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NHL to Las Vegas? Dan Patrick says relocation could be coming

The NHL is expanding! Except the NHL says it isn't expanding! And now a guy says franchises are gonna relocate. Crap.

Don't break our hearts, Dan
Don't break our hearts, Dan
Scott Halleran

It's August, hockey is being discussed and the words "hockey-related revenue" haven't been mentioned. Woooooo boy, is this a nice change of pace.

The sporting world is abuzz with the potential addition of brand new NHL franchises, the most enticing of which involves the taboo confines of Las Vegas. Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province dropped the first strike by reporting the addition of a Las Vegas NHL franchise was a done deal and that a prospective owner was the only obstacle standing in the way of the puck being dropped in Sin City.

Howard Bloom upped the ante (gambling term) by tweeting that not only was Las Vegas coming to hockey, but so was a second Toronto team, Seattle and the return of a Quebec franchise.

This is too good to be true! Let the good times roll! Nothing can bring us do --

Ah, come on.

The NHL promptly denied that any new expansion plans had been put in place, which drew collective eye rolls because everyone knows expansion is coming. We just don't know when expansion is coming. And we really want to know when expansion is coming.

But another bummer could be on the horizon. The positivity of August hockey talk took a downward swing because the dreaded "R-word" resurfaced thanks to Dan Patrick.

Relocation.

Patrick, who hosts a popular morning sports radio show, stated during the third hour of his Thursday broadcast that the Arizona Coyotes and Nashville Predators Carolina Hurricanes could be the potential tenants in Las Vegas.

The host reported that an NHL team will be in Las Vegas by 2016 and that ground has already been broken on an arena, or so he has been told, via the Dan Patrick Show podcast:

This is from a financial person who is involved in this: The paperwork is already done. It is as it has been reported, a done deal. Will have a hockey team in Las Vegas in 2016. The question is: Is it gonna be an expansion team? Or is it gonna be a relocation? Two teams to consider in a relocation to Las Vegas: The Coyotes [. . .] the other team to keep an eye on is, remember the Hartford Whalers owner? Peter Karmanos. He owns Nashville? And I guess he's asking an exuberant price for his team. That's also a possibility from what I'm told.

Patrick added that the NHL owners want an expansion team because they want those sweet, sweet expansion fees that new membership clubs would have to pay. He also said that Seattle will be getting a team and corrected his initial statement by clarifying that Peter Karmanos actually owns the Carolina Hurricanes and not the Nashville Predators.

SO, is relocation on the table again?

Hopefully not.

Arizona has been battling this situation for so long now, and the new ownership group sincerely seems intent on establishing the Coyotes as a viable entity after years and years and years of insufferable turmoil.

Does this seem like a guy who wants to leave Arizona!?!

While the Coyotes are an easy target (mainly because of the looming potential of their lease's out-clause, which is now four years away), a move out of Arizona by 2016 seems unlikely.

In terms of Carolina, this is the first time the team has been mentioned in this capacity. Patrick is a connected individual in the sports world, so his leads have more merit than some guy (me) looking to shoot them down.

But, on a surface level, this guy (me) has been led to believe that the NHL will not be looking to relocate franchises, but rather expand on them. And with that in mind, hopefully Bloom, Gallagher and, now, Patrick, are all correct in that portion of their reporting, because new hockey swag is so much better than that pile of Atlanta Thrashers jerseys that no one is wearing.

Please don't leave us with an old pile of hockey jerseys that no one will wear, NHL.