TSN: Speculation a southern Ontario expansion team could net more than $1 billion in expansion fees

While there have been a multitude of related stories tied to the rumors and speculation of NHL expansion over the last several days, most of that rhetoric hasn't been posted on our story stream. There was a quote from Gary Bettman, a full interview in fact, about how the initial report about expansion was false. Gary claimed that the rumored $1.4 billion in expansion fees (total) for four new franchises "greatly undervalued" NHL franchises to begin with.

Canada's TSN sort of underlines that this morning with a report on what a southern Ontario (read: Toronto:

Five investment bankers who advise NHL team owners on the sales of franchises said it would only be a matter of time before the league entertains offers for another team in Toronto.

The bankers, who collectively have advised both buyers and sellers of NHL teams, as well as owners who have sought new limited partners, said bidding for a new team in Toronto would begin around $800 million. Opinion was split on how high the bidding might go. Three of the bankers said they could see the auction reach $1.2 billion. The other two doubted the bidding would eclipse $1 billion.

Now, mind you, there's a quote before the above reference that cites "senior NHL team officials", and while TSN is an expert in the field of the NHL, it's also known as a mouthpiece for both the league and the Toronto Maple Leafs franchise. It's hard to gauge if the source of their quote is tied to the league or to the Leafs (who would like nothing more than to retain the monopoly on the Toronto market).

I totally recommend reading the full article over on TSN for more on expansion and the fact an NHL Board of Governors meeting is slated for the end of this month.