Flames no longer eyeing Calgary arena; Bettman: 'There will be consequences'

The NHL may be welcoming a new team in the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017-18, but the headlines say there's just as much, if not more, talk about the teams that could be looking for new homes beyond this season.

On the heels of support for an expansion team in Quebec City and further discussion of an NHL presence in Houston and Seattle, where everything from arena renovation plans to a change in franchise ownership has spawned relocation rumors for some clubs, came a dramatic revelation Tuesday night from Ken King, president of the Calgary Flames.

After speaking to Calgary's Mayor Naheed Nenshi, King announced Tuesday, according to Sportsnet's Eric Francis, that the city has "no genuine interest in helping build" a new arena for the Flames -- something NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in March that Calgary must pursue to replace an "old, antiquated" Scotiabank Saddledome.

"We've been working on it for a long time," King said of the team's attempt to secure new building prospects, per NHL.com. "But it doesn't look like we're going to get there. And I think it's time we stopped pretending and we're a little honest with our fans and our city on that fact."

Bettman was on hand during King's announcement, Francis reported, and encouraged team stakeholders at an annual golf tourney dinner to "make your voice heard" and aid the Flames' efforts to garner city support. But he also cautioned that failure to secure plans for a new arena would not go unnoticed by the league: "At some point, there will be consequences that will have to be dealt with."

What comes next? A whole lot of political back-and-forth, Francis speculated in a report for the Calgary Sun:

Discussions with the city had stopped on July 31, sparking the Flames to shake up a process that took the better part of a decade to solve in Edmonton, where the battle for their new arena was similarly contentious at times.

The Flames' approach needed to change as their best offer, which included more than $200 million from the Flames owners, didn't seem to whet the appetite of the city at all.

So now, the chess game between the mayor and this franchise awaits Nenshi's response.

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