Gamers like concept of NHL group in Las Vegas

On the eve of the Stanley Cup Finals, a commentator on the NHL Network regaled about how playing hockey in Tampa in June was everything a gamer could ask for.

Gamers can come to the rink in shorts and sandals and there’s no better sensation, he said.

If the players share his feeling, they should be overjoyed about the possibility of playing in Las Vegas come 2017. Snow? What snow?

The NHL’s Board of Governors is expected to approve an official plan at Wednesday’s conference at the MGM Grand to study growth. That’s the most interesting news yet for William Foley, the billionaire who wishes to bring the NHL to Southern Nevada and has actually led the drive to obtain major league sports to Las Vegas.

Foley will certainly not be attending the meeting, choosing to lay low in Montana while the league performs its business at the MGM. But some of the gamers who were in Las Vegas for Wednesday’s NHL Awards Program at the Grand Garden appeared receptive to the idea of a Las Vegas franchise when they met the media Tuesday.

“It would be a cool place to have a hockey team,” said Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Cost, among 3 finalists for the Hart Trophy (Many Belongings Gamer), Vezina Trophy (leading goalie), the Jennings Prize (least goals permitted) and the Ted Lindsay Award (most impressive player, awarded by the gamers association). “It would be fun. It’s a glamour city, and I might see a great deal of hockey fans coming here to see and enjoy their group.”

San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns, a finalist for the NHL Foundation Award, stated of growth: “Why not? More tasks for people. And Vegas is a fantastic city to go to.”

Jonathan Toews, the captain of the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, said he hopes owners will provide cautious thought to the concern before they choose to broaden and enter into yet another nontraditional hockey market.

“I think there’s a lot of hype about Vegas,” stated Toews, a finalist for the Mark Messier Award and the Frank Selke Prize. “I’ve said all along I’m no business person, so I hope as a league we see through our successes and our failures and make a smart decision and do whatever will make the game grow and give it long-lasting success.”

League basic supervisors, who met Tuesday at the Bellagio, were a little more guarded in their remarks.

“I’m going to leave that one to brighter minds– our owners,” Calgary Flames basic supervisor Brad Treliving said. “I believe Las Vegas is a terrific area. However there’s a lot more that goes into it than a fantastic place to come to. But I believe in the dead of winter I wouldn’t mind coming here.”

Winnipeg Jets basic manager Kevin Cheveldayoff is taking a wait-and-see attitude.

“Personally, till somebody informs me we’re going to expand, I’m not going to invest a great deal of time on it,” he stated. “However if this is a market that gets to be considered, it speaks volumes to the growth of the community right here and the fans who wish to see the NHL.”

Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland stated of expansion: “It had not been even brought up. Honestly, it’s something that’s above me. I’m just thinking of the Red Wings.”

The gamers state an April 17 incident involving L.a Kings center Jarret Stoll, in which he was apprehended for drug property at the MGM’s swimming pool, need to not be held against the city as a possible location to put an NHL team. The Clark County district lawyer’s workplace charged Stoll on Monday with felony cocaine possession.

“I think there are a great deal of places where you can enter problem,” said Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad, a finalist for the Calder Trophy (leading novice). “We’re specialists. I think we can learn to adapt to working and residing in a location like Las Vegas.”

That’s something the owners certainly will discuss as they dispute the benefits of expanding. Winnpieg’s Andrew Ladd, a Messier Award finalist, said he can see the NHL in Las Vegas happening.

“You speak with anybody, and they’ll inform you they ‘d rather go to work in shorts and a T-shirt than a parka,” he said.

Contact press reporter Steve Carp at [email protected]!.?.! or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.

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