Meanwhile, the force-feeding of NHL hockey to fan bases in hotbeds like Florida and Phoenix (haha) continues unabated. An NHL team in Las Vegas will be lucky to outdraw Cirque du Soleil.
Deadspin had a post about it, and they made the point that all of this expansion, especially in the southern U.S., is all about extra markets for negotiating TV deals and the league couldn't care less if the Panthers play next to a mall practically in the Everglades or the Coyotes can't draw flies in Phoenix or Glendale (and why they fought so hard to keep them there). And, honestly, that makes perfect sense as long as they can sustain the quality of play.
Even in this case, it makes sense. They add two entirely untapped hockey markets in the US--one which would have no pro competition at all and the other currently without any in-season--add a second team in the league's biggest market (and competition for a centerpiece franchise that seems awfully lazy and content), and throw a bone to a tiny Canadian market with a rabid fanbase and a history of supporting the Nordiques.