Daily Faceoff: Frank Servalli when asked about NHL expansion.
** NHLRumors.com transcription
Tyler Yaremchuk: “The talks about expansion Frank. Gary Bettman had some interesting things to say. We keep hearing these weird rumblings about Atlanta potentially being a spot.
But what did the commissioner have to say about potentially going up to 34 teams?
Seravalli: “Yeah, I think the best way to explain it is that he certainly didn’t pour cold water on the idea of the NHL expanding. And so, if you read between the lines of what he said, you don’t really have to squint all that hard to see that it’s certainly possible that the NHL expands to 33 or 34 teams in the not-so-distant future.
There’s a few reasons for that. I think what’s holding the NHL back is the perfect situation hasn’t presented itself. Whether it’s market size in Quebec City or having a proper NHL-ready arena in Salt Lake City or the arena not even being built yet in Atlanta.
Gary Bettman reiterated on Wednesday that you kind of have to check all of the boxes. You need to have the right market, the right owner, the right arena, all those things, and if one of those places were to come along and be a mostly baked or completely baked product, he said then I will take it to the Board of Governors and see whether we want to expand or not.
That’s a long way off from saying we’re not expanding or that’s not something we’re even contemplating. Obviously, with the skyrocketing value of franchises, the Ottawa Senators selling for $950 million. Five years ago viewed as one of the bottom five least valuable teams in the NHL.
That expansion fee has suddenly gone from $500 million for Vegas, $650 (million) for Seattle to a number that starts with a ‘b,’ as in billion for the next expansion fee. Who says ‘no’ at that point?”