(SP) – The Montreal Canadiens organization has officially petitioned the NHL league office to join as an expansion franchise in the 2018-2019 season. The Canadiens say they would be willing to fold after this regular season and then re-join the NHL next season as an expansion franchise.
”Things just aren’t really working out to well for us these days and it’s hard as a low-end outfit like the Montreal Canadiens to not be jealous of top-level organization like the Vegas Golden Knights,” said Canadiens chairman Geoff Molson. “The hope is that we can just blow it all up here and start fresh again next season.”
The Canadiens, decades ago regarded as the NHL’s best franchise, is a woeful 20-25-6 on the season, far behind the 34-12-4 Golden Knights of Las Vegas, Nevada, formed from spare parts from around the league. But the Canadiens’ request to become an expansion franchise is unlikely to be approved by commissioner Gary Bettman.
“It takes a few years to approve and set up an expansion franchise,” said Bettman. “I see now way we could have a franchise up and running in Montreal by next season. And, I’ll be honest, we have no plans to expand into Quebec. However, I would be interested in moving the Canadiens to San Antonio. The San Antonio Canadiens has a certain ring to it.”