KSL SPORTS ZONE

Hockey Insider: Ryan Smith Is ‘Kind Of Guy’ NHL Wants

Apr 3, 2023, 1:51 PM | Updated: 3:05 pm

SALT LAKE CITYElliotte Friedman of Sportsnet joined KSL Sports Zone’s Jake & Ben to discuss the reported meeting between Utah Jazz/Real Salt Lake owner Ryan Smith and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

The NHL insider joined Jake Scott and Ben Anderson during their weekday radio program on Monday, April 3.

A few days before hopping on the phone with the KSL Sports Zone show, Friedman reported that Smith and Bettman had recently had dinner together following the NBA’s board of governors meetings in New York City.

“That night, according to multiple sources, Bettman had dinner with Ryan Smith, owner of the Utah Jazz,” Friedman wrote. “This is one to watch. When Fenway bought the Penguins, Smith was rumoured as another potential purchaser. Obviously, that didn’t happen, but I was told to keep his name on my radar, because he’s interested in the NHL — and the NHL is very interested in him.”

RELATED: Report: NHL Commissioner Met With Jazz Owner Ryan Smith

During the interview on KSL Sports Zone, Friedman said that Smith is the “kind of guy” that the NHL wants in ownership.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KSL Sports (@kslsports)

He’s smart. He’s a huge champion of the area,” Friedman said of Smith. “I’ve seen the quotes from him and his wife both in and around the [NBA] All-Star Game about how much they believe in Utah. Some people sent me some demographics of how…Salt Lake City is a fast-growing city with a lot of tech money. Like all of these kinds of things are the kinds of things the NHL really likes. And I’ve just heard, as you guys said that he likes the NHL, and now I’ve heard the NHL really likes him.”

The hockey insider highlighted that he doesn’t think an NHL team coming to Utah is “imminent or anything like that.” The Arizona Coyotes have been floated as a potential team to relocate from Phoenix. However, Friedman doesn’t believe the Coyotes make sense for the Beehive State.

“We’ve got a situation where Arizona has a big vote next month and if they don’t win it, we’re all wondering about their future. I’m not convinced that Salt Lake City could be a home for the Coyotes. I think they want something new as opposed to something moved,” Friedman said. I was told very unlikely.”

He also discussed the timeline of Utah adding an NHL franchise to the market aligning with the state hosting the Winter Olympics a decade from now.

“When that happens, there could be some new facilities that come in potentially a new arena for basketball and hockey,” Friedman said.

The insider also discussed that timeline in his recent report.

“Salt Lake City hosted the excellent 2002 Winter Olympics and is considered the favourite to do it again…That could lead to new facilities, including a future home for the NBA team and an NHL brother,” Friedman wrote.

Last October, Smith announced Arctos Sports Partners was buying a minority share in the Smith Entertainment Group (SEG), the entity that owns the Jazz, and hoped to bring a fifth professional sports team to the state of Utah.

Smith didn’t reveal which major sports league the group was eyeing, but sources told KSL Sports that the NHL was the league most likely to expand into the state.

A private equity firm, Arctos launched in 2019 and has built more than $5 billion in assets through the Artcos Sports fund. The company specializes in investing in passive minority stakes in professional sports franchises whose value appreciates faster than traditional stock investments.

Arctos already owns minority shares in three NBA teams including the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, and the Philadelphia 76ers, several MLB teams including the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Chicago Cubs, and the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool FC of the English Premiere League, various NHL teams, and Real Salt Lake.

“We believe in Utah and all the amazing things happening in the state and we believe SEG is poised to be the next big sports and entertainment group,” Chad Hutchinson of Arctos Sports said in the August release.

To hear the entirety of Friedman’s conversation with Scott and Anderson, check out the audio player above.

Listen to Jake & Ben on weekdays from 10 a.m. to Noon (MDT) on KSL Sports Zone and click here to subscribe to the show’s podcast.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

  • Real Salt Lake Leaders

  • Real Salt Lake Standings

KSL Sports Zone

lynne-roberts-watches-a-play-on-the-sidelines-during-a-utah-wbb-game...

Michelle Bodkin

Lynne Roberts Discusses Having To Adapt Through Tough Pac-12 Schedule

Nothing has come easy for Utah women's basketball in the 2023-24 season despite returning most of a team that got to the Sweet 16 last year.

2 months ago

utah athletic director mark harlan stands in front of Huntsman Center...

Brian Preece

Utah Athletic Director Mark Harlan Excited To Renew In-State Football Rivalries

2024 figures to be a transformative season for the Mark Harlan and the U of U as it transitions into the Big 12 after 14 years in the Pac 12.

2 months ago

Chicken-Wings-Super-Bowl-Party-2022...

KSL Sports Zone

Hans & Scotty G’s Last-Minute Super Bowl LVIII Recipe Ideas

Here are some last-minute Super Bowl recipe ideas courtesy of KSL Sports Zone's Hans Olsen and Scotty Garrard.

2 months ago

Steve-Young-Super-Bowl-LVIII-NFL...

Kyle Ireland

NFL Legend Steve Young Talks Super Bowl LVIII, Andy Reid, Zach Wilson

Former BYU and NFL quarterback Steve Young joined KSL Sports Zone's David James and Patrick Kinahan to preview Super Bowl LVIII.

2 months ago

USU-practices-ahead-of-2023-season...

Brian Preece

Will Added Competition Help Utah State Football Improve In 2024?

After finalizing a 30-player signing class, Utah State football is sitting in a completely different place today than it was one year ago.

2 months ago

How-To-Watch-Utah-Utes-USC-Trojans-Football...

Michelle Bodkin

Big 12 Conference Championship Or Bust For Utah Football In 2024

Utah football is joining the Big 12 Conference in 2024 and there is already one media member who thinks the Utes will be the best team.

3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Hockey Insider: Ryan Smith Is ‘Kind Of Guy’ NHL Wants