Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Donald Fehr weighs in on expansion

01/02/2016 at 10:42pm EST

The Las Vegas Review-Journal's Steve Carp spoke with two intriguing people regarding the state of expansion in the NHL. One of them is Bill Foley, the man in charge of the Las Vegas expansion franchise-to-be, and the other is NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr.

We haven't heard from Fehr regarding the intricacies of expansion as of yet, but from Fehr's point of view, expansion is a good thing...

"As a general rule the players are in favor of expansion because it creates additional revenue and additional jobs," Fehr said. "If you were to be in a situation where expansion had a detrimental effect on revenue and it was impacting salaries, then it wouldn't make sense."

But Fehr's not going to budge regarding players with no-move clauses being drafted by an expansion team:

Fehr said he doesn't believe the current agreement that allows players to have a no move clause in their contract would change were there to be expansion.

"If a player has a no move, then it's a no mover," he said. "I would anticipate it would be the same if there is an expansion draft."

Carp and Fehr continue, discussing the salary cap's implications upon expansion from a spending perspective:

Then there's the question of the salary cap. When the NHL last expanded in 2000, there was no hard cap. The cap stands at $71.4 million. By 2017, the cap could be close to $75 million. If Las Vegas was to get full cap space to fill a roster, that could give Las Vegas a competitive edge in signing free agents over teams that are either at the cap limit or over. There's also questions of where an expansion team would be allowed to pick in its first entry draft.

That's why it's taking longer than expected. Bettman has said it was never about just writing a check. But Fehr said the game is healthier financially and the timing appears right for expansion.

"Ultimately, it's up to the NHL whether or not it wants to expand," Fehr said. "Once that decision is made and if it is decided to proceeedd (with expansion), I'm sure there will be a number of issues that will need to be discussed. But I'm pretty sure that whatever issues that come up I hope can be resolved with little problem."

And Carp discusses the possibility of the NHL granting Foley a "conditional franchise" at the Board of Governors' meetings in Nashville on January 30th, but that seems unlikely at this point.

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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