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History Of NHL Expansion Through One Man’s Eyes

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

The Seattle Kraken, the National Hockey League’s 32nd team. will be unveiled Wednesday, another chapter in the league’s eventful expansion saga:


On June 2, 1967, league president Clarence Campbell was proudly walking around the ballroom of Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel at the expansion draft with six cheques for $2 million each in his breast pocket.

By 1970, Vancouver paid $6 million for the Canucks, then the fee went up to $7.5 million when the defunct World Hockey Association Oilers, Nordiques, Whalers and the original Jets merged. Ottawa and Tampa Bay paid $45 million to come aboard in 1991, rising $5 million later that decade for the Predators, Wild, Blue Jackets and Thrashers.

In today’s world of arena perks and broadcast rights, compare those ‘67 bargains to $500 million US that Bill Foley paid for the Vegas Golden Knights in 2016 and the $650 million the Kraken just ponied up.


A few serious hockey buffs refuse to call the Leafs, Canadiens, Bruins, Red Wings, Rangers and Blackhawks ‘the Original Six’, as Toronto, Montreal, Hamilton and Ottawa were established by the early 1920s and prior to ‘The Six’, the NHL was a two-division 10-team outfit.

The Montreal Maroons, meant to appeal to the city’s anglophone fans, came into the four-team league with Boston in 1924, with the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Americans the next year among other entries. After a few relocations, including to St. Louis and Philadelphia, teams began falling by the wayside. With the demise of the Brooklyn Americans in 1942, it left six clubs who played exclusively the next 25 years.


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


OlderThanChelios's avatar

By 1970, Vancouver paid $6 million for the Canucks…

Only taking into account inflation, that $6M in 1970 would be worth $42M today. So solely on that basis, the Kracken paid over 15 times more than Vancouver did for its franchise. That sure places a lot of value on the revenue generated these days by media deals, side deals and ticket sales.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/20/21 at 10:55 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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