Sports

The NHL Wants More Teams (Possibly in Las Vegas, Seattle, And/Or Quebec)

With the NHL leaning towards expansion, what does this mean for the Arizona experiment?

by Aaron Gordon
Jun 24 2015, 6:00pm

Screengrab via arenalasvegas.com

The NHL is planning to expand beyond its current 30 teams, according to a SportsNet report. The NHL isn't giving any specifics, such as how many expansion slots there are, what cities are leading contenders, or when the league is looking to add teams. But the NHL is reportedly seeking approximately $500 million expansion fees from new ownership groups.

As for what city might have a hockey team in the near future, Las Vegas is the obvious guess; AEG is already building an arena just off the strip and hopeful team owner Bill Foley has already taken over 10,000 season ticket deposits. Seattle and Quebec have been making arena/expansion noises for years, so they're logical contenders as well.

The elephant in the room is the Arizona Coyotes, who no longer have a valid lease agreement with the city of Glendale. That whole mess is in its very early stages, with lawsuits threatened and posturing, um, postured. The NHL will probably wait to see how the Coyotes situation materializes before making any solid decisions. Nevertheless, it's safe to wonder whether the NHL has finally had enough with hockey in one desert to try it in another one.

Or, if the NHL has had enough of the "playing on ice where there is no ice" thing, may I humbly suggest Hartford, Connecticut? Please? Please bring the Whalers back. I beg you.