LAS VEGAS (AP) — With talk of expansion to Las Vegas percolating, the city welcomes the NHL this week for another awards show while general managers and the board of governors set the league's short- and long-term future.
This is the first time the general managers are meeting in Las Vegas — previously, they met at the Stanley Cup Final. The gathering provides an opportunity for trade talk leading to this weekend's draft in Sunrise, Florida.
On Tuesday, the GMs will learn the salary cap for next season, which Commissioner Gary Bettman projected between $70 million to $71 million. Even that small a range "can make a difference" for cap-strapped teams, Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall said.
The board in December allowed prospective Las Vegas owner Bill Foley to proceed with a season-ticket drive. With Foley's Hockey Vision Las Vegas reporting over 11,500 commitments and more for suites, Bettman will take those results to the board.
This week is a chance for league executives to get a feel for Las Vegas, even if temperatures soar past 100 degrees. The state-of-the-art arena, scheduled to open in spring 2016, is on the strip and is a short walk from the MGM Grand, site of Wednesday's awards show.