The Hunt family which owns the Missouri Mavericks of the ECHL (they play in Independence) has also put down a deposit for a USHL franchise for the KC market. The plan is for an 2 sheet arena with one side seating at least 3500 (that's the minimum requirement for the USHL). It will either be in Wyandotte County or Johnson County. Official announcement in June.
They have also got all the KC youth leagues to merge. They are really working at growing hockey in KC. It's been pretty impressive what they have accomplished in such a short time.
I have the same impression as well. They really seem to be making a very concerted effort to build a large hockey base in KC. It would be hard to believe that the end game is the NHL. I do think they are avoiding making that commitment know because they know how far they have to go and what need's to be done to start bringing that up.
Obviously the Hunt family knows that market and has the necessary funds to make something like that happen if they get to a point where they feel it's viable.