LAS VEGAS -- The NHL Board of Governors gave approval to the League to begin accepting applications as part of a formal expansion process, Commissioner Gary Bettman said Wednesday
There are no guarantees the process will lead to the granting of an expansion team, but it will allow interested ownership groups to make a formal presentation.
"The Board ultimately will determine whether or not there is any interest in expanding," Commissioner Bettman said after the Board met here earlier Wednesday. "If the conclusion is there is interest, from the League's perspective, then they will focus on what the terms will be and who the successful or likely successful candidates might be.
"The fact that we're going through this process doesn't mean we're going to expand. All it means is that we're going to stop just listening to expressions of interest and take a good hard look at what they actually mean and represent."