There seems to be little doubt now which two cities will be front runners in the NHL expansion with the only two cities submitting a expansion bid being Las Vegas and Quebec City.last night was the deadline as to when bids could be received they only received those two bids.
I have to guess that the NHL was hoping to get more bids especially with Seattle and Kansas City at one point being in the running but with the outlandish price just to submit an application I bet probably scared off potential cities from making a run at the expansion slots that the NHL opened.
The best news out of all of this is that the NHL only has to focus on two cities and not shift through multiple bids which would take time and a great amount of resources. So if there is any good news out of this, that is it.
Now the bad news. lets for a second consider what that does to the conferences because based on geographical locations of the bidding teams. As it stands one would be a fit for the Western Conference and one would be a fit for the Eastern Conference. And this would be a bad thing because the Eastern Conference already has more teams than the Western Conference. and ideally expansion would have required or addressed this issue to be taken care of.
Now as it stands, I think the NHL will be forced to shift either Detroit or Columbus back into the Western Conference, and I think that is pretty embarrassing for the league because both teams are in the Eastern time zone and should have no business playing in the Western Conference again.
Now I don’t want to seem close minded, because I am not, but the only other way that the NHL can fix this problem with the Conference’s is by going to different conference names like they had back when I was a little kid, and that might require splitting up some divisions to spread the teams around in an organized manner. And that would be a bold, but drastic and very interesting turn for the league, and as a hockey fan, it is something that I would be interested in seeing.
By no means is this a done deal, according to the end of the statement released by the National Hockey League there is two more stages of documentation to go through for the bidding cities. Here is what is mentioned at the end of the article:
“We now intend to focus exclusively on the two expansion applications that have been submitted in accordance with the previously announced process. The process we have outlined for qualified applicants includes at least two more stages of documentation submission. We will provide no further updates until there is something substantive to announce.”
So there is seemingly still some work to do for the cities involved, but at this point it would be a shock to me if something falls through, the NHL wants Las Vegas it seems, and Quebec City will get things done, they’ve been wanting this for a long time so there is little chance in my mind that the prospective owners to screw it up at this point.
So I’ll leave with this, the NHL is going to expand, and it is going to be a nice change. However there are still logistics that the NHL has probably not considered at this point, and that is going to be more interesting for me, than the new cities coming into the league.