NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said on Monday that the league no timetable to decide on pending expansion applications from Las Vegas and Quebec City. Bettman said that no decision has been made on whether to add one, two or no teams to the league.
Bettman spoke after the league’s executive committee reviewed presentations from the two cities and then presented that information to the Board of Governors at the annual December meeting.
“The board will meet to vote when we decide there’s something to be put to a vote,” Bettman said. “That will really be after the executive committee begins and finishes deliberations and are prepared to make a recommendation.”
Bettman stated that the lack of action is no indication that the process has slowed since Bill Foley’s Black Knight Sports & Entertainment and Montreal-based communications giant Quebecor were chosen earlier in the year from 16 expansion applicants. Bettman also said the league has all the information it needs.
“When I say there’s no timeline, I know the steps we have to go through to get there,” he said. “Could they be done in time for ’17-18 start? Yes. Will they be? Maybe. Maybe not.”
“We will go through this process and complete this process one way or another, and that’s where we’ll be,” he said. “If we decide at another point in time to reopen expansion — I’m not saying we would — that’s a subsequent decision. This process is this process with these two applicants, period.”
It looks like Las Vegas and Quebec City, along with NHL fans, will be in a holding pattern until the league makes a final decision on expansion.