Insider Pierre LeBrun Confirms Major News Regarding NHL Expansion

Published December 4, 2023 at 1:53 PM

The NHL has been expanding since 2017 and it doesn't look like things will be slowing down anytime soon with new potential teams.

LeBrun Confirms Major Expansion News

Since the NHL expanded to Las Vegas back in 2017, they have seen massive revenue from their newest teams. With the Golden Knights winning their first Stanley Cup last year and the Kraken making the playoffs for the first time last year as well, the two teams are some of the most profitable in the NHL.

Currently, the league has 32 teams but many other cities are looking to get an NHL team themselves. Insider Pierre LeBrun just confirmed some major news for the potential NHL expansion.

There is no formal agenda item dealing with potential expansion, but there is leeway for Bettman to be asked about it from inquisitive governors as far as the latest on that front. If that's the case, the expectation is that Bettman would reiterate what he's told the media in recent months, that the NHL continues to get expressions of interest from places like Salt Lake City, Houston, Atlanta, and Quebec City but doesn't currently have a pinpoint plan to expand again.

Most people around the league do expect that to happen at some point in the next few years. There's just too much money at play not to expand again.

None of the other major sports leagues in North America have expanded past 32 teams but the NHL could show that it is quite a profitable venture. It will make things a bit more complex but it should do nothing but generate revenue.

Who Gets A Team First?

LeBrun mentioned four cities as potential suitors for a new NHL team. Salt Lake City and Houston have been mentioned as potential Arizona Coyotes relocation areas and both cities have arenas that could house an NHL team. Atlanta is in talks for a $1 billion sports complex that could also easily have an NHL team. Finally, Quebec City has proved that they are more than willing to have an NHL team by consistently selling out arenas for junior games and are now going to have a preseason game next year.

It will be a coin toss for which city gets an NHL team first but it will likely go to the area that is projected to generate the most revenue. Only time will tell which cities get a team but Bettman will have a hard time avoiding expansion even further.

As seen on The Athletic - LeBrun: What to expect from NHL Board of Governors meeting — expansion, cap talk, gambling, more
December 4   |   1 answers
Insider Pierre LeBrun Confirms Major News Regarding NHL Expansion

Which city should get an NHL team first?

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