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NHL plays down Vegas expansion talk

The NHL ice hockey league in North America has denied reports that Las Vegas has secured an expansion franchise.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the TVA Sports news website that a move to Las Vegas is “not in our plans.” A report in the Vancouver Province newspaper earlier this week had suggested that a new franchise in Vegas is a “done deal.”

Other reports have suggested that the Florida Panthers could move to Vegas, while teams could also be added in Seattle, Quebec City and Toronto. The league understood to be keen to add four teams by 2017, initially with two teams in the west to balance out the two conferences at 16 teams each.

However, Daly added: “We have no move in sight, whether in the case of the Panthers, or any other team besides.”  NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has said that the league is prepared to listen to cities interested in operating expansion franchises, even though there is no official process underway.