LOS ANGELES – All that is keeping the Vegas Golden Knights from making their first deal in franchise history is its final installment on its expansion payment of $500 million. The Golden Knights hope to have that to the league on or about March 1, at which time GM George McPhee will be able to make trades.
“Once they close the transaction, (McPhee) will be able to make player-related transactions within some parameters,” said NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly. “Obviously, he can’t acquire players who are playing in the 2016-17 season, but he can acquire draft picks, he can acquire unsigned draft choices and other player assets. And he can start making deals related to the expansion draft.”
The U.S Patent and Trademark Office denied the Golden Knights trademark application in December, citing potential confusion with the College of Saint Rose in New York, which also goes by the Golden Knights. Daly said it’s “going to be a long time,” before that matter is resolved, but has no doubt the team will be able to play with that nickname next season. “No, zero,” Daly said when asked whether there was any concern over whether the team would be able to launch with that name next season.
RALEIGH AND BROOKLYN UPDATES: Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos said Saturday that he’s open to the possibility of selling his team outright instead of simply looking for investors. But those who hope to see the Hurricanes move to Quebec City should probably hold off on the celebration. Because if the NHL has anything to say about it, and it does, the Hurricanes are staying put.
“I don’t think it’s any different than what Peter has been telling me over time,” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. “I think he hasn’t ruled anything in or anything out and there’s no formal sale process ongoing. Peter may sell or he may not sell. He may sell all of it, he may sell some of it. He may sell none of it. And the franchise is not moving.”
Another spot to monitor is Brooklyn, where ice and building issues have made things less than ideal for the Islanders. Bettman said that new Islanders owners Steve Malkin and Jonathan Ledecky are committed to the New York market, but there are some unique challenges that have to be addressed. “There are some issues about playing (at the Barclays Center) that may be fundamental to the ice system and that’s not something that can be fixed in the short term,” Bettman said. “I think, as is prudent, (owners) Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky are reviewing the situation and looking very seriously at what their options are.”
NHL HARD AT WORK: Bettman suggested that while the league is working on a foolproof method of determining whether the puck crossed the goal line, nothing is imminent.
“We are continuing to test technology that we hope is scaleable that will enable us to do more,” Bettman said. “It is even possible – and I’m not saying tomorrow – but we’re looking at things that will enable us to know exactly where the puck is and whether or not it crossed the line so we won’t even have to see it to be able to know that it was there because the technology will tell you. That would be aspirational. It’s something that we’re working on, but it isn’t ready for prime time. Because anything we install better work and it better work right.”