Well, it finally happened. Las Vegas is getting a pro sports team. Maybe not the one they wanted, but it’s a start. I had previously explained why Vegas should never get a franchise but apparently, the NHL, its commissioner and its Board of Governors aren’t listening. Some of you may be asking “hockey in the desert?” but Las Vegas doesn’t care, they just want their own toys to play with. Plus, there are already teams in Tampa, Phoenix, Los Angeles and where ever the hell the Florida Panthers play.
First, can we just acknowledge that this hockey team is a big test for Las Vegas. Like if they do well here then maybe the MLB, NBA or even the NFL may see it as a realistic option for the future. It’s kind of like Home Economics class when they used to make kids take care of a baby doll as a weird parenting test. I still don’t think it’s a good idea to have pro squad in Sin City. So if Vegas wants to prove me wrong then it better take good care of that fake baby.
There are just so many pitfalls in Las Vegas that could sink a player, coach, team or whole organization. Maybe the NHL was the easiest league to land but they are now the crash test dummy, and I don’t know if you’ve heard this before, but hockey players like to party. Most of them are crazy, fighting, drinking, millionaires from other countries who are here to work and have fun. They routinely get into brawls, destroy hotel rooms and engage in all-manner of wild debauchery. Let’s just remember Jarret Stoll from the Los Angeles Kings and his fun time at the Vegas pool.
Second, this is a new expansion team. That means the NHL will grow to 31 teams. That seems odd. Literally. Adding only one new outfit still doesn’t balance the realign they did not long ago. The last expansion teams were in 2000 but they added both the Minnesota Wild and the Columbus Blue Jackets to keep things even. This big Vegas win is all thanks to billionaire, Bill Foley, who paid $500 million to the NHL to get a team in Nevada.
The Las Vegas crew won’t start playing until the 2017-18 season. But they will name the team near the start of next year so they can start selling merchandise. That means they don’t have an official name yet. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pitch some ideas for what the Las Vegas team should be called. They didn’t listen before but they can totally make up for it by using one of my great ideas for a name.
-The Las Vegas Hitmen
-The Las Vegas Skating Slots
-The Las Vegas Hotel Rooms
-The Las Vegas Buffets
-The Las Vegas Magic Shows
-The Las Vegas Pawn Shops
-The Las Vegas Street Walkers
Let’s keep the brainstorming going. Maybe the team can get a corporate sponsor so the whole rink is just frozen Smirnoff Ice. The Russian players will love it and all want to play there. Maybe then Pavel Datsyuk will stay in the NHL. Also, there should be slot machines in the stadium themed after each player on the roster. Did we mention every seat has bottle service? You got it, for $600 you get a bottle of vodka and some Red Bulls and maybe a few hotdogs. Classy.
This has disaster written all over it. But someone paid half a billion dollars to make it happen. In somewhat unrelated news, the city of Quebec’s application for an NHL team was deferred. They had all the credentials and correct paperwork but maybe lacked the palm-greasing capital. So hockey moves from Canada to Vegas, baby.
The Las Vegas team will get to enjoy an expansion draft where they can buy the contracts of players from your favorite team. Each organization can save a certain number of players but that will leave many on the trading block. Details of the expansion draft rules and other info can be found in this article from NHL.com.