The NHL is kicking the expansion can down the road.
“Given where we are in the process, it is clear that expansion will not be voted on in December,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly wrote Wednesday in an email to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Bill Foley, the prospective owner of the Las Vegas expansion team, had previously expected “something to happen” in December when the Board of Governors meets in Pebble Beach.
But there are a couple of good reasons for the vote to be delayed:
— Seattle gets more time to get its “arena act together.” The NHL has made it no secret that they’d like a team there.
— The Arizona Coyotes get time to figure out their arena situation. If they can’t find a local option, they’ll need to relocate.
The NHL may also want some certainty that the Florida Panthers can work out a deal with Broward County, ensuring their long-term future in the area.
And maybe the league would like a little more time to see where the Canadian dollar goes.
The new arenas in Las Vegas and Quebec City aren’t going anywhere, so the NHL has control over the process, for the most part.
In the meantime, Foley is staying patient.
“I understand they want to take their time,” he told the Review-Journal. “It’s an important decision. Hopefully we’ll know something at the All-Star Game.”
The All-Star Game is on Jan. 31.