At some point there will be NHL expansion, but today Gary Bettman said expansion for symmetry reasons is not going to happen. It has been long rumored that the NHL would need to add two Western teams to bring balance to the league, but not so fast.
The rumors can keep flying and I’m sure they will but for the time being they will only be rumors. Pro Hockey Talk had a quote from Bettman saying “I’m not suggesting at some point in the future we might not look at it, but we’re not ready to do it now. And I don’t want to build up anybody’s expectations, because that’s not fair to people in a community that want to have a franchise.”
As with any business expanding just so people are happy makes no sense, and the NHL is seeing record profits. There is no rush here, and yes I believe there are teams that should relocate, and that should happen before expansion. But for the foreseeable future the NHL will keep their 30 teams.
This conversation will not fade away until something is done, or there are no reports of cities looking to add a NHL team. Until that happens fans will need to just stay calm and watch hockey. There are a few cities that are talked about more than others, but still nothing is being planned. It is not at all shocking to see this in the PHT report, and it sounds about right to me. Seattle, Las Vegas, Quebec City and Toronto have all been pegged as future expansion/relocation markets, with the Panthers, Hurricanes, and Coyotes coming up in relocation speculation.” Let us know what you think.