NHL to expand to Las Vegas, fans bid farewell to Gordie Howe and much more in this morning’s collection of NHL headlines.
ASSOCIATED PRESS: A source claims the NHL has settled on Las Vegas for his next expansion franchise, provided organizers can come up with the $500 million expansion fee. The Vegas franchise is expected to begin play in 2017-18. “The Las Vegas bid says it has secured more than 14,000 season-ticket deposits for the new team, which will play in T-Mobile Arena…The Las Vegas area had nearly 2.2 million people in the 2010 census, making it the largest population center in the U.S. without a major pro sports franchise.”
Quebec City has a strong bid for expansion “but owners have expressed concerns about the strength of the Canadian dollar and a geographical imbalance if they add another team to the Eastern Conference, which currently has 16 teams to the West’s 14.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league is to officially announce their decision by June 22nd, which is also when the NHL Awards are being held in Las Vegas. I don’t think anyone’s surprised that Vegas will get a franchise while Quebec City will have to wait. I believe Quebec City will eventually get a franchise, either via expansion or relocation, but the NHL board of governors probably prefer to wait for the Canadian dollar to improve.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Thousands of hockey fans paid tribute yesterday to Gordie Howe as the late hockey star lay in state at the Joe Louis Arena. Wayne and Walter Gretzky were also in attendance, along with Scotty Bowman, Steve Yzerman and Detroit Tigers great Al Kaline. Family and friends will bid farewell to Mr. Hockey at his funeral today at Detroit’s Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
ESPN.COM: Gretzky believes the NHL should retire Howe’s number 9.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If you’re interested, there’s also a petition encouraging EA Sports to put Howe on the cover of NHL 17.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers defenseman Andrew Ference is still recovering from hip surgery and is ineligible for a contract buyout.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: Restricted free agent Kyle Palmieri doesn’t foresee any difficulties in contract negotiations with the New Jersey Devils.
NHL.COM: The Vancouver Canucks have hired Dan Cloutier as their new goaltending coach.
THE PROVINCE’s Ben Kuzma claims he’s been told to bet on Canucks assistant Glen Gulutzan being named the new head coach of the Calgary Flames.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning assistant coach Rick Bowness signed a contract extension.
NBC SPORTS: The Detroit Red Wings re-signed defenseman Brian Lashoff to a one-year, two-way contract.