Gary Bettman and other NHL executives have shot down expansion rumors already this summer, but he provided the Canadian Press with an interesting wrinkle on Wednesday: even if expansion was happening, a $1.4 billion haul in fees for four teams wouldn’t do the trick.
“The part of the story I found particularly difficult was the suggestion we would sell four franchises for $1.4 billion is way too low,” Bettman said. “It undervalues our franchises.”
Bettman was elaborating on his previous denial of an August 26 report from the Sports Business News’ Howard Bloom that the NHL would add four teams (Quebec, Seattle, Las Vegas and an additional Toronto team) by 2017 with that aforementioned $1.4 billion in expansion fees.
Naturally, such a claim won’t stop people from speculation. One can just imagine responses along the lines of “how much would it take for such an estimate to be proper value in the NHL’s eyes?”
Either way, it sounds like expansion speculation will remain just that, at least for now.