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Talking Expansion

from Stan Fischler at the New England Hockey Journal,

Assuming the Greg Jamison-led group does buy the Coyotes, a positive – for the NHL – chain reaction will follow. One line of thinking has it that the arrival of the certifiably reliable buyer could have wide-ranging ramifications for the league. One of them could actually be an eventual expansion with a $200 million entry fee.

That would include a second team in Toronto; (actually the 20,000-seat arena to be constructed in suburban Markham). It could be accompanied in the West by Seattle, which has one of the most attractive TV markets for NHL consumption. This would establish rivalries on the Pacific Coast—Vancouver-Seattle—and in the East—Maple Leafs-New Toronto Team-Buffalo. There’s little doubt that the Sabres would demand and receive territorial compensation.  …

continued plus more hockey topics…

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Savage Henry's avatar

Why would an ownership group pay $200M to the league for a franchise when there are probably a few existing franchise owners who would jump at the chance to sell their teams for less than that?

Posted by Savage Henry on 05/08/12 at 03:16 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Stan makes even less sense than usual here.

He also is living in a past where geography makes rivalries, and that honestly is no longer the case in just about any sports.  The lone geographical rivalry in the NHL I can think of at the moment is PIT-PHI, and that has a lot less to do with geography even than most think.

Posted by Primis on 05/08/12 at 03:35 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Didn’t we already try Seattle? Let’s not make the same mistake we made giving Atlanta a second shot.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 05/08/12 at 04:08 PM ET

shazam88's avatar

Didn’t we already try Seattle? Let’s not make the same mistake we made giving Atlanta a second shot.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 05/08/12 at 03:08 PM ET

If you go back far enough - and I don’t think pre-depression era teams have any connection to the modern era anyways - the Seattle Metropolitans won the Cup once, but they were in the Pacific Coast league / association / whatever, not the NHL.  Pretty sure Seattle didn’t even get a shot in the WHA.

Posted by shazam88 from SoCal on 05/08/12 at 04:18 PM ET

awould's avatar

Two more teams would make for 2 Conferences of 16 teams and 4 Divisions of 8 teams.

Having a league that is divisible by 4 makes for easier scheduling and playoff scenarios. I’d personally rather cut 2 teams from the NHL and have 4 Divisions of 7 teams, but that’s dreaming.

You take a playoffs where each Division battles each other for the first two rounds, the rivalries will get nasty. But it won’t have much to do with geography.

Posted by awould on 05/08/12 at 05:05 PM ET


lone geographical rivalry in the NHL

Islanders v Rangers, Rangers v Devils are still pretty heated and based solely on geogrpahy atthis point. Pens v Caps are also pretty bad and has lot to do with fans that travel, so does Caps V Flyers since anyplace Flyer fans go there is sure to be animosity. Battle of Ontario comes to mind between Sens and Leafs, doubt it would matter as much if the Sens were in Tampa.

Why would an ownership group pay $200M?

Because the league would not allow you to buy one of their teams on the cheap and move it into the Toronto/Buffalo market. You can sell it to anybody that wants to buy it, you just can’t re-locate it without the NHLs approval into an exisitng market.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 05/08/12 at 05:57 PM ET

James Mirtle's avatar

A Toronto team would be worth far more than $200-million. Try more like $500-million.

Which is why it will likely happen eventually.

Posted by James Mirtle from Toronto on 05/08/12 at 07:35 PM ET

Didn’t we already try SeattleLet’s not make the same mistake we made giving Atlanta a second shot

When did they try Seattle?

Seattle has 100 years of hockey history, the market supports two WHL teams in Seattle and Everett playing in the CHL and average over 10,000 per game between the two teams. Seattle metropolitan area has over 3.5 million residents in a 30 mile radius.  Seattle has commitment from a private developer to build a 450 million dollar arena that has the support of the City of Seattle and King County, and they have a ready buyer in the current owner of the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. It has strong support from the owner of the Vancouver Canucks and Seattle has the support of Bill Daley and Gary Bettman unlike Quebec, KC, Saskatoon, Vegas or Toronto.

Posted by timbits on 05/09/12 at 12:11 AM ET

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