The New York Post is reporting that billionaire William Foley is attempting to bring the NHL to Las Vegas. The article mentions that Foley aims to have a team in Vegas by the 2017-18 season.
As always, consider the source. The New York Post doesn’t have the cleanest of records, but this specific report is detailed enough that it warrants mentioning. Foley definitely has the resources to put something together (he’s the Chairman of the Board of Fidelity National Financial and is a player in the wine industry) and could be a legitimate name to connect to a future NHL team in Vegas.
The source speaking with the NYP also mentioned that current Arizona Coyotes majority owner Andrew Barroway is interested in “flipping” the team and might sell the club to Foley. Other sources, including co-owner and CEO Anthony LeBlanc refuted that report and reiterated that the Coyotes would remain where they are.
So, what should we make of all of this?
1. Hockey is eventually coming to Vegas. The question now isn’t will it, it’s when and who will be backing it. Eventually all of these rumors will produce a confirmed story. After all of this, it seems like Vegas is a likely future destination for an NHL team in an effort to balance out the Western Conference.
2. Again, rumors are suggesting the Coyotes will be on the move. These reports are much more difficult to buy into considering the ownership seems to have solidified. An expansion team in Vegas makes a lot more sense.
3. NHL may not be ready for expansion right now, but it will be soon. Gary Bettman has confirmed the league will look to expand when the time is right. Translated, that means that expansion is coming but it may take some time.