NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly is attending the PrimeTime Sports Management Conference today and answered questions on a variety of topics, but two that stood out were the NHL’s possible involvement in the 2018 Winter Olympics and potential expansion to Las Vegas.
Daly threw his support behind Washington Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom, who is facing an appeal from the WADA after the IOC and IIHF decided to award him a silver medal for his role with Team Sweden in the 2014 Olympics. Backstrom wasn’t allowed to play in the gold medal game after testing positive for pseudoephedrine, which was a result of his allergy medication.
Daly called the appeal a “travesty,” but it won’t impact the NHL’s potential involvement in future Olympic games, per the Canadian Press’ Stephen Whyno. There’s still no timetable for the NHL to decide if it will allow its players to go to South Korea in 2018, although a call “should be made quickly,” according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.
There are plans for the league to meet with Olympic organizers to see “where hockey fits in the pecking order.”
The potential for NHL expansion into Las Vegas has also been a hot topic lately after Daly met with a potential ownership group and reportedly selected William Foley and the Maloof family to serve as the owners of a Vegas expansion team.
Today Daly said that nothing has been “teed up” for the NHL Board of Governors to vote on. That doesn’t necessarily mean that something isn’t in the works though.
“The thing that jumps out at you about Las Vegas as a possibility is its uniqueness,” Daly said.