Good afternoon from hot, humid, sticky South Florida.

Who in their right mind could ever live here?????

Wild GM Chuck Fletcher, the former Panthers' assistant GM as a matter of fact, will go from the dry heat of Vegas to the steam room that is Lauderdale after today's Board of Governor's meeting.

Approved from that shindig is the following: Actually see my cut-and-paste below.

In addition, the expansion process has begun. The league will start accepting applications, no expansion can happen before 2017-18 and the fee will be at least $500 million -- or $420 million more than the Wild (Bob Naegele yet again proves to be a genius) and $450 million more than the team I used to cover, the Panthers.

Expansion, folks, is only about the expansion fees. This is not hockey-related revenue split with the players. The 30 team owners will split those fees $$$$, which is why I've been saying consistently for three years that expansion was a lock.

Translation from all of today's activity: Las Vegas, at a minimum, will be in the NHL by 2017-18. Book it.

Here's the big story I did on the NHL and Vegas back in November from my sitdown with Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.

As for the Wild, Fletcher has not arrived yet. I have confirmed he will meet at least with the agents of Devan Dubnyk, Mikael Granlund, Christian Folin and Niklas Backstrom/Erik Haula (two birds with one stone meeting) in the next few days.

Here's today's big feature on Brock Boeser, a draft-eligible potential first-rounder from Burnsville with a touching story to tell. Please give it a read. Grab a tissue.

Here's today's Devan Dubnyk article on his meeting with Fletcher and time in Vegas. He is up for the Vezina and Masterton tonight at 6 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.

The NHL schedule will be released at 9 a.m. Thursday. Oct. 8 opener at Colorado, Oct. 10 home opener vs. St. Louis. I've seen the schedule. Pretty, pretty tough. Very similar opening of the season as last year with a bunch of days off after Game 2.

I'll have it up for you Thursday morning.

Here's the annual NHL rule changes:

BOARD OF GOVERNORS APPROVES RULES CHANGES FOR 2015-16 SEASON
               3-on-3 Overtime, Coach's Challenge Introduced


        LAS VEGAS (June 24, 2015) – The National Hockey League Board of
Governors today approved rules changes for the 2015-16 season that will
change the overtime format to 3-on-3 for five minutes, expand the use of
video review to include a Coach's Challenge within a limited scope of
scenarios and amend face-off protocol.

        The Board acted on the series of recommendations it received from the
NHL/NHLPA Competition Committee and the NHL General Managers.

3-on-3 Overtime

   1.    Teams play an additional overtime period of not more than five
      (5) minutes with the team scoring first declared the winner and being
      awarded an additional point.

   2.   The overtime period will be played with each team at 3-on-3 manpower
      (plus goaltender) for the full five-minute period.

   3.   Manpowers during overtime will be adjusted to reflect the situation
      in the game, but at no time will a team have fewer than three (3)
      skaters on the ice during the overtime period. For example, if a team
      enters the overtime period on a power play, manpower would be
      adjusted from 5 on 4 at the end of regulation to 4 on 3 at the start
      of overtime. If a minor penalty is assessed during overtime, the
      teams will play 4 on 3. If a second minor penalty is assessed to the
      same team during overtime, the teams will play 5 on 3.

   4.   If the game remains tied at the end of the five (5) minute overtime
      period, the teams will proceed to a three-round shootout. After each
      team has taken three shots, if the score remains tied, the shootout
      will proceed to a “sudden death” format.

   5.   Clubs who pull their goaltender for an extra attacker during the
      overtime period (other than on a delayed penalty) will be subject to
      the potential forfeiture of their one (1) point earned for the tie at
      the end of regulation in the event the opposing team scores into the
      empty net.

   6.   At the end of regulation, the entire ice surface will be shoveled and
      the goalies will change ends. There will be no further ice surface
      maintenance during the balance of overtime period. Following the
      overtime period and before the shootout, the ice surface will be
      shoveled again, and the goalies will change ends.

Expanded Video Review

        This expanded video review is intended to be extremely narrow in
scope and the original call on the ice is to be overturned if, and only if,
a determination is made by the on-ice Official(s) (in consultation with the
Toronto Video Room) that the original call on the ice was not correct. If a
review is not conclusive and/or there is any doubt whatsoever as to whether
the call on the ice was correct, the on-ice Official(s) will be instructed
to confirm their original call.

Coach’s Challenge

1.      A team may only request a Coach’s Challenge to review the following
scenarios:

   a)   “Off-Side” Play Leading to a Goal. A play that results in a “GOAL”
      call on the ice where the defending team asserts that the play should
      have been stopped by reason of an “Off-Side” infraction by the
      attacking team.

   b)   Scoring Plays Involving Potential “Interference on the Goalkeeper”

      (i) A play that results in a “GOAL” call on the ice where the
      defending team asserts that the goal should have been disallowed due
      to “Interference on the Goalkeeper,” as described in Rules 69.1, 69.3
      and 69.4; or

      (ii) A play that results in a “NO GOAL” call on the ice despite the
      puck having entered the net, where the on-ice Officials have
      determined that the attacking team was guilty of “Interference on the
      Goalkeeper” but where the attacking team asserts: (i) there was no
      actual contact of any kind initiated by an attacking Player with the
      goalkeeper; or (ii) the attacking Player was pushed, shoved, or
      fouled by a defending Player causing the attacking Player to come
      into contact with the goalkeeper; or (iii) the attacking Player’s
      positioning within the goal crease did not impair the goalkeeper’s
      ability to defend his goal and, in fact, had no discernible impact on
      the play.

2.       A team may only request a Coach’s Challenge if they have their
  time-out available and the Coach’s Challenge must be effectively
  initiated prior to the resumption of play.

3.      If the Coach’s Challenge does not result in the original call on the
  ice being overturned, the team exercising such challenge will forfeit its
  time-out.

4.      If the Coach’s Challenge does result in the call on the ice being
  overturned, the team successfully exercising such challenge will retain
  its time-out.

League Initiated Review

   1.   In the final minute of play in the 3rd Period and at any point in
      Overtime (Regular Season and Playoffs), Hockey Operations will
      initiate the review of any scenario that would otherwise be subject
      to a Coach’s Challenge.

   2.   Hockey Operations will continue to initiate and be responsible for
      the review of all goals subject to Video Review under Rule 38.4.
      Where a Coach’s Challenge is available on a scoring play potentially
      involving “Interference on the Goalkeeper” or “Off-Side,” Hockey
      Operations will, as an initial and threshold matter, determine that
      the puck entered the net and is a good hockey goal before the play
      will be subject to further review by means of a Coach’s Challenge
      (or, in the final minute of play or in Overtime, a review initiated
      by Hockey Operations). If a team requests a Coach’s Challenge but
      Video Review under Rule 38.4 renders such Challenge unnecessary, then
      the Challenge will be deemed not to have been made and the timeout
      will be preserved.

Additional Notes Regarding Scenarios Subject to Expanded Video Review

   1.    The League will make available in all arenas, technology
      (either a handheld tablet or a television or computer monitor) that
      will allow on-ice Officials, in conjunction with the Toronto Video
      Room, to view replays if, and only to the extent, a formal Coach’s
      Challenge has been initiated (or, in the final minute of play or in
      Overtime, a review by Hockey Operations is initiated). To the extent
      practical, the replays made available to the Officials on the ice
      will be the same replays that are being utilized by the Toronto Video
      Room.

   2    Once a Challenge has been initiated (or, in the final minute of play
      or in Overtime, a review is initiated by Hockey Operations), the
      Toronto Video Room will immediately establish contact with the
      Referee (or Linesman) responsible for the call on the ice via the
      headset and will inquire and discuss with the Referee (or Linesman),
      prior to the Referee (or Linesman) examining any video, the
      following: (a) the Referee’s (or Linesman’s) “final” call on the ice;
      and (b) what the Referee (or Linesman) observed on the play.

   3.   The on-ice call will then be reviewed simultaneously by the
      appropriate on-ice Officials at ice level and by Hockey Operations in
      the Toronto Video Room using any and all replays at their disposal.
      After reviewing the play and consulting with the Toronto Video Room,
      the appropriate on-ice Officials will then make the “final” decision
      on whether to uphold or overturn the original call on the ice. Once
      the decision is made, the Referee will inform the Penalty
      Timekeeper/PA Announcer and will make the announcement on the ice.

Plays Potentially Involving An “Off-Side” Infraction

   1.   The standard for overturning the call in the event of a “GOAL” call
      on the ice is that the Linesman, after reviewing any and all
      available replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room,
      determines that one or more Players on the attacking team preceded
      the puck into the attacking zone prior to the goal being scored and
      that, as a result, the play should have been stopped for an
      “Off-Side” infraction; where this standard is met, the goal will be
      disallowed.

   2.   Goals will only be reviewed for a potential “Off-Side” infraction if:
      (a) the puck does not come out of the attacking zone again; or (b)
      all members of the attacking team do not clear the attacking zone
      again, between the time of the “Off-Side” play and the time the goal
      is scored.

   3.   In the event a goal is reversed due to the Linesman determining that
      the play was “Off-Side” prior to the goal being scored, the clock
      (including penalty time clocks, if applicable) will be re-set to the
      time at which the play should have been stopped for the “Off-Side”
      infraction.

Plays Potentially Involving “Interference on the Goalkeeper”

   1.   The standard for overturning the call in the event of a “GOAL” call
      on the ice is that the Referee, after reviewing any and all available
      replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that
      the goal should have been disallowed due to “Interference on the
      Goalkeeper,” as described in Rules 69.1, 69.3 and 69.4.

   2.   The standard for overturning the call in the event of a “NO GOAL”
      call on the ice is that the Referee, after reviewing any and all
      replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that
      the goal on the ice should have been allowed because either: (i)
      there was no actual contact of any kind initiated by the attacking
      Player with the goalkeeper; or (ii) the attacking Player was pushed,
      shoved or fouled by a defending Player causing the attacking Player
      to come into contact with the goalkeeper; or (iii) the attacking
      Player’s positioning within the crease did not impair the
      goalkeeper’s ability to defend his goal and, in fact, had no
      discernible impact on the play.

   3.   The Video Review process on these plays (whether initiated by way of
      a Coach’s Challenge or by Hockey Operations in the final minute of
      play or in Overtime) will be utilized exclusively for purposes of
      confirming or overturning a “GOAL” or “NO GOAL” call on the ice on
      scoring plays potentially involving “Interference on the Goalkeeper.”
      The Video Review process on these plays -- regardless of its outcome
      -- will not be utilized for any other purpose, including,
      specifically, for assessing minor or major penalties for Goalkeeper
      Interference.

Rule 76.4, Face-Offs – Paragraph 2

        When the face-off takes place at any of the nine face-off spots, the
players taking part shall take their position so that they will stand
squarely facing their opponent’s end of the rink, and clear of the ice
markings (where applicable). The sticks of both players facing-off shall
have the blade on the ice, within the designated white area. At the eight
face-off spots (excluding center ice face-off spot), the defending player
shall place his stick within the designated white area first followed
immediately by the attacking player. When the face-off is conducted at the
center ice face-off spot, the visiting player shall place his stick on the
ice first.

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Wild to open Oct. 8 at Colorado; first home game Oct. 10

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Devan Dubnyk's special night capped by Masterton win