NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly meets with potential ownership group in Las Vegas

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The NHL is no longer coy about future expansion/relocation moves.

And based on deputy commissioner Bill Daly’s recent travel schedule, they’re at least considering rolling the dice.

Gary Bettman’s right-hand man was in Las Vegas this past weekend for “other business” and met with a potential Sin City ownership group, according to a report in Tuesday’s Star Tribune.

According to the report, Daly also toured the site of a $350 million, 20,000-seat arena that is being built by MGM Resorts that is expected to open in 2016.

“The demographics of the market are pretty good in terms of average annual income,” Daly told the Star Tribune. “Las Vegas natives earn good salaries, good livings. I think they genuinely like sports.


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“It’s a night time city, so it would have to be uniquely scheduled in terms of focusing maybe on industry nights as opposed to your typical Thursday-Saturday nights where everybody would be working.”

Daly added that any potential team in Vegas wouldn’t thrive if it depended on tourists.

“What’s difficult on making a call on Vegas is it’s such a unique market. It’s really hard to know,” Daly told the paper.

Cities such as Quebec City, Kansas City, Seattle, Hamilton and a second team in the Greater Toronto Area have long been considered options for expansion/relocation.

A recent report from Sports Business News suggested the NHL was looking to expand by four teams – Seattle, Las Vegas, GTA and Quebec City — by 2017.

Daly later shot down that report to TVA Sports.

“Not in our plans,” Daly said earlier this year. “Nothing new to report on expansion.”

But with the embattled Florida Panthers seemingly itching to get out of South Florida, there are undoubtedly conversations being had.

Quebec City is also scheduled to open its new NHL-ready arena next year.

The NHL is currently split into two uneven conferences – the Western Conference with 14 teams and the Eastern with 16.

Because of that, Daly told the Star Tribune any future expansion would likely take place in the West.