Ryan and Ashley Smith, owners of the Utah Jazz, reportedly submitted a bid to bring an NHL team to the state, per Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune.
Rumors have swirled about an NHL team potentially being added in Utah. Up to this point, though, nothing has come to fruition. Even with this bid nothing is guaranteed. However, the Smiths are taking a big step toward bringing an NHL franchise to Utah.
Ryan Smith released a statement, via Elliotte Friedman.
Jazz owners want the NHL in Utah
“SEG envisions a near future where the NHL will thrive in Utah, and we are 100 percent focused on making this happen as soon as possible. We are passionate about sports and entertainment in the state and are committed to providing premium sports and entertainment experiences for the people of Utah and visitors from around the world. We are ready to welcome the NHL and are confident that the time and attention being spent by all parties will bring one of the most exciting and dynamic leagues in the world to our community on a permanent basis.”
Danhy Ainge and the Jazz have a few key weaknesses to shore up this trade deadline.
The Seattle Kraken are the most recent NHL expansion franchise. Talks about expansion to various cities have been discussed over the past couple of years.
The league is seemingly open to the idea of further expansion. Of course, it is a long process. Still, the Jazz owners are clearly hoping to bring the NHL to Utah soon. It will be interesting to see if an expansion team ends up in Utah following this bid.