The NHL has never been good at keeping secrets, but boy howdy, are they good at dragging their feet admitting to stuff. After months of hemming and hawing about the expansion process and when (not if) Las Vegas would be awarded their expansion team, the league’s finally approved it - according to this Associated Press report:
A person with direct knowledge of the NHL's decision says the league has settled on Las Vegas as its choice for expansion, provided organizers can come up with a $500 million fee.
The person spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity because details have not been released by the league ahead of its Board of Governors meeting on June 22 in Las Vegas. Quebec City was also considered for expansion.
A second person who had been briefed on the decision said Las Vegas was a "done deal" following the recommendation of the NHL's executive committee.
The 2017-18 season would be the earliest the league would expand.
The Western Conference is finally going to be one step closer to having the same number of teams as the Eastern Conference, for all of you out there who are made nervous by uneven things. The NHL hasn’t expanded since the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets joined the league in 2000.
Quebec City, presumably, is first on the relocation list, so watch out, Carolina Hurricanes. Don Waddell has a track record with these sorts of things.
What does this mean for the Blues? A new opponent, obviously, but also considerations who to protect in an expansion draft.