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Expansion: Salt Lake City officially requests an expansion process
When we talk about NHL expansion, we seem to think a lot about Houston and Atlanta. These are two names that have been getting a lot of public attention lately.

Meanwhile, people in Quebec City are resigned.

But let’s not forget Salt Lake City. We know that the owner of the Utah Jazz (who play in a 19,000-seat basketball arena in Salt Lake City), in the NBA, would like to go and see what’s going on in the NHL.

And apparently, the plan is becoming more and more concrete.

Smith has officially asked the NHL to launch an expansion process for Salt Lake City to bring a franchise to Utah. The Smith Entertainment Group is the vehicle for this.

Note that the request went out just after the news of the five men who must turn themselves in to London police in the 2018 Junior Team Canada case.

Is this a coincidence? I don’t think so. But right now, the NHL owes Ryan Smith one for the timing of his announcement. I expect that Salt Lake City will get its club one day.

The NHL, in recent years, has made some successful expansions. Vegas (2017) and Seattle (2021) are doing very, very well right now.

Would SLC do as well? Who knows.

And, having said that, one wonders whether this might not be the Coyotes’ alternative, leaving Houston and Atlanta to take the league up to 34 clubs.

Note that the governors have not yet had their say on the matter. Expansion isn’t imminent, but it’s in the plans.

Ryan Smith, who owns an arena in SLC, also mentions that he is in a position to welcome a hockey club right now. There are only 14,000 seats for hockey, but in preparation for the 2034 Olympics, there will be a new arena built in town.

All signs point to a club there… and I expect it won’t work in Arizona. 14,000 seats is better than an NCAA arena, I dare to think


– Nice contract for the goalie.

– Things are going well in Winnipeg.

– It was expected.

– Gerard Gallant reminds us he’s available. [JdeM]

– News from the Rocket.

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