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Hockey in Vegas? What are the Odds?

According to this story in the SportsBusiness Daily, they are pretty good.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly confirmed that the league has been in discussions with powerful film and television producer Jerry Bruckheimer about owning a franchise in Las Vegas, amid growing speculation that the NHL is on the verge of proposing expansion to Las Vegas and K.C. A group led by Bruckheimer, an avid hockey fan, is the front-runner for the Las Vegas expansion and has been in talks with NHL officials for months, sources said.


By Tarik El-Bashir  |  June 6, 2007; 1:55 PM ET
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Expansion? In a league that's struggling for TV ratings? in a league that seeing one of it's best teams of the last few years potentially relocating? in a league that gets minimal coverage nationwide during its championship series? in a league that has too many teams as it is?

Have they been snorting some of that powdered booze?

Posted by: :-/ | June 6, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse


Cue the Who's "Squeezebox"

Orange and blue colored filters on the TV cameras.

The coach will wear shades behind the bench and peel them off at every commercial break.

They'll even have those cool computers that can zoom in on anything to settle those pesky puck over the line decisions.

Posted by: slappy | June 6, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Rick Tocchet as Owner or Head Coach?

Posted by: :-/ | June 6, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

NHL's economic model is probably the most gate driven as far as revenue. No one likes the low TV number but hockey is a tough sport for an uninitiated to get into in the beginning. But once one 'gets it' it is the best sport on the planet, IMHO.

I'm not sure what the NHL can do as far as the TV ratings. If people don't get it they don't get it.

Posted by: usiel | June 6, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Can we first contract all teams south of DC that play in the East and then "expand" to the new cities in the west? Make the dividing line the Mississippi River to balance out the conferences.

Posted by: JS | June 6, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh and as far as expansion I wouldn't have a problem with it though I think the league would seriously need to make the nets slightly larger. I think much of the clutch and grab hockey that came about in the 90s was due to expansion teams using thoses systems.

I could KC working. Vegas though is another matter. Guess it would really depend on where they build an arena. One would thing there would be a lot of corporate support. Would help scheduling to get to 32 teams.

Posted by: usiel | June 6, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Expansion to Atlanta and Tampa and the Whalers' move to Carolina were awful enough.

If the NHL must expand, it should go to Portland (Oregon) or perhaps back to Kansas City, Hartford or Winnipeg. Either way, if hockey should expand to a US city, the NHL should select an appropriate metropolitan area where kids are more likely to pick up the game.

Posted by: Who's Running This League? | June 6, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

They have to consider Vegas since there's a dearth of teams in the West. But expansion? There's already plenty of teams that might need to move. Put Florida in KC, Phoenix in Vegas and let Basillie do what he wants with Nashville(who thought that was good idea in the first place?).

While he's at it, put the Caps back in the Atlantic (Patrick) and just get used to the unbalanced division sizes.

Posted by: tallbear | June 6, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Bruckheimer as owner? Are they going to call the team the Las Vegas CSIs?
Seriously, the NHL is insane to be thinking expansion. The on-ice product has suffered from the last round of expansion - and where are the revenues to support expansion?

Posted by: Eric | June 6, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Lets just destroy the league while we're at it.

We're already 4 teams too deep. Lets add 2 more.

Football and basketball (not really but for the sake of this argument) are the only sports that should have 30 or more teams. Baseball and hockey need to be around the 28-26 mark.

I hope the owners do not allow this. This is the STUPIDEST thing hockey could do. LETS EXPAND TO THE DESERT!!! stupid bettman.

Posted by: Go Skins Go | June 6, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

The NHL is very heavily gate/merchandise driven. Expansion will lower the amount of money going to individual teams from the national TV contract, but if they can sell tickets then it would add to the overall league revenue. I don't really see a problem if the league is confident that there are markets in KC and LV. Who knows? With all the coming and going in LV, maybe tourists can get sucked into the game and sow seeds around the country when they return home.

Posted by: FN | June 6, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I don't see a reason not to put a team in Vegas. I think it could probably work just fine. I don't think expansion is a reasonable possibility, though. You're asking for trouble if you're going to try to stretch talent even more. There are already more than a couple AHL level players getting good minutes in the NHL. Relocating is more reasonable, though taking a team away from it's fans seems terrible to me.

Posted by: false_cause | June 6, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I might be biased since I have to move to Vegas, but I would certainly patron a team in Vegas. Plus, it would make it much easier to see the Caps every once in a while. But, i agree with most people on here that there are already too many teams. Move some of these crappy Southeast teams (i.e., Florida) and west coast teams rather than expanding.

Posted by: Scott | June 6, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I can think of worse things, though Kansas City doesn't strike me as a great market even with the new arena and heaven knows what other incentives the city and state are willing to pony up. Vegas could certainly be a money franchise, even if they would be playing in downtown rather than the Strip.

Posted by: EricS | June 6, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

An afterthought league is going to expand.
Thats LAUGH OUT LOUD funny!

Contract some of these teams in regions that will support the sport. The level of play will IMPROVE and it will rid the league of all the beer league 4th lines that have jobs.

Posted by: caphcky | June 6, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Definitely in favor of relocation. But what gives us the right to say that other bad Southeast teams should be relocated. Last I checked, the Caps finished last in the SE and our match attendance is pretty miserable. I don't personally want to see us get relocated, but please explain to me how we're better than the other cities. This seems to be the state of the NHL almost everywhere (except the traditional powerhouse teams e.g. detroit, jersey, colorado, etc).

Posted by: ngu | June 6, 2007 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Ugh, Bettman is a %@#^!#& idiot.
Let Bruckheimer buy a team that wants to sell, like all the other billionaires. THey don't need to build a new team just for Bruckheimer AND add another just to even things out; this explains Betty's sudden willingness to add Quebec City to the Eastern Canadian team.
This league is in terrible trouble and the fan base needs to start recognizing it. The lowest ratings ever on NBC for a sporting event? Don't forget all the elevated attendence #'s and the screwy way Bettman calculates them either. The guy has the audacity to count empty seats as attendance! He's a high school seniors dream! Also, the financial report that the NHL had done a few years back ended with Greenspan(?) saying that investing in the NHL was a losing venture. The NHL is in serious trouble and its only getting worse. Bettman needs to go. If this sport expands anywhere it HAS TO BE where people ALREADY like it; especially since they only market to hockey fans anyway.
Money needs to be put on Betty's head.

Posted by: M | June 6, 2007 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Oh my god. They cannot seriously be talking about expansion now. How much longer do we have to put up with Bettman? Isn't it enough that he is booed wherever he goes - even every single year when it's him handing out the Stanley Cup???? This man has jumped the shark, and it's time to get him out of there.

Posted by: katzistan | June 7, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Actually, expansion to Vegas is a brilliant idea. First team into Vegas gets a truckload of money in a great market. The NHL would be stupid not to do so.

As for KC, why not. Nice new arena. I'd still like to see a team in Seattle/Portland/Houston/Milwaukee, but oh well.

And I don't want the Preds to move, believe it or not. There are hockey fans in Tennessee.

Posted by: Blackaces | June 7, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Expansion? Great move, Gary. Well played.

Posted by: Rage | June 7, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

No more expansion. Period.

Posted by: Brandon | June 7, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I can't get on board with Expansion. Expansion was partly to blame for the troubles that led to the lock-out. Relocation is a much better idea and I cannot think of a better place to have a team then in Las Vegas. I even have a great name: The Las Vegas Desert Slush

Posted by: wiemerdog4410 | June 7, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Vegas , whether expansion or an existing team moving there is one of the only really strong moves the NHL could make.

Millions of people a year coming and going. Most current NHL fans would check out a game when in town. An easy way to see your favorite team(teams) if you want to check them out.Espesially the way converense paly goes currently. I know for a fact that ther would be thousands of Canadians following there team down there , Gambling drinkin and a hockey game. Good weekend? Not to mention all of the opportunities that open up with joint Hotel/Entertainmaent/Hockey/Flight packages that could draw in new fans that may go home and check out there home town team if they like what they see. Mke it happen.

Posted by: LUKY13 | June 9, 2007 8:11 AM | Report abuse

I'm not keen on expansion, because of how watered down the on-ice product has become. However, I'm not sure relocation to KC or Las Vegas is a great answer either. KC had an NHL team and didn't support it, although that was 30 years ago and a lot can change. The thing that sticks in my mind is that both cities had minor league franchises that they could not sustain, as late as the 1990's. Why did these markets suddenly become havens for "the big time", when the fans didn't come out for cheaper tickets? If the NHL relocates franchises, try markets with a tradition of supporting hockey, like Houston or Milwaukee.

Posted by: NHL Observer | June 9, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

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