NHL says 'no final decisions' reached on expansion

UNIONDALE, NY - DECEMBER 11: Members of 'Nordiques Nation' get fired up prior to the NHL game between the New York Islanders and the Atlanta Thrashers on December 11, 2010 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. 1,100 fans from Quebec attended the game to show their support for an NHL team. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

On Monday, the NHL reiterated that no decision has been made on NHL expansion after a Montreal-area radio station reported otherwise.

“We will not comment on the substance of our process, which remains ongoing,” said NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly in a press release. “No final decisions have been reached and no recommendation of any kind has been made or communicated by the League Office or the Executive Committee either to the NHL Players’ Association or to the NHL Board of Governors.”

On 91.9 Sport, a Montreal-based radio station, former NHL enforcer Georges Laraque said the NHL Players’ Association had been told the league will exclude Quebec City from expansion moving forward.

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This led to Daly's response with the above statement sent out by the league.

The NHLPA also said they hadn't been given any indication about the status of Quebec City's expansion bid.

"The league has not communicated to the NHLPA regarding whether or not they plan to expand to Quebec City," an NHLPA spokesman told Puck Daddy via email. 

The NHL has slowed their pace on expansion since September, saying earliest possible season for new teams would come in 2017-18. The league started accepting bids last summer. Quebec City and Las vegas were the only two locations that sent in bids to the league for this process.

At the NHL All-Star Game in late January, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman called the process, “orderly” adding, "This is a very important decision. A lot of things have to be considered."

This echoes Bettman’s comments at the December Board of Governors meeting at Pebble Beach, when he noted the league was far away from making any sort of decision.

“The board will meet to vote when we decide there’s something to be put to a vote. That will really be after the executive committee begins and finishes deliberations and are prepared to make a recommendation,”

There have been economic questions about Quebec City because of the dropping Canadian dollar. Also, the league currently has 14 teams in the Western Conference and 16 in the Eastern Conference. Adding one eastern team and one western team would do little to change the balance of power.

Bettman has been adamant that only Las Vegas and Quebec City are part of this round of expansion talks, and the league is not waiting for a potential Seattle bid.



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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!