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NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman: expansion picture clearer on June 22

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In a statement prior to the start of the Stanley Cup Final, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman promises some clarity on expansion when the Board of Governors meets on June 22 in Las Vegas.

The Commish.
The Commish.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

While NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman didn't exactly promise an expansion decision on June 22, he strongly hinted at one prior to the start of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday.

The Board of Governors will meet, and I anticipate being able to provide a more definitive word on where the expansion process stands. That word will probably come in one of the following forms. Whether there will be no expansion - whether expansion will be deferred to a later time in the future,  whether there will be expansion and if so whether it will be a one team or two team expansion. I am not going to handicap what's going to happen. But again when the board meets in Las Vegas on June 22, I am fairly certain that we will know more than we do today. I also anticipate that the executive committee will be making a recommendation to the board in advance of that meeting.

So the four potential outcomes on June 22 are no expansion, deferred expansion, one-team expansion, or two-team expansion. Of those possibilities, the best for Seattle's NHL hopes would be one-team expansion.

The narrative of late seems to indicate that Las Vegas would get a team, while Quebec would be left out in the cold. In this scenario, the league would have an odd number of teams, which would be a scheduling headache. Another round of expansion bids down the road would be nearly guaranteed,  giving Seattle's potential investors some time to get something done on an arena.

Conversely, the worst possible outcome for Seattle's hopes would be granting two expansion franchises right now, which would likely leave relocation as our only hope for a franchise.

Deferred expansion, otherwise known as kicking the can down the road, would also be a good omen for Seattle, but would be a rotten thing to do to fans in Vegas and Quebec. They came through with expansion bids. They deserve an answer.

Since the meeting and announcement will take place in Las Vegas, a winning bid for that city seems likely.

UPDATE

Mr. Otto Rogers directs our attention to the following tweet...