An expansion bid from Seattle and games overseas were on the docket at the NHL Board of Governors meeting on Saturday in Tampa Bay during the All-Star break.
The biggest news coming from the meeting was that the Oak View Group, looking to bring the league's 32nd franchise to Seattle, have almost completed a formal application for an expansion franchise. Commissioner Gary Bettman said he expects it to be filed in the "not too distant future."
TSN Senior Hockey Reporter Frank Seravalli notes that the finished application and the $10 million fee that comes with it are expected by the league later this week.
The Oak View Group, headed by former Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment president Tim Leiweke, had the winning bid for the redevelopment of Seattle's KeyArena - the former home of the SuperSonics - in December in what is expected to be a $600 million project. The group intends to have the renovations completed in time for the 2020 NHL and, potentially, NBA seasons.
In other news coming out of the meeting, the Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets will be on the ice for regular season games in Europe next season. The Oilers will take on the New Jersey Devils in Sweden at the start of the regular season, while the Jets will do battle with Florida Panthers in Finland in November. It's expected that Jets and Panthers will play two games at each location, much like the Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche did earlier this season in Stockholm.
With the Oilers and Devils set to break camp in Europe, each team will likely also play an exhibition game in the home country of one of its young stars. The Oilers will play in Germany, the home of Leon Draisaitl, while the Devils will take the ice in Nico Hischier's native Switzerland.
This would mark the second straight year and seventh time that the league played regular season contests overseas. From 2007 to 2011, the league ran the NHL Premiere in which teams kicked off their regular seasons in locations all over Europe.
The Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks played exhibition games in China this past fall and the league intends to return there next September, but TSN Hockey Insiders Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger note that the details of that venture have yet to be worked out.
While the league and the NHLPA are still finalizing matters, the teams likely to visit Asia next fall would be the Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames.
Dreger also notes that the topic of goaltender interference was a hot one at the meeting with the thought being that officials are overthinking the call. According to TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun, a memo will go out to on-ice officials essentially saying don't overthink the call.
There were a numer of high-profile goaltender interference cases this past week in the NHL involving the likes of Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews where seemingly good goals were waved off due to interference with the goalie.
After having a goal waved off against Jonathan Bernier and the Colorado Avalanche, Matthews scored later in the game and celebrated with an emphatic "good goal" point to the back of the net.
Dreger reports that a further meeting on Saturday afternoon is scheduled on the topic with the four All-Star coaches - Tampa Bay Lightning bench boss Jon Cooper, Barry Trotz of the Washington Capitals, the Vegas Golden Knights' Gerard Gallant and Peter Laviolette of the Nashville Predators - among those on hand.
Executive director of the NHLPA Donald Fehr said that February or September of 2020 are possible windows for the next World Cup of Hockey. It was last played in 2016, with Team Canada taking down Team Europe in the finals.