Expansion of NHL franchises is anticipated within the next couple of years

Published December 5, 2023 at 10:34

The NHL has experienced significant success following the inclusion of both the Seattle Kraken and Vegas Golden Knights into the league. These teams have achieved remarkable success, witnessing their franchise values increase by at least twofold in the past three years. It appeared inevitable that the NHL would consider further expansion in the near future.

Although the NHL has been hesitant to commit to expansion, reports suggest they have been exploring various locations and potential ownership groups. Gary Bettman mentioned that the league would contemplate expansion when it aligns with their plans. Given this non-committal response, it remains challenging to pinpoint the precise timeline for expansion. However, as indicated by a player agent, it is anticipated to occur within the next 2 years.

While this objective appears quite ambitious, Allan Walsh presents a crucial rationale for this impending expansion. According to Walsh, the NHL aims to expand before the termination of the NHL collective bargaining agreement, which is scheduled to expire at the conclusion of the 2025-26 season.

Why is it imperative to complete expansion by then? Walsh provides an explanation.

There are $2 Billion reasons why NHL expansion is happening soon. Under current CBA, the players receive no share of any expansion money, the entire amount is distributed between NHL owners.

The recently appointed Director of the NHL Players Association has unequivocally expressed the intent to ensure players receive their fair share of revenues. Consequently, it's highly probable that owners, who currently reap all expansion profits, will seek to finalize agreements before players can engage in negotiations for a portion.

Despite a projected increase of approximately 4 million in the salary cap for the next season, it's perplexing to see the league's franchise values soar while the cap remains stagnant. This scenario strongly suggests a potential impasse leading to a work stoppage if both factions fail to reach a consensus, with compensation emerging as the primary focal point.

Source: Bladeofsteel
December 5   |   467 answers
Expansion of NHL franchises is anticipated within the next couple of years

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