Just hours before the NHL Awards held in Las Vegas, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that Las Vegas would indeed be the recipient of an NHL team for the start of the 2017-2018 season. Bettman indicated that the Board of Governors unanimously approved the league’s expansion. Bill Foley was named the principal owner of the new franchise. Foley indicated that the team has not settled on a nickname but speculation is that the Black Knights will be the chosen name.
Bettman confirmed many details as well. Namely, all teams will lose one player in the NHL Expansion Draft. Las Vegas will be a member of the Pacific Division in the Western Conference and this will give the conference 15 teams while the Eastern Conference boasts 16 teams. Yahoo Sports linked the official press release from the NHL while James Mirtle linked the NHL’s official rules regarding expansion teams.
The other interesting tidbit of information was the board deferring a decision on Quebec City and their chances at acquiring an NHL franchise. Pierre Dion, Quebecor President and CEO, spoke as well regarding the opportunity for future expansion. Dion, during the press conference, indicated that the priority is to bring the Nordiques back to Quebec City, and that the passion remains for hockey.