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Another Option For A Relocating NHL Team

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

Obviously, if the NHL is faced with relocating another franchise—those options may have to be legitimately explored in the coming weeks or months with regards to the long-term future of the Phoenix Coyotes—the most logical landing-spot candidates are Seattle, Quebec City, Kansas City and perhaps Las Vegas.

But interested parties in Saskatoon have contacted the league and suggested there are individuals or parties in Saskatoon who would be willing to ante up the required purchase fee while various levels of government in Saskatchewan would make necessary arrangements to expand and make NHL-suitable the 15,800-seat Credit Union Centre….

Meanwhile, the NHL continues to focus on negotiations with three groups who have expressed varying degrees of interest in buying the Coyotes from the NHL and working out a deal with the City of Glendale to keep the franchise there long-term. But if those negotiations don’t progress in the coming weeks, it’s believed the NHL willl have no other option but to begin pursuing a parallel track to look at its relocation options while still trying to make the Phoenix scenario work.


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink


SYF's avatar

In 1983, the St. Louis Blues almost moved to Saskatoon. Then-owner Ralston Purina were going to sell the franchise to Bill Hunter, who was going to relocate it to Saskatoon. The league blocked the move, took the franchise over when Ralston Purina effectively abandoned it and sold it to Harry Ornest, who kept the team alive in St. Louis.

Aren’t they up for sale again?

What about Green Bay, Wisconsin?  Couldn’t they be a viable market for the NHL?  They have a well-regarded collegiate hockey program as Brendan Smith and a few other NHLer’s were one-time Badgers.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 03/01/12 at 04:32 PM ET


@SYF I’d say the problem with Green Bay is the arena, which only seats 8,700 for hockey.

Posted by dzuunmod on 03/01/12 at 04:41 PM ET

awould's avatar

Saskatoon will be added to the list of cities that no NHLer wants to play for because nobody wants to live there. Not saying it is right or wrong, but it matters. If people thought Winnipeg was too small, Saskatoon will be a joke. That said, their tiny population probably has more hockey fans than Phoenix or Tampa or Denver (Ha!) or Miami.

Posted by awould on 03/01/12 at 05:26 PM ET


One of the coolest things about the NHL is that they can offer a small market a major league sports opportunity.

To support the case, I have always believed where you see a lot of red dots on the map linked below, the better the chances of a NHL franchise succeeding.

Posted by Cubanpuckstopper on 03/01/12 at 05:28 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I would suggest naming them the Saskatoon Looneys and seeing what kind of marketing partnership you can get with Warner Brothers.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/01/12 at 05:36 PM ET

WingMan's avatar

Um, yea small markets are fine but this is pretty much a non-market.  Too small corporate wise.  Would be cool, but not realistic.

Posted by WingMan from The Q C on 03/01/12 at 06:25 PM ET

statelouis26's avatar

Saskatoon probably is too small.  Otherwise, Las Vegas and Kansas City probably are poor ideas.  Things didn’t work in Phoenix, why would they work in Vegas.  Seattle is a maybe, problem is it is close to Vancouver.  Milwaukee and Quebec have the most potential.

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 03/01/12 at 06:36 PM ET


Why would being close to Vancouver be a negative? The Canucks would be delighted to have a geographic rival that they could bus too. They currently fly to every away game.

Posted by vansteve on 03/01/12 at 09:51 PM ET


People wonder why the NHL is not considered major league. Add Saskatoon and it will be proven it is a bush league. Put Spokane, Rochester and Buloxi on that list and you have a real circuit.

Posted by timbits on 03/02/12 at 12:56 AM ET

shanetx's avatar

Seattle would be fantastic.  It’s a great sports town that, currently, only has the woeful Seahawks and soccer.  Unfortunately, hockey would take a nose-dive 3-4 years from now when the NBA gives them a new Sonics.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 03/02/12 at 03:32 AM ET


@shanetx: You forgot the Mariners.

Posted by dzuunmod on 03/02/12 at 12:31 PM ET


Does this image from Phoenix look “major league”?

Posted by Cubanpuckstopper on 03/07/12 at 01:24 PM ET

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