing has changed. Daly is correct in saying no meeting is currently scheduled, however a meeting will be scheduled, and it’ll be up to the league on whether or not to comment on that meeting when it happens in early May.

The practice facility will continue moving forward, ticket sales are still racking up pushing toward 14,500, and in a few weeks, Las Vegas will have its first major professional sports franchise.

Even if the league won’t give us a “guarantee.”

NHL Office Responds Via Email To Vegas Fan’s Question On Expansion

Recently one of our followers let us know he sent an email to Bill Daly, NHL Deputy Commissioner, inquiring on a date for expansion announcement. Here’s the email our favorite fan from Memphis sent the league.


My guess would have been that any email using the words “Las Vegas” and “Expansion” would be automatically forwarded to a folder marked “annoying fans,” but it appears that is not the case.

Just three days later a man named Frank Brown responded to the email. After some digging, we learned Frank’s job is “responding to Commissioner’s office requests.” God, that job must SUCK. Nonetheless, here’s the response.


We’ve heard Bettman say something similar before, but it’s definitely interesting to see it in print directly from the league that “some time in June” is the official deadline for hockey to start in Vegas in 2017-18.

Not sure we can really take much out of this email other than the fact that it’s cool to know someone in the league offices do read our emails and take the time to respond.

If anyone has else has received similar emails, shoot them over to, I’d love to see if/how the answers have changed over the past year or so.

Hurricanes Offer Vegas Interesting Fallback Plan

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.

NHL Figuring Out Expansion Trades, Plus More On NMC’s

It’s nice the rest of the media world has finally caught on to the idea that this thing really seems like it’s going to happen. With the “leaked” expansion draft rules coming out last week media members everywhere are trying to figure out how it will affect their teams.

Some are claiming it’ll kill good teams. Others think teams with players with “no-move-clauses” (NMC’s) will get hurt. And the rest are just like all of us geeking out about what’s to come.

There are still a lot of rules to be figured out, especially one that was brought up by our good friend Frank Seravalli (we’ve never met Frank but if we say he’s out friend maybe he’ll actually want to be our friend. This works sometimes. Ask Dana how he became friends with me and Jason.)

The NHL has not yet made a decision on whether teams will be allowed to trade players and/or picks to an expansion team in exchange for a guarantee to not select certain unprotected players. -Frank Seravalli

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