LinkThe NHL Board of Governors gave approval to the League to begin accepting applications as part of a formal expansion process, Commissioner Gary Bettman said Wednesday
There are no guarantees the process will lead to the granting of an expansion team, but it will allow interested ownership groups to make a formal presentation.
"The Board ultimately will determine whether or not there is any interest in expanding," Commissioner Bettman said after the Board met here earlier Wednesday. "If the conclusion is there is interest, from the League's perspective, then they will focus on what the terms will be and who the successful or likely successful candidates might be.
"The fact that we're going through this process doesn't mean we're going to expand. All it means is that we're going to stop just listening to expressions of interest and take a good hard look at what they actually mean and represent."
Applications from interested parties will be accepted from July 6 through Aug. 10. Commissioner Bettman said the Board of Governors' executive committee will review the applications.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said the earliest an expansion team could begin play would be the 2017-18 season.
The expansion fee to be paid to secure a team would likely be at least $500 million, Bettman said.
I read that Seattle would be one of the front-runners.
Another team, though? I don't know if it's needed.