Let s call it "highly unlikely" and here s why:
1) TV market size. Indianapolis is the 28th largest US television market.
2) Median income. It ranks below non-NHL markets in San Diego, San Antonio, Houston, Charlotte, Jacksonville and El Paso.
3) NHL TV ratings. Indianapolis has never been a strong market for watching hockey. Las Vegas is technically a smaller TV market but with a higher median income, younger demographics and has consistently been top-10 market even prior to the league awarding a franchise to Las Vegas.
4) League size. With Seattle confirmed, the league has 32 teams which is pretty much maxed out.
5) Arena. It s unclear how much would have to be spent to get the Pacers arena to be able to handle NHL games. The league has had issues with this in the past. The Phoenix Coyotes played at then-America West arena which had several thousand limited view seats as the arena was built for basketball. The same issue has cropped up with the NY Islanders playing at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (an arena built for basketball).
6) There is currently no ownership group based in Indianapolis that has shown any desire to apply for a franchise or to throw its proverbial hat in the ring for a potential franchise relocation (which right now there aren t any candidates). Quebec City has a purpose-built arena as does Kansas City that do not have a major tenant.