(Quebec) In conference in Toronto Monday morning, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said that if the league makes an expansion, only the cities of Las Vegas and Quebec will be considered, either together or separately, or not at all. No other city, including Seattle, will invite themselves late in the process.
Attending a conference presented by Prime Time Sports Entertainment, an organization founded by Brian Burke and Trevor Whiffen, Gary Bettman and his right arm, Bill Daly, clarified their thinking about the expansion process currently underway in the NHL.
The two masterminds of the circuit have particularly noted the long-term implications of an expansion, not just short-term gain with quantified entrance fees to US $ 500 million. According to them, the league must also consider the impacts of a revenue share to 31 or 32 teams instead of 30.
“The decision has an economic impact,” said Bettman, according to comments reported by Craig Custance, journalist for ESPN magazine.
The addition of a franchise that get success in the market is not the only criterion considered by the monks of the league.
“The good performance of the franchises do not necessarily make the rest of the strongest league,” suggested Bill Daly.
Gary Bettman also confirmed that there will be no vote on expansion at the meeting of Governors on 7 and 8 December in Pebble Beach, California. However, he said that no other application than those currently being under consideration can not enter into the process by the time it is completed. The slow pace of talks has nothing to do, he said, with a possible addition of Seattle.
“It will be Quebec, Las Vegas, both or neither,” reports Craig Custance yet.
The success of Winnipeg
According to Bill Daly, the relocation remains the last resort for NHL franchises in trouble. He was surprised indeed the success of Winnipeg, which hosted the Atlanta Thrashers in 2011.
“The success of Winnipeg exceeds our wildest expectations,” he admitted.
The NHL commissioner is not anyway near throw in the towel in the case of the Florida Panthers. “I have no doubt of the strength of this market.”