And then the NHL released the formal application process which included a mere two weeks to submit their applications and submit a $10M fee. Of which $2M is refundable.
Broad Street Hockey said it best:
“The NHL really still is a Mickey Mouse league sometimes.”
So as the deadline passed, the only cities completing the application process were Las Vegas and Quebec City.
No second tier hockey cities like Kansas City and Portland that never had a chance. Geez, maybe Grand Island, Nebraska should have considered applying as well.
We don’t think that Seattle is really out of the expansion picture, but could be wrong. If they don’t get a fair chance at an “expanded application window” then something is just wrong.
But the NHL is getting a bit nasty via press release that was also reported from Broad Street (with their highlighting):
“Our purpose, in initiating the expansion process in the manner we did, was not only to explore the possibility of admitting new members to the NHL but also, at the outset, to set realistic guideposts to distinguish between bona fide expressions of interest (i.e., those which have at least substantial ownership capabilities and an arena or the realistic possibility of an arena) from those indications of potential interest which were, at best, merely hopes or aspirations. Apparently, only Mr. Foley and Quebecor have the confidence in their ability to secure an arena and suitable ownership capability to move forward with this process.
“We now intend to focus exclusively on the two expansion applications that have been submitted in accordance with the previously announced process. The process we have outlined for qualified applicants includes at least two more stages of documentation submission. We will provide no further updates until there is something substantive to announce.”
C’mon NHL. If you are going to do this, do it right.