The NHL is coming to Las Vegas.
The league announced at the Board of Governors meeting in Las Vegas they’ve voted unanimously to accept the city’s $500 million entry fee to bring a team to Sin City. The Las Vegas NHL team will join the league for the 2017-18 season.
The news confirms reports from last week about the possible expansion of a Las Vegas team.
We think this is a tremendously exciting opportunity, not only for Las Vegas, but for the League as well,” commissioner Gary Bettman said at the announcement. “This will perhaps be the most covered expansion in our history.”
“In the fall of 2017, when we celebrate the 100th birthday of the NHL, we will do so as a League of 31 teams.”
The Las Vegas NHL team will be owned by businessman Bill Foley, and will play at the T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip.
The current playoff structure won’t change as a result of the new team, according to the NHL.
The league released a detailed look at what the 2017 NHL expansion draft will look like. Teams will be able to protect either seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goaltender, or eight skaters and one goaltender. You can find more details about the stipulations here.
The NHL also released information on how Las Vegas will enter the 2017 NHL Draft. The club will be given the same odds as the team with the third-fewest points in the league and will draft no lower than sixth. So, the team will have a good prospect entering their inaugural season.
Here’s how the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery will work with Vegas in the mix: pic.twitter.com/VgKFyv1RFz
— SB Nation NHL (@SBNationNHL) June 22, 2016
The good news for Vegas is bad news for Quebec, who were also vying for an expansion team. Bob McKenzie of TSN.ca reports that while Bettman was impressed with Quebec’s application, the plummeting Canadian dollar deterred their possible inclusion.
Bettman said no doubt about ownership or arena in Quebec. First rate application, he said. Decision to defer is based over CDN $
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 22, 2016
It’s great news for the league to add Las Vegas to their roster of teams. The big question remains, what’s their team name going to be? We’ll have to wait to find out.