It looks like hockey is headed to Vegas.
Welcome to the big leagues, Las Vegas.
Three independent sources confirmed to the Review-Journal on Tuesday that the NHL's executive committee has recommended the league expand to Las Vegas when the Board of Governors meets at Encore on June 22.
A two-thirds vote from the NHL's 30 owners is required for approval.
The Ringer's Claire McNear explored why the NHL and NFL are eager to bring teams to Las Vegas, while The Hockey News' Ken Campbell debated whether or not the expansion is a good idea. (Spoiler alert: He's not sold.)
Las Vegas has a wonderful new arena, an owner with extremely deep pockets - although we'll be checking the length of his arms once the bills start piling up - and a fertile professional sports market. All good things. But it's still a hockey team in the desert. And what should concern everyone involved is not the first five years of this team's existence. Because during that time, it will be cute and cuddly and people will be drawn to that. And if and when this team gets good, the people will probably come. But what about the lean years?
TSN's Matt Larkin names 10 players who could be traded at the 2016 NHL Draft. Both Ben Bishop and Marc-Andre Fleury make the list, he says, and could draw the Stars' attention. [The Hockey News]
Mike Heika took to Twitter yesterday to answer a couple of questions.
I would be interested in Wiercioch as a 25-year-old UFA. Stransky, to me, is behind several forwards on depth list. https://t.co/YzM1lqucYm— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) June 14, 2016
Mark Stepneski recaps Curtis McKenzie's 2014-15 season and talks about expectations for next year. [Stars Inside Edge]
Will the Stars buy out either Kari Lehtonen or Antti Niemi? Puck Daddy's Ryan Lambert explores that possibility.
Jim Nill has already said he's ride-or-die with these guys and their no-good contracts, so I wouldn't expect this to happen.
The case for buying out Niemi, though, is that he costs you less in the ongoing cap hit (by about $333,000), and that number doesn't fluctuate like Lehtonen's will in 2017-18, when his salary declines.
Read about other potential buyout candidates at the link. [Puck Daddy]
A reminder: You can send Dave Strader a note of encouragement at WellWishesForStrader@dallasstars.com [Stars]
There's plenty of Stars Sunday listening to keep you busy today.
Sean Shapiro argues that the Stars should re-sign both Colton Sceviour and Patrick Eaves. [Today's Slapshot]
The hockey community paid their respects to Gordie Howe yesterday and Joe Louis Arena.
Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) June 14, 2016
ESPN's Craig Custance has more on those who came to honor Mr. Hockey. [ESPN]
Randy Carlyle is headed back to Anaheim.
Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) June 14, 2016
A look at possible destinations for Kyle Okposo and Andrew Ladd. [ESPN]
BFFs Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby are celebrating their Stanley Cup win.
Do the Penguins have a chance to raise the Cup again next year? [Sportsnet]