What’s happening in Vegas isn’t staying in Vegas.
The NHL executive committee recently voted on recommendations regarding expansion. Sources close to the vote told the Associated Press that the committee backed an expansion franchise for Las Vegas but not one for Quebec City.
One source close to the committee characterized the Las Vegas franchise as a “done deal.”
The report buttresses another from SinBin.Vegas earlier this month essentially saying the same thing.
The full roster of 30 NHL ownership groups vote on expansion on June 22. The executive committee’s recommendation requires support of three-fourths of the owners. The NHL would likely add the unnamed Las Vegas franchise for the 2017-2018 season. The committee could table the Quebec City franchise, outright reject it, or decide to add them to the league to make an even 32 teams.
The NHL contained only six teams as late as the 1966-1967 season before doubling the number of teams the next season. That original six tripled in size by the 1974-1975 campaign before the rapid expansion imploded when the Cleveland Barons contracted, the last major North American sports team to do so, by merging with the Minnesota North Stars. After the World Hockey Association folded after the 1978-1979 season, the NHL added the Hartford Whalers, Winnipeg Jets, Quebec Nordiques, and Edmonton Oilers (with all of those WHA clubs eventually relocating after joining the NHL). Between 1979 and 2000, the NHL added nine more teams to make 30.
The league last expanded around the turn of the millennium. Then, the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets paid $80 million to join the exclusive hockey club. The league asks $500 million from the Las Vegas group.