NHL to make expansion decision on June 22nd, sort of

That’s the date the NHL’s Board of Governors will meet and vote whether to bring Bill Foley and his proposed expansion team into the league. It’s also the day the league will hold its awards show at the Hard Rock Hotel.

Commissioner Gary Bettman remained vague about expansion Monday during his customary news conference prior to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks. He again acknowledged three possible scenarios: expansion by one or two teams for 2017-18, delaying expansion until 2018 or putting it on hold altogether.

“Nothing is finalized yet,” Bettman said. “You’ll have to be a little more patient.”

Foley, who was in Montana on Monday, said of Bettman’s remarks: “That’s great. I see it as encouraging.

“I still think we’re on track. We’re doing well. The most important thing is they haven’t said no.”

Bettman said the NHL’s nine-member Executive Committee will meet before the Board of Governors and will make its recommendation. …

That meeting is expected to be held in early June, possibly next week.

“Once we get their recommendation, it will be passed on to the Board of Governors for a vote on the 22nd,” Bettman said.

…Bettman said recent discussions that the NFL’s Oakland Raiders are eyeing a potential move to Las Vegas would have no impact on Foley’s bid for an NHL franchise.

“I have not talked to (NFL commissioner) Roger Goodell and from what I understand, that decision is a long ways off,” Bettman said. “We’re judging the Las Vegas application strictly on its own merit.”…

Daly said some tweaks remain for a potential expansion draft and also where an expansion team would be slotted in the 2007 entry draft. First- and second-year professionals would be exempt from an expansion draft, players with a no-move contracts would not be exposed and players with no-trade clauses would be vulnerable. Also, there would be no guarantee an expansion team would get the No. 1 overall pick in 2017 or that the team would be part of the draft lottery.

Bettman said he and Foley spoke a couple of weeks ago but he would not share details. Bettman said he also talked to the people behind the Quebec City bid.

“We’re going to have an answer to expansion soon,” Bettman said.

Foley said he is hoping for good news.

“We’re down to three weeks,” he said. “We’ll wait and see what happens on the 22nd.”


more at the las vegas review-journal

Kings’ Dustin Brown has procedure

Brown, 31, underwent a procedure on his right wrist at the conclusion of the season that isn’t expected to impact his off-season training regimen or preparation for training camp. In 82 games, Brown totaled 11 goals, 28 points and a -5 rating during the second year of an eight-year contract that carries a $5.875-million cap hit.

from lakingsinsider.com

Hopefully he had a spring inserted that will help him get his shots and passes off sooner.

Kopitar is Kings’ Captain

…at least, according to Darryl, from lakingsinsider.com:

On Anze Kopitar’s play over the last month:
Hey, him and Jonathan set the template for our team in terms of leadership and what’s going on. It’s those two guys who carry the weight, and he’s on pace for his normal regular season. His numbers, he’s going to be, what, around 25 and 50 in terms of goals and assists, and that’s what his career has been. That’s spectacular for most players. For him, that’s normal. … You know what? Our team, the top players are also the captains, so it goes hand-in-hand. It’s a lot of responsibility for Kopi, but that’s good responsibility and it’s good pressure. I trust him on and off the ice, so you expect him to be a top guy in both those areas. He’s a top player on the ice and he’s our captain.

Quick becomes all-time American shutout leader

With the Kings 5-0 shutout of defending Stanley Cup Champion, Chicago Blackhawks, Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick passed John Vanbiesbrouck and Frank Brimsek for the most all-time shutouts for US-born goalies.