With one amazing announcement NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman made CT hockey fans happy. Bettman held a press conference this morning to announce that the NHL would be expanding to 34 teams for the 2014-2015 season. There would be one expansion team in each division. Bettman announced that Hartford would see the Whalers return as well as new franchises in San Antonio, Jacksonville and Milwaukee.
CT hockey fans have been clamoring for years for the Whale to hit the ice again and their prayers have been answered. The NHL stated that there will be a supplemental draft for only the expansion teams. In addition each expansion team will get two 1st and 2nd round draft picks and one pick in the following rounds with position determined by lottery. The expansion teams will also have a 3 year window of salary cap exemption allowing them to make big free agent signings in order to be competitive immediately.
The four expansion teams are:
San Antonio River Rats
The Whalers will play their 2014-2015 season at the XL Center. They will then transition over to a to-be-built facility on Columbus Blvd right near 91 and the Connecticut River. Season tickets go on sale this Friday. To purchase or to get more info check out The Whalers Return.
To build excitement for the Whalers return (as if they needed to) the league has released the team’s new logo. Check it out!