The probability of the Toronto Maple Leafs agreeing to allow another NHL team to horn in on its monopoly on the hearts and wallets of Canada's most populous city is incredibly small, despite the fact pundits insist that a second NHL team in Toronto "makes too much sense" to not be awarded to the city at some point in the near future.
That's my take, anyway, and as such, I'm not exactly surprised that the Hockey News's Ken Campbell reports that the deputymayor of Markham, Ontario wants to scuttle the city's plan to build an NHL-team-sized rink because he doesn't believe that the league plans on "expanding" within the Greater Toronto Area:
Jack Heath, originally a supporter of the GTA Centre in the Toronto suburb of Markham, has put forward a motion to effectively kill the financial framework for the arena. Heath will put his motion to Markham council Sept. 17, with a vote coming a week later.
Heath said what he sees as dwindling chances to get an NHL franchise in the world's most underserviced hockey market is the driving force behind his decision. He pointed to new ownership and stability for the Phoenix Coyotes and sentiment that the league will expand to Seattle and Quebec City - despite the fact the NHL has not said anything on the matter - as evidence that the Toronto area is far back of the queue in the NHL's eyes.
“When you add it all up, a second franchise for the GTA is not a priority," Heath said. "I have no interest in duplicating Copps Coliseum."