SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Could an NHL team be coming to Utah?
According to a report by hockey insider Elliotte Freidman, Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith had a meeting with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in New York after the NBA Board of Governor’s meeting.
Smith has long wanted to bring another professional team to Utah. According to Freedman, Smith was a potential buyer of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2021.
“I was told to keep his name on my radar, because he’s interested in the NHL — and the NHL is very interested in him,” Freedman wrote. “Obviously, that didn’t happen, but I was told to keep his name on my radar, because he’s interested in the NHL — and the NHL is very interested in him.”
This past summer, Smith Entertainment Group added Arctos Sports Partners as a minority investor with the interest of bringing another professional sports team to Utah.
Friedman also noted that Smith’s Real Salt Lake and Utah Royals FC co-owner, David Blitzer, is the owner of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.
While an NHL expansion team may be unlikely, a team such as the struggling Florida Panthers or Arizona Coyotes could move to Utah.
However, Vivint Arena, which has hosted NHL exhibition game the past several years, may not be suitable for an NHL team, and another arena may have to be constructed.