Las Vegas and Quebec City have moved to “Phase II” of the expansion process with the NHL, league deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed via email to Puck Daddy.
What does this all mean exactly? Bill Foley, the head of the Las Vegas bid, described in an online statement where he broke the Phase II news.
In this phase, we will be providing the League with additional information, including information about the Las Vegas market and the MGM AEG Arena being developed between Monte Carlo and New York New York. We will also be permitted access to information provided by the League that it deems important to us.
July 20 was the day teams had to submit for expansion. Las Vegas and Quebec City did. The Seattle area did not. The league put forth a strongly worded statement after bids were submitted saying it would move forward only with Las Vegas and Quebec City, which felt like a dig at Seattle to a degree.
According to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, all phases will end Sept. 4.
The NHL has moved somewhat slowly in regards to expansion, setting various criteria in front of groups – especially Las Vegas with its ticket drive – in order to ensure the viability of the markets.
Las Vegas has a new arena that is set to open in the spring of 2016 and a possible owner in Foley. Quebec City has a new arena that's open and a possible owner with Quebecor.
Expansion would be for the 2017-18 season.
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