Gary Bettman: NHL Awards to remain in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (AP) The NHL Awards will remain in Las Vegas the next three years, Commissioner Gary Bettman said Wednesday night before the Vegas Golden Knights opened the playoffs against the Los Angeles Kings.

The NHL Awards will be held Wednesday, June 20, at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, also the 2016 venue.

”Las Vegas has been a tremendous host to the NHL Awards and we are thrilled to be coming back to the city for a ninth time this summer and, for a second time, to the Hard Rock,” Bettman said. ”Our players, coaches and fans look forward to coming to Las Vegas each June to honor the award nominees and winners.”

Additionally, the NHL and Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) announced a multi-year partnership extension, making this the 10th year of a partnership between Las Vegas and the NHL, and the ninth time the league will honor its hockey players in Las Vegas.

And for the first time since the awards have been held in Las Vegas, local fans may see members of their home team. Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant is the frontrunner for the Jack Adams Award, honoring the league’s top coach, while general manager George McPhee is a favorite to win the NHL GM of the Year.

”The bond that developed so intensely and so quickly between the team and the city of Las Vegas, I don’t think anybody could have anticipated,” Bettman said. ”We knew it would be successful, but that it happened so fast, maybe it was in the face of the (Oct. 1) tragedy and the team trying to help heal and unify. Maybe it’s the fact that Las Vegas is proud that this franchise has been born here and that its roots will always be here from the beginning.”

Finalists for each award will be announced daily, beginning Tuesday, April 17.