As most of you guys know by now, the deadline to submit a bid for expansion hit yesterday, and only Quebec City and Las Vegas finished the paperwork and rustled up the required funds. So, where does the expansion process go from here? Scott Burnside and Craig Custance over at ESPN explored just that.
First up, the next deadline looming on the calendar.
The next date to keep in mind is Aug. 4. That's when the NHL determines which of the applicant groups move on to Phase 2, where the exchange of information between the NHL and the interested expansion franchise ramps up even more. So, in theory, there's wiggle room if the NHL eases up on the hard deadline and wants to keep another group around. That's the league's call.
Burnside and Custance also discussed the possibility of having a team relocate to Quebec City, rather than return to the city via expansion.
If there's a chance one of the Seattle groups gets its act together and can prove to the NHL in the coming weeks that there's a realistic chance of an arena deal getting done, and that it has the financial wherewithal to pony up $500 million for a new team, you have to believe that's the NHL's preference vis a vis getting $1 billion in expansion fees and an East/West balance. Plus, it also leaves Quebec City as the perfect landing spot for a team that needs to relocate, which is something many believe has been part of the league's long-term plans.
Custance comes to a final opinion on the situation, concluding that Las Vegas seems like the most likely landing spot for an expansion team.
To me, if the league sticks to its hard deadline, the scenario that becomes most likely is the NHL expanding by one team during this process, with that team being Las Vegas.
For more hypotheticals and info on what's next, head over to ESPN. [ESPN]
Also in Zubov's corner: Marty Turco.
There is no question. The best player I ever played with, Period. Should have a Con Smythe. Should be in the HOF http://t.co/Fwd6VehyQp— Marty Turco (@mturco35) July 21, 2015
In other North Texas hockey news, the Medicine Hat Tigers have signed Flower Mound native Max Gerlach. [Tigers Hockey]
Capitals goalie Braden Holtby asked for $8 million in his arbitration hearing this week.
Arb filings today -- Holtby $8M; WASH $5.1M. Chiasson $2.475M; OTT $1M.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 21, 2015
As a comparsion, here are the top cap hits from other goaltenders, with Henrik Lundqvist leading the way.
Top goalie cap hits for next season: Lundqvist $8.5M, Bobrovsky $7.425, Rask and Rinne $7M, Price $6.5M, Ward $6.3M. Holtby may be in range.— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) July 21, 2015
Sean McIndoe gives the 2014-15 season the IMDB treatment. [Grantland]
TSN's Travis Yost investigates how much veteran experience really matters, and whether younger players can be trusted. [TSN]
Remember the Sochi Strays? Sports Illustrated caught up with a few of the rescue pups, including those belonging to Derek Stepan and other NHLers. [SI]
This made an appearance in the comments of yesterday's links, but in case you missed it, concussions have ended Amanda Kessel's college career. [Star Tribune]
Catch up on all the jersey updates happening around the league. [Icethetics]
With Smashfest 2015 just around the corner, Puck Daddy checks in with Dominic Moore on how the event has evolved and spawned a few bitter rivalries. [Puck Daddy]
And finally, a few lucky season ticket holders got a surprise visit from Tyler Seguin and a rubber ducky.