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Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork. Custom New York Jets Jerseys .com) - As we speak, the city of Las Vegas is entrenched in the exploratory phase of a ticket drive meant to assess its readiness to accept an NHL franchise in the near future. Coming out of last weeks Board of Governors meeting in Boca Raton, commissioner Gary Bettman was adamant that expansion and relocation were merely topics discussed and not a dead certainty. There are 30 teams currently, and, if you believe the conspiracy theories that pop up whenever the league decides to realign its divisional format, two more spaces open for clubs in a 14-team Western Conference to balance out a 16-team Eastern Conference. There is no formal expansion process, Bettman said. There is no vote that was taken today. There is no vote that was contemplated. We dont have an agreement to sell anybody an expansion process. Still, its not difficult to read between the lines when billionaire businessman Rick Foley practically falls over himself in the last year to get the leagues attention and set out and prove that this former desert stop-over for GIs in World War II could field a hockey team at the continents highest level. Mr. Foley, who is investing a considerable amount of time and effort in expressing his interest, wants to have a good idea as to whether or not its a good idea, Bettman said last Tuesday. Were interested to know the results, as well ... if he just wants people to sign a piece of paper and say Im interested, Im not sure thats the same as somebody taking a deposit. Reports have surfaced that an expansion fee for Vegas could reach as high as $400 million, a number which seems to have discouraged all talk of a club coming to Seattle. Thats absurd, but thats apparently enough of a windfall to remedy any lingering cash flow issues from the 2012-13 season which began in late January due to 3 1/2 months worth of discord over a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. A league seemingly impervious to business decisions which at times have pushed it to the brink of ruin would be stupid not to consider it. Its amazing that Bettman -- who has presided over three work stoppages and one entire cancelled season under his watch while revenues and a salary cap have seen a net increase in that time -- can simply sit back and let potential owners flock to him without really lifting a finger. But thats where we are. The National Hockey League, for all its faults and shortcomings and occasional labor battles which truncate season schedules and alienate hard-core fans, has reached a point on the North American sports landscape where starry-eyed civic-minded heroes are lining up to grab a piece of the rock on little more than the promise of an audience with the king. In Vegas, its the lure of legitimacy for a city eternally left out of the professional sports picture due to the stain of gambling and the possibilities of regional rivalries with southern California and Phoenix. In Quebec, now approaching 20 years since the Nordiques left for Denver, a whole new arena to replace the famed Le Colisee is being built on nothing more than the hopes of attracting either a wayward franchise or a totally new one. Lets not forget theres a brand-new arena in Kansas City which was all set to welcome the itinerant Penguins seven years ago before the deal of the century kept the team in Pittsburgh. And then, theres Florida. Nobody should be focusing on the Panthers as a relocation candidate. Period, Bettman said. Its inconsistent with everything we know and believe, its inconsistent with everything (owner) Vinnie Viola would be telling me and inconsistent meaning he has no intention of moving the club. He is committed to South Florida. With an average of well under 9,000 fans per game -- numbers which recently doomed the second NHL club to be placed in Atlanta -- its laughable that Bettman could keep up that charade for much longer. Just as when he preached patience and confidence for the Thrashers franchise and then allowed it to bolt up to Winnipeg in May of 2011, if the economics of a new locale will strengthen the overall brand, you can bet Bettman -- and by extension the rest of the BOG -- will sign off on the move before the first plastic rats hit the ice in protest. The devil, as always, is in the details. To wit: If were having this conversation in two or three years, it might be a different issue, Bettman said. And why wouldnt Bettman and Viola have this conversation by then? Its taken more than a decade for things to become so pear-shaped, how could it turn around in such a short time frame even with a winner in the building? While the puppets dance around him, sometimes by his own hand and sometimes to the beat of their own drum, Bettman and the NHL can just bide their time. Expansion and relocation is coming. Its simply more dramatic to hear the hedging and denials first, because thats what makes the final decision so explosive to the public and so ecstatic to the hopeful. In the meantime, pray for Vegas and Quebec and all points in between dont become too swept up in the sweepstakes because its all just a game in the end. Joe Namath Jets Jersey .m. ET, CBSOPENING LINE — Packers by 3RECORD VS. SPREAD — New England 7-4, Green Bay 5-5-1SERIES RECORD — Tied 5-5. Trenton Cannon Jets Jersey .C. -- Marcus Paige and his North Carolina teammates have endured so many wild swings -- big wins, surprising losses, NCAA drama -- that no one can blame their Hall of Fame coach for wondering whats next.EDMONTON - The Ottawa Redblacks will take a passel of ex-Eskimos and a collective chip on their shoulder when they go for their first CFL franchise win Friday. The Redblacks are taking on the Edmonton Eskimos in their second regular season game Friday night. Catch the game live on TSN as the back end of a doubleheader starting at 10pm et/7pm pt. "Im not going to give you the politically correct answer," Ottawa linebacker T.J. Hill told reporters Thursday after the 0-1 Redblacks arrived at Commonwealth Stadium. "No disrespect to the Blue Bombers … but we definitely feel like we let that one slip away. "Weve got to finish, and theres no excuses." The Redblacks jumped out to a 21-7 lead in their opener in Winnipeg last week, but multiple penalties and big mistakes on special teams allowed the Blue Bombers to stage a 36-28 comeback win. Hill is one of eight former Edmonton Eskimos on the Ottawa roster for Fridays game. Hill was a veteran and a longtime locker-room leader for the Eskimos, but was let go in the off-season as the team remodelled its defence under new head coach Chris Jones. Hill said he doesnt feel any added incentive to win on his former home turf against his old mates. "Im always fired up to just have the opportunity to play," he said. Not so for fellow Redblack and former Eskimos receiver Marcus Henry, who was picked up by Ottawa after failing a training camp medical in Edmonton. Henry was asked if he was OK with how things ended for him in Edmonton. "At first no, I wasnt OK with it. It was (a) surprise to me, too," he said. "But coming through the locker-room after I got released, the guys picking me up and stuff, I got over it pretty quick. But itt still stings a bit, he added. Joe Namath Jersey. "Whenever you get released by a team and you go back and play them, theres always a chip on your shoulder," he said. The ex-Eskimos are also in the Ottawa coaching ranks, including head coach Rick Campbell, a former longtime assistant with Edmonton. He said they need to reduce the penalties and protect the football from an Edmonton defence that has already intercepted seven balls en route to a 2-0 record. "We need to take care of the football," said Campbell. Against Winnipeg, the Redblacks were flagged 16 times for 120 yards and gave up big plays on special teams. A 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Winnipegs Demond Washington left the Blue Bombers just two points down with more than 10 minutes to play. On the Eskimos side, quarterback Mike Reilly said they need to execute better in the red zone. So far the Eskimos have scored three TDs in seven trips inside the 20-yard line. Reilly said its not a question of plays or play calling, but execution. "You have to have better focus when youre down in the red zone," he said. "Things happen so much faster in the red zone. Theres very small room for error when youre down there and so you have to be very precise in your plays. "The opportunities are there. We just have to take advantage of them." As for familiarity, Edmonton safety Chris Rwabukamba said it will be nice to see old teammates return — up to a point. "Its fun playing against guys that you know, but when you step on that field, the No. 1 thing you want to do is win," said Rwabukamba. Notes: Eskimos linebacker JC Sherritt is out with an undisclosed injury. Hell be replaced by Dexter MCoil. Wholesale NFL Autographed Jerseys Cheap NFL T-shirts Cheap Authentic Jerseys Cheap NFL Hoodies China NFL Hoodies China NFL Jerseys China NFL Gear ' ' '
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