It's a busy week in the NHL with ownership meetings taking place. Though no expansion decision will be reached this month, you can bet there are significant discussions going on behind the scenes.
Las Vegas sports insider Dana Lane, who penned a column today about where things stand in the process, comes on the air to discuss potential for expansion and relocation.
Also, our Tri-City Americans beat writer, Sam Hinchee, joins us to discuss the season thus far.
NHL EXPANSION AND RELOCATION NEWS
Check out the following tweet from ESPN hockey writer Craig Custance, who is reporting from the meetings this week.
League continues to stay in communication with interested Seattle groups, even though they won't be a part of this round of expansion.— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) December 8, 2015
TSN hockey reporter Frank Seravelli backs this up this in an article today.
"People continue to want to own a franchise in Seattle," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Tuesday. "But the issue there is there's got to be an arena. Unless there's an arena, there's no prospect of a franchise."
Some believe the NHL's expansion process has slowed considerably in the last six months to wait and see if an arena does indeed materialize in the Pacific Northwest.
Hansen has a memorandum of understanding in place for up to $200 million in bond funding from the City of Seattle and King County in the event he procures an NBA franchise. Such an agreement does not exist for an NHL team. However, Hansen's arena would be "shovel ready" to build immediately with private financing if January's vote passes, according to the Seattle Times.
"We're finishing this process," Daly said. "[Seattle] will never play a role in this process. If we get done with this process and there's a good prospect for an expansion franchise in Seattle or anywhere else, the board will consider it. But it's not going to be part of this process."
And, of course, KING5 reporter Chris Daniels chimes in.
On #Seattle #NHL - who said lines of communication were ever closed? We told you last week groups are still working: https://t.co/M5QfxoPMKe— Chris Daniels (@ChrisDaniels5) December 8, 2015
Status for Las Vegas and Quebec
The applications are being discussed and, even though no decision is forthcoming, plans are being formulated for a potential expansion draft.
GMs already thinking expansion draft strategy, like adding term for players to expose: https://t.co/HeVd4bia2V [In] pic.twitter.com/xhqINRwYq9— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) December 8, 2015
NHL shared potential expansion draft plans with the executive committee to get feedback.— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) December 8, 2015
An expansion draft would look different this time around with salaries now part of the equation.— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) December 8, 2015
You can cross the Florida Panthers off of Seattle's list. They are staying put after a Broward County bailout vote today.
#FlaPanthersVote is official ... It passes 5-3 ... Team staying in South Florida for foreseeable future.— George Richards (@GeorgeRichards) December 9, 2015
$86 million in tourist taxes, rewrites lease; still 13 years but they can break in 8 after repaying $72 mil https://t.co/gtcYmD69zi— George Richards (@GeorgeRichards) December 8, 2015