One city asks NHL to “initiate an expansion process” to get its team, puts pressure on Coyotes!

One city asks NHL to “initiate an expansion process” to get its team, puts pressure on Coyotes!

Team #33 on the dock?



Who cares if NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has been saying that there are no current plans for expansion! Smith Entertainment Group — owners of the Utah Jazz in the NBA - has asked the NHL to “initiate an expansion process” to bring a team to the state.

The release went out on Wednesday morning via parent company Smith Entertainment Group.

The last two expansions that have taken place in place in the NHL have shown great success with the Vegas Golden Knights and Seattle Kraken, which has generated more interest from potential owners.

Jazz owner Ryan Smith has previous mentioned how he’s keen on bringing a franchise to the area and now enters in direct competition with Atlanta, who has been focused on getting the Thrashers back.

Last month, insider Kevin Weekes reported that “the South Forsyth Project in suburban Atlanta including an Arena, is all ahead full speed with the design moving quickly and interviews for builders taking place.”

This is a bold move from Atlanta, who could make a return on the NHL map. The NHL first ventured to Atlanta in 1972 and stay until 1980 before the Flames relocated to Calgary. Then, the Thrashers entered the league in 1999 but became the Winnipeg Jets in 2011.

According to Elliotte Friedman, this is putting some pression on the Arizona Coyotes, who need to figure out the team's future location shortly...

“To me, that’s a message to the Arizona Coyotes. The NHL has basically said they need to know about Arizona by the All-Star break, well, we’re a week and a half from the All-Star break," said Friedman.

This is another blow to Quebec City, who’s been fighting to get the Nordiques back in town for several years despite Bettman’s lack of enthusiasm for another hockey club in Canada.

As Pierre LeBrun points out however, the NHL would need to go through a process with the Board of Governors, which is not something that's happened yet when it comes to Utah's motion.

This will be quite interesting to following especially now with Utah and Ryan Smith getting in motion to land the 33rd team in the NHL.

However, fans and reporters are upset with the NHL's timing of this news, in the wake of the latest update on the 2018 World Junior investigation. The Globe and Mail reported this morning that five players were told to surrender to London police. 

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