Originally posted in The Hockey News by Ken CampbellIn fact, one of my sources who has knowledge of the inner workings of the NHL board of governors said the board secretly and very quietly at its last meeting approved Foley and Maloof as owners of a Las Vegas expansion franchise that will begin play in 2017-18.
MALOOFERY IN THE NHL is too weird to take seriously, but ... this is the NHL, after all.
One of the things the NHL likes to do is to be the first major league professional franchise to expand to a city when it can. This has been seen in the past with the Carolina Hurricanes (Raleigh) and the Columbus Blue Jackets. On that note, expanding into Las Vegas makes sense given the size of the city, the lack of competing professional franchises, and the tourist aspect as well.
The NHL would be hoping that it will be more akin to the successful California teams than the less than successful Arizona Coyotes. If Las Vegas and Seattle can both come into the league at the same time, then that would fix the current conference imbalance as well without needing to shift any more teams around from East to West. Seattle would need a new arena first...
This is the first regular season game in a long time that's a real event. My pals and I are actually getting together specifically to watch this game on Saturday, which NEVER happens unless it's playoffs. Frankly, the old-timers game might be more fun.