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Report: NHL expansion to Las Vegas 'a done deal'

The Commissioner of the National Hockey League, Gary Bettman, has repeatedly insisted that the league is not engaged in an active "expansion process," but reports insisting otherwise continue to crop up.

The latest is from veteran Vancouver Province columnist Tony Gallagher, who suggested on Tuesday that the NHL will expand to Las Vegas, Nev. sooner rather than later:

Sources close to the situation have indicated Las Vegas is a done deal, the only thing to be determined being which owner will be entitled to proclaim that he brought the first major league sports franchise to Sin City.

Gallagher also insists that there's fire behind all of the NHL-related smoke emanating out of Seattle, Wash. and reports that Vancouver-born billionaire Victor Coleman would be among the bidders interested in bringing a second NHL club to the Pacific Northwest.

While rumors about Las Vegas expansion continue to swirl, to the consternation of players like Chicago Blackhawks nofunnick Jonathan Toews, NHL brass has been steadfast in their insistence that nothing is imminent for the league on the expansion front.

"We're not ready to expand," Bettman said in early May, addressing rumors of potential NHL expansion in Las Vegas. "We, as I repeatedly have said, have received expressions of interest from people who might want to own a franchise in Las Vegas - as we have from a number of other cities - but we're not involved in any expansion process."

[H/T Kukla's Korner]

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