Expansion for 2017-18 to be determined by NHL Draft

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NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks at a news conference before the NHL All-Star hockey game skills competition Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks at a news conference before the NHL All-Star hockey game skills competition Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

BOCA RATON, Fla. – NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the league will decide on expansion for the 2017-18 season by the NHL Draft in June.

Speaking with reporters after the general managers meetings at the Boca Raton Resort and Club, Bettman noted that if expansion doesn’t happen in 2017-18 the process with applicants in Quebec City and Las Vegas can continue.

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“If the question is, ‘are we waiting for someone else to file an application?’ the answer is no,” Bettman said. “We’re going to complete this process with whatever timetable it takes and this process is not going to include the addition of any other applications.”

Bettman said the NHL’s executive committee has continued to deliberate whether to recommend expansion into Las Vegas and Quebec City and indicated that there still isn’t a timetable for their final recommendation.

“There’s work we’re doing in terms of evaluating and gathering information and then periodically getting it together,” Bettman said. “Let the executive committee decide what they want to recommend and we’ll take it from there."

The NHL discussed expansion draft rules Wednesday where with two teams, each squad will lose two players and in a one team expansion, they can lose on player. First or second year pros will be exempt from the draft. The league noted that they wanted expansion teams to be competitive in general. 

"I think if we’re going to go down that route, we want a eam to be competitive or more competitive than they’ve been," Bettman said. "Will it be a team ready to win the Stanley Cup in the first year? I certainly dodubt that but you want a team to be a little longer than expansion teams have been." 

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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