Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Reasons For Expansion

03/11/2013 at 12:22am EDT

from Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Back when the league was adding the Panthers, Mighty Ducks, Predators and Blue Jackets, complaints were common that the quality of play suffered, that there weren't enough skilled forwards and defensemen. But the global pool is now far deeper. USA Hockey youth registrations have soared since the Florida/Anaheim expansion in 1993, from 300,000 to 500,000. The sport has similarly taken off in Europe. We barely bat an eyelash when a Slovenian raises the Stanley Cup (Anze Kopitar) or an Austrian tops the scoring list (Thomas Vanek).

Sidney Crosby — who's really into this topic, by the way — has no problem with expansion.

“It's only two more teams. I don't see it as that big an issue,” the captain said. “The league's found a way to stay competitive with 30. It can do 32.”

Ray Shero couldn't be described as wild about it. No GM could.

“I was talking with Lou Lamoriello the other night just about top-six forwards and how hard they've become to find. And that's now,” Shero said, referring to his counterpart with the Devils. “But it could be done, adding a couple teams. Sure.”

Good enough for me.

OK, now the benefits:


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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.

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