Posted on August 28, 2014 at 10:15 AM
Image Source: Moyan Brenn (Flickr)
Las Vegas has held a firm interest in the NHL and Ice Hockey since the year of 1991, in which they hosted a preseason game outside Caesars Palace between the teams of the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Rangers. It proved to be the first ever outdoor Ice Hockey match in the NHL’s modern era.
By 1997 ‘Sin City’ had begun its very own preseason tournament, branded as ‘Frozen Fury’, which is between the Los Angeles Kings and the Colorado Avalanche at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The event has been sold out every year since its inauguration.
In the past, the media have even openly speculated as to whether there was a behind-closed-doors plan in place between the league and Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer, to take the Phoenix Coyotes to Nevada. But, after long negotiations and interest from Seattle, the Coyotes were acquired by Arizona and will begin their first season – the coming 2014/15 season – under their new name, the Arizona Coyotes.
But, with these promising developments and the fact that several NHL awards ceremonies have in the past been staged in Las Vegas, the NHL Commissioner Gary Bettmen has always extraneously denied any possible expansion moves, despite admitting the National Hockey League was always open to pitches.
Well, it seems that some of those pitches may have finally come to fruition, as several high profile reports are now suggesting that a deal to bring NHL Ice Hockey to the City of Sin is all but completed, with the only thing left to decide being which owner will earn the right to declare they were the first to bring a major sporting franchise to Vegas.
The news is surely a boost for NHL betting fans, who can now not only bet on their favourite games but could also ‘mix and match’ the trip for some Ice Hockey to involve some light-hearted gambling across several of the hundreds of casinos in Vegas. Given that Frozen Fury is held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, fans have almost immediate access to the MGM Grand Casino and Hotel, meaning that fans already have a possible weekend away in Vegas almost sitting on their doorstep!
The report surrounding the Vegas bid comes in conjunction with news that the ever-speculated addition of a NHL team from Seattle could be closer to hand than first thought. Reports are suggesting that several high-profile business moguls – including billionaire Victor Coleman – have reached an agreement to form a ‘super bid’ that would see a Seattle side undoubtedly add balance to the current 30-team NHL, that has two more franchises in its Eastern Conference than the Western.
In other expansion news, Toronto and Quebec City are also considering moves that would increase the amount of Canadian sides in the NHL to nine teams, with those plans said to be developing for as soon as 2017.