NHL Denies Expansion Rumors

“How do rumors get started?” One-hit-wonder band Timex Social Club asked that in 1986, and NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly is probably wondering the same thing. Reports surfaced yesterday that the NHL was looking at a four-team expansion in 2017, but unfortunately, they’re just rumors. The NHL has no plans to expand, the L.A. Times is reporting.

The first rumblings of NHL expansion rumors came Tuesday evening, when Vancouver Province writer Tony Gallagher cited “unnamed sources” who said that an expansion to Las Vegas was a “done deal.” The Vegas rumor even had some facts to back it up: crews have recently broken ground on a new arena near the Las Vegas Strip, according to AEG World.

Those rumors were followed by a tweet from Sporting Business News writer Howard Bloom, who added Quebec City, Toronto and Seattle to the expansion rumors.

Unfortunately, the NHL put all of that talk on ice Wednesday afternoon. In an e-mail to the L.A. Times, Daly said:

“Nothing has changed since the last time we publicly commented on the prospects for expansion at the Stanley Cup Final and at NHL Awards. There is nothing new to report.”

Besides killing the expansion talk, Daly also shot down rumors of moving teams, such as the struggling Florida Panthers.

“We have no move in sight, whether in the case of the Panthers, or any other team besides.”

Expansion would seem to make sense in the current NHL climate, according to L.A. Times writer Helene Elliott. Las Vegas and Seattle would give a little western balance to the league, at least geographically. Further, the move would have generate a rumored $1.4 billion in expansion fees – money that wouldn’t have to be shared with the players. It’s a win-win (for everyone but the players, that is).

The last time the NHL expanded was the 2000-2001 season, when the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild joined the league, according to WDSU (New Orleans).

Are you disappointed that the NHL won’t be expanding any time soon? Let us know below.

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