The NHL might have embraced transparency (for a change) on Wednesday by announcing it will publicize teams’ protected-player lists for this summer’s impending expansion draft.
But it might have backtracked on that transparency in the same day.
The big news in the NFL, of course, is that the Oakland Raiders are bringing the Silver and Black to Vegas as soon as 2019. And Vegas just so happens to be the same city that will house the Golden Knights, the very expansion team for which the NHL’s June draft will be held.
The NHL’s official website had a statement from Golden Knights owner Bill Foley on the Raiders’ headlining relocation:
On behalf of the entire Vegas Golden Knights family, I would like to welcome and congratulate Mark Davis and the Oakland Raiders on their relocation to the great city of Las Vegas. It truly is an exciting time to be from Las Vegas. There is only a select group of cities in North America that are home to both an NHL and an NFL franchise and Vegas is now one of them. This alone should be a great source of pride for our community and our fans. Las Vegas has always been one of the most popular destination cities in the world and it is now emerging as a premier location for major league professional sports.
Except those fine, welcoming words were not the only ones spoken by Foley, at least according to reports from Sporting News and The Mercury News.
In fact, Foley was more than a little critical of the Raiders’ planned arrival in Vegas, where, up until recently, the Golden Knights were going to be the only major-league team in town.
In an interview with The Vegas Hockey Hotline on KSHP 1400, per the reports, Foley actually goes as far to say he would not have moved the Raiders to Vegas at all, noting “there were a lot better ways to spend $750 million:”
I felt like there were a lot better ways to spend $750 million than bringing the Raiders to Las Vegas. We could spend it on police, firefighters and teachers and have them all be the best in the country. But I guess we’re going to spend it on the Raiders ... If I had complete control of the situation, I would not have opted to have the Raiders come here. But I didn’t, so I welcome them.
Granted, Foley’s additional comments are capped off with an acknowledgement that the Golden Knights will, in fact, welcome the Raiders to town. And can we really blame the NHL for not including tidbits of criticism in the cookie-cutter press release they posted to promote “unity” between new teams in Vegas?
At the very least, we should all know that some people were not exactly in favor of the Raiders’ move. And Bill Foley, owner of the Vegas Golden Knights, is apparently among them.