TORONTO -- The NHL's Board of Governors will not conduct a vote on expansion when they convene for two days of meetings next month in Pebble Beach, Calif., Commissioner Gary Bettman said Monday from the PrimeTime Sports Management Conference and Trade Show.
The NHL is currently considering applications for expansion from potential ownership groups in Las Vegas and Quebec City. Those groups presented proposals to the executive committee of the Board of Governors in September.
The Board of Governors will meet Dec. 7-8. The executive committee is scheduled to discuss the proposals in detail Dec. 7.
"The executive committee is going to meet and begin deliberating at the same time at the board meeting," Commissioner Bettman said. "I can't tell you what the result is going to be at those deliberations. That's why we're having the deliberations."
Commissioner Bettman has said repeatedly if the League decides to expand, the new team or teams will not start playing before the 2017-18 season. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said the 2017-18 season is still a possibility for any new team, even though the vote on expansion will not take place in December.
"I wouldn't rule it out," Daly said. "If we get to that stage, I think we're obviously going to be consulting with the applicants with respect to their progression, planning and their ability to get up and running as quickly as that. But last time we expanded as a League, the Board made the decision in June of 1997 and I think the Nashville Predators were playing the following season [1998-99]. That's certainly one example of a team that came online within 15 months."
Expansion requires a three-quarters affirmative vote from the Board of Governors, but first the members of the executive committee would have to make a recommendation to the group.
The members of the executive committee are: Murray Edwards (Calgary Flames), Jeremy Jacobs (Boston Bruins), Peter Karmanos, Jr. (Carolina Hurricanes), Craig Leipold (Minnesota Wild), Ted Leonsis (Washington Capitals), Henry Samueli (Anaheim Ducks), Ed Snider (Philadelphia Flyers), Larry Tanenbaum (Toronto Maple Leafs), Jeff Vinik (Tampa Bay Lightning) and Rocky Wirtz (Chicago Blackhawks).