The Detroit News has a great piece in today’s paper called Masterminds of Hockeytown. The News got to sit down with Mike Ilitch, Jimmy Devellano, Ken Holland, Jim Nill and Scotty Bowman and talk about the past 25 years of the Red Wings and a little bit of the future.
The full transcript of the session is also available. A lot of the history has been told before but there are a few notes about the future that find important.
News: Do you have any assurances from the league, if there’s expansion, which they’re talking about again, about getting back to the Eastern Conference?
Ilitch: Well, (NHL commissioner Gary) Bettman has told Jimmy and I on two or three occasions that we’re next.
Devellano: I’d just like to add one more thing about expansion. There’s little doubt that Vegas is coming in (as an expansion franchise) — it’s about four years from now. And I truly believe Gary Bettman will move us East at that time.
Ilitch: Oh, I’m not selling anything, that’s for sure.
The first confirms what’s been rumored for years. The Wings belong in the Eastern Conference and they’ll get there someday.
The second terrifies me. I still contend that NHL talent is diluted. Expansion will not help this league.
The third puts to rest a rumor that apparently started during a Tigers broadcast this summer.