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NHL Hockey: Viva Las Vegas

Mitchell Leff

Good afternoon Wilderness! Today I am going to talk briefly about the NHL expanding to Las Vegas. Yep, you heard that correctly.  Yesterday, Tony Gallagher of the Providence reported that the NHL is expanding in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sin City here we come.

According to Gallagher, it’s a done deal. Expansion by the NHL to Las Vegas is going to happen.  

Sources close to the situation have indicated Las Vegas is a done deal, the only thing to be determined being which owner will be entitled to proclaim that he brought the first major league sports franchise to Sin City.

And given how dead set against a team in the gambling haven the commissioner was 10 years ago, this move into another player friendly state-tax-free zone represents a considerable about-face indeed.

But people have been betting on hockey games for years and to pretend games couldn’t be fixed

just as easily anywhere as in Vegas is pretty ridiculous, so that posturing has fallen by the wayside.

A new team close to the newly renamed Arizona squad and California’s big three is all but assured, the only question being when and with which other city. Or should that be plural? Of course,

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly has denied the report and made these comments.

"[Expansion to Las Vegas is] not in our plans, there is absolutely nothing new in that," he has admitted to TVASports.ca.

And if it were an organization struggling with financial difficulties, as the Florida Panthers, who moved rather in the "Sin City"?

"We have no move in sight, whether in the case of the Panthers, or any other team besides," replied Daly.

While Daly can say that the NHL isn't going to add a NHL franchise in Las Vegas. It does look like expansion to Las Vegas is very much a possibility, and already in the works. Actually, there’s already a new NHL sized arena being built in Las Vegas.

MGM and AEG, owner of the Los Angeles Kings, are teaming up on the project that broke ground in Las Vegas in May. The new arena is due to open in 2016 and will have 20,000 seats, but a projected capacity of 17,500 for hockey. The company building the arena, ICON, is also building the Edmonton Oilers' new arena. Kings great Luc Robitaille was on hand at the ground-breaking

I think that Las Vegas is a great choice for an NHL city. Can you imagine the possibilities? Vegas is a hopping city and adding an NHL franchise would give the city another activity for vacationers to take in.

For me, it would be another vacation possibility. How about the Wild versus the Las Vegas _____?  I would be convenient for many of us,  I can jump on an Allegiant flight from Grand Forks to Vegas and be there in three hours. Thought and comments?