Las Vegas – – For the 1st time since the process of NHL expansion in 1997 and the Minnesota Wild & Columbus Blue Jackets hitting the ice in 2000, Las Vegas Nevada is finally getting a pro sports franchise. Playing in the “Desert of Excess” 15 months from now, the NHL Board of Governors unanimously approved expansion for Bill Foley’s Black Knight Sports & Entertainment Group for the ’17/’18 season with a $500 million expansion fee.
Near 1:45PM Pacific Time, Commissioner Gary Bettman followed the news with the announcement of postponement of Quebec City’s expansion proposal. The three issues discussed about hockey returning to French Canada at this time was the recent fluctuation of the Canadian dollar, already 16 teams in the Eastern Conference, and concerns about the NHL Expansion Draft.
If you didn’t already know, the NHL Awards are also in Las Vegas today! And my picks are:
BILL MASTERTON MEMORIAL TROPHY– Mats Zuccarello (NYR)
FRANK J. SELKE TROPHY– Patrice Bergeron (BOS)
JACK ADAMS AWARD– Gerard Gallant (FLA)
JAMES NORRIS MEMORIAL TROPHY– Brent Burns (SJ)
LADY BYNG MEMORIAL TROPHY– Anze Kopitar (LAK)
TED LINDSAY AWARD– Jamie Benn (DAL)
NHL GM OF THE YEAR– Brian MacLellan (Washington)
MARK MESSIER NHL LEADERSHIP AWARD– John Tavares (NYI)
NHL FOUNDATION PLAYER AWARD– P.K. Subban (MTL)
VEZINA TROPHY– Ben Bishop (TBL)
CALDER MEMORIAL TROPHY– Artemi Panarin (CHI)
HART MEMORIAL TROPHY– Patrick Kane (CHI)
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