Daly: European Expansion "a real possibility" for the NHL
In a new interview with Slava Malamud for the Russian sports site Sports-Express, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly addressed the possibility of the NHL expanding to Europe. "Do we have plans to add European clubs? I do not think our view on this issue has changed over recent years," said Daly (via Google Translate) adding, "it's a real possibility, and in due time it will be seriously considered."
Daly also poured some cold water on the prospect of NHL hockey being played on the European continent anytime soon, describing it as "not something totally inevitable."
NHL expansion into Europe would presumably nudge the premiere North American professional hockey league into direct conflict with the Kontinental Hockey League. The KHL, a predominantly Russian league that already has clubs in eight countries and will expand into Finland at the beginning of the 2014-15 season, and the NHL have a storied recent history of antagonism. Their relationship is not currently governed by an active transfer agreement.
In other "possible NHL expansion news" Bill Daly addressed the lure of the Pacific Northwest as an NHL destination during a Vancouver Canucks season ticket holder event on Tuesday night. "We don't want to target Seattle specifically" Daly told the assembled media, adding that "I'm not sure we ever really addressed Seattle as a specific alternative in the process [of figuring out what would happen to the Phoenix Coyotes]". Daly's comments would superficially appear to contradict a Hockey Night in Canada report from mid-June.