Viva Las Vegas (think expansion, not Elvis)

September, 17, 2008
09/17/08
10:16
AM ET
I didn't touch on this yesterday because NHL commissioner Gary Bettman barely touched on it himself. But eventually -- remember I said this -- the NHL will have a team in Las Vegas. It's going to happen. It's just a matter of when.

Bettman briefly touched on expansion during yesterday's board of governors meeting, only to reiterate to his owners that right now the league isn't ready to deal with expansion. But I'd be shocked if Las Vegas doesn't enter the picture within the next five years.

That's because Hollywood mogul Jerry Bruckheimer wants a team and he wants to put it in Vegas. He's a big hockey fan.

But for now, the league is officially sticking at 30 teams. For now.

"At the present time, we're not ready to engage in any sort of expansion process," Bettman said yesterday. "If that changes -- and it doesn't mean it will, but it could at some point -- then we'll open it up and see what the interest is."

Without any prompting, Bettman himself brought up Vegas.

"There were some articles indicating that there's no building deal yet in Vegas," Bettman said. "We've had expressions of interest from lots of places, both north and south of the 49th parallel, and at some point we may deal with them. But not right now."

The NHL will be Vegas one day. You can bet on it.

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