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NHL looking to expand; Las Vegas likely applicant

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman talks during a news

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman talks during a news conference before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Chicago Blackhawks in Tampa, Fla., Wednesday, June 3, 2015. Credit: AP / Phelan M. Ebenhack

The NHL moved toward reshaping itself again Wednesday.

The Board of Governors agreed to accept applications for expansion of the 30-team league next month, changed overtime to 3-on-3 rather than 4-on-4 in hope of reducing shootouts, and instituted a coach's challenge to review goaltender interference and goals on possible offsides.

In Las Vegas, from where one application surely will be submitted by a group building an arena with commitments from 13,200 for season tickets, commissioner Gary Bettman said expansion fees would "start with a five," indicating $500 million, but made no guarantees.

Investors in Toronto and Quebec told reporters yesterday they intend to apply and investors in Seattle, Kansas City and Milwaukee have also expressed interest.

It is unclear who will apply between July 6 and Aug. 10, the dates set. Bettman said the board, which has the final word, could choose not to accept any.

Next season, overtime play will switch to a 3-on-3 format, as negotiated by general managers and the NHLPA. It will run the current five minutes. If a penalty is called, the opposing team is awarded a 4-on-3. If neither team scores, a three-round shootout begins. If the score remains tied, a sudden-death shootout follows.

Finally, a coach can challenge to attempt to reverse a goal or no-goal call in cases of goaltender interference or offsides.


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