Author: Jason Brough

2015 NHL All-Star Weeknd - Commissioners Press Conference

NHL to ‘focus exclusively’ on expansion bids for Las Vegas and Quebec City


The NHL confirmed today that only two applications for an expansion team were submitted — one for Las Vegas, the other for Quebec City.

“As previously announced, NHL expansion applications were made available to all potentially interested applicants on July 6,” the league wrote in a statement. “Since that date, we have received requests from, and responded by sending applications to, 16 separate groups/individuals.

“The deadline for filing an application and proceeding in the NHL expansion process was last night. We can confirm that we have received two applications: one from Bill Foley for a franchise in Las Vegas, Nevada, and one from Quebecor for a franchise in Quebec City, Quebec.

“Our purpose, in initiating the expansion process in the manner we did, was not only to explore the possibility of admitting new members to the NHL but also, at the outset, to set realistic guideposts to distinguish between bona fide expressions of interest (i.e., those which have at least substantial ownership capabilities and an arena or the realistic possibility of an arena) from those indications of potential interest which were, at best, merely hopes or aspirations. Apparently, only Mr. Foley and Quebecor have the confidence in their ability to secure an arena and suitable ownership capability to move forward with this process.

“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.”

While many expected a group, or groups, from Seattle to submit an application, no bids were forthcoming, as the absence of a suitable arena in the Pacific Northwest city remains a major stumbling block.

Related: So, what happened to that Toronto expansion bid?

Stars hoping Sharp can show them ‘the right way’ to play


The Dallas Stars are counting on Patrick Sharp’s Stanley Cup-winning experience to help put them over the top.

“Going back two seasons ago, we sat down and we’re trying to figure out our organizational depth chart,” GM Jim Nill said Monday, per the Dallas Morning News“We knew we had a young core coming along, but the one missing piece we knew was going to be, how do you find these experienced guys that have won Cups, who do things right?” 

In Sharp’s case, they found him in a trade with the cap-crunched Blackhawks.

“I’m all about resumes and the resume that he has, that’s what we need,” Nill said. “We’ve got some great young players here that are going to learn from him. I think the young players are going to energize him also.”

Sharp didn’t disagree with that last point. The 33-year-old winger said that “coming to a team like Dallas, with so many young players and so much enthusiasm, it kind of reignites the passion to play hockey.”

The Stars also added Cup-winning experience in free agency, signing both defenseman Johnny Oduya and goalie Antti Niemi.

Sharp won three Cups in Chicago, Oduya two, and Niemi one.

“The Chicago Blackhawks have not won three Cups in the last six years because they have played the way they wanted to play,” Nill said. “They all bought into playing the right way and that’s how we’re going to play.”

Ah, arbitration: Holtby reportedly asking for $8 million, Caps countering at $5.1 million

Braden Holtby

Braden Holtby is proposing an $8 million salary.

The Washington Capitals are suggesting $5.1 million.

That’s according to CBC Sports reporter Tim Wharnsby, as the the two sides are scheduled to go to arbitration on Thursday.

Now, obviously, Holtby doesn’t really expect to get $8 million, just the same as the Caps don’t expect to get the 25-year-old goalie for a bargain $5.1 million. That’s just how arbitration works. Each side makes the strongest case it can.

The NHL’s highest cap hit for a goalie belongs to Henrik Lundqvist, at $8.5 million. And hey, the Holtby camp could argue* that Holtby actually has the same career save percentage as Lundqvist (.921).

Of course, the Caps could point to Cory Schneider having a .925 career save percentage, and his cap hit is only $6 million.

According to the Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt, in regular negotiations, the Caps were offering around $5.5 million while Holtby was asking for $6.5 million.

*As noted in the comments, only comparables that cover RFA years can be used in arbitration. But the point stands: Holtby has very good career numbers. If not Lundqvist, he could argue he deserves what Sergei Bobrovsky, 26, will make in Columbus next season.