If the NHL ever expands to Las Vegas or relocates one of its teams to that city, it appears there’s an ownership group the league is willing to work with.
According to the New York Post, a partnership between the Maloof family and William Foley would be that group. The Post, through anonymous sources, reports that NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly met with Foley and the Maloofs Monday to discuss a potential Las Vegas NHL team.
However, Daly denied that the NHL has made any final decisions on Las Vegas expansion or an ownership group.
“We haven’t made any decisions on expansion yet, much less expansion to Las Vegas,” Daly told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We have not discussed or identified potential ownership groups publicly.”
Las Vegas, which has an NHL-quality arena set to open in the spring of 2016, has long been considered a possible destination for a team should the NHL decide to expand from 30 to 32 teams.
“Clearly we think that for a Las Vegas market to support a professional sports franchise; you need the support of the locals,” Daly told the Minneapolis-Star Tribune. “What’s difficult on making a call on Vegas is, it’s such a unique market. It’s really hard to know. The owners are going to have to be satisfied that the prospects of putting a franchise there are good and the fundamentals are solid.”
Daly also told the Star Tribune the league may request Nevada’s legislature to remove the NHL team’s games from Las Vegas sports books, as was done with UNLV basketball games years ago.
The Maloof family is influential in Las Vegas and has experience in professional sports, owning the Sacramento Kings from 1998-2013.