NHL expansion: The formation of the Vegas Golden Knights

Ice hockey game from viewpoint of puck
Monday, 06 February 2017 By Ryan Lake

For US sports, Las Vegas is generally regarded as one of the most intriguing new markets in the United States, and has long been one that leagues and teams have had their eye on.

The city of Las Vegas refers to itself as the Entertainment Capital of the World.[1] However, it is still without one of the world’s most popular entertainment platforms, major league professional sports. For years, several leagues in the United States have considered moving there, including the National Football League (which is currently considering moving the Oakland Raiders to the city[2]).

However, it was the National Hockey League (NHL) that made the first move. As is well known, on June 22, 2016, the NHL Board of Governors (the equivalent to a board of directors for the NHL) voted to expand the league and add a new franchise in Las Vegas.[3] On November 22, they and the new franchise’s owner, Bill Foley, announced that the new club would be named the Vegas Golden Knights. They will start playing in the city in the 2017-18 season.

The NHL and the Golden Knights face a variety of interesting legal and commercial issues that come with entering a new market and creating a new team. This article is the first in a series that will explore the most pressing of those issues. This piece begins by setting the scene, and will look at:

  • The NHL’s history of expansion - to provide a broader context to the history of expansion in the league and understanding behind the decision to move to Las Vegas;

  • The current Las Vegas expansion – a brief review of the NHL governing documents and the process that allowed Las Vegas Golden Knights to be established;

  • Allocation of the players – a brief explanation of the system devised by the NHL to allocate players currently under contract to NHL clubs to the new Vegas team.

Continue reading this article...

Register with your email and password
Already a member? Sign in

Get access to all of the expert analysis and commentary at LawInSport including articles, webinars, conference videos and podcast transcripts.  Find out more here.

Related Articles

About the Author

Ryan Lake

Ryan Lake

Ryan is an American attorney at Lake Law Group, LLC and a sports consultant at Beyond the Playbook. He works extensively on ice hockey, soccer, baseball, basketball and Olympic movement issues. Ryan is also an Adjunct Professor at St. John’s University School of Law.

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.

Courses

Legal Advisors

Upcoming Events

There are no up-coming events

Copyright © LawInSport Limited 2010 - 2021. These pages contain general information only. Nothing in these pages constitutes legal advice. You should consult a suitably qualified lawyer on any specific legal problem or matter. The information provided here was accurate as of the day it was posted; however, the law may have changed since that date. This information is not intended to be, and should not be used as, a substitute for taking legal advice in any specific situation. LawInSport is not responsible for any actions taken or not taken on the basis of this information. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.