Luke_Groundrunner

Report: NHL Expanding league, Adding 4 Teams by 2017

Recommended Posts

You're over-thinking it.

Is it though? THat's kind of what happened with the Atlanta-Phoenic-Winnipeg situation... and let's be honest, this is a Bettman run NHL. Stranger things have happened.

It's entirely possible that there's already some back door deal with Quebec for an expansion team or the inside track on a relocation. Bettman denying the expansion rumor at a press conference has nothing to do with anything. It's what he'll do until the day before they announce an expansion.

No that's not what I was saying. What I was saying is the deal between TVA and the NHL for French language broadcast could be part of the agreement for Quebecor to bring a team back to Quebec City either by expansion or relocation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're over-thinking it.

Is it though? THat's kind of what happened with the Atlanta-Phoenic-Winnipeg situation... and let's be honest, this is a Bettman run NHL. Stranger things have happened.

It's entirely possible that there's already some back door deal with Quebec for an expansion team or the inside track on a relocation. Bettman denying the expansion rumor at a press conference has nothing to do with anything. It's what he'll do until the day before they announce an expansion.

No that's not what I was saying. What I was saying is the deal between TVA and the NHL for French language broadcast could be part of the agreement for Quebecor to bring a team back to Quebec City either by expansion or relocation.

I'm just not seeing it. NHL picks the highest bidder for the TV deal, and they will either charge an expansion or relocation fee for owning a team. The furthest I could go down that rabbit hole is that TVA was willing to pay a little more for the deal, knowing that there will probably be another French-Canadian team soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Technically the deal is between TVA/Quebecor and Rogers. Rogers owns all the Canadian rights, TVA subcontracts the French telecasts from Rogers, and CBC just shows HNIC without producing it. Still, the fact that Quebecor is indirectly financing the NHL's greatest windfall in history does give them a little juice when it comes to getting a team back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry. I was talking more about the 1993 expansion. I should have clarified better. What I meant to say is that the North Stars were thinking about moving to Anaheim to become the "L.A. Stars" but the league discouraged it because they were working on an expansion team with Disney. The league supposedly told Norm Green that he would get permission to move to any other city of his choice if he would back off of Anaheim.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure whether the Delta Center fits a full bowl for hockey. Pretty sure there are lots of missing sections and obstructed views. The Grizzlies play over in another building, which leads me to think something's not ideal (or that they're just not enough of a draw for what the rent would be). Salt Lake City seems like it would be good for the NHL in theory, but I worry about overextending the market when there's only one other team in town playing at the same time in the same arena with a cultish devotion from years of competitive play. It's nothing I'm particularly jonesing for.

What about where the 02 Olympics were played and where the Grizzlies play? Or is that too far away from Salt Lake to be a reasonable option?

EDIT: Looked it up. Maverik (actually spelled that way) Center in West Valley City which is a suburb of SLC. According to Wikipedia it holds 10,100 for hockey.

Maverik Center (blame Wyoming) would likely be a suitable home for a Salt Lake hockey team. The arena is designed to be scalable, so the Golden Eagles would likely play at Energy Solutions for a season. The arena is in the entertainment district of West Valley and sits on bus rapid transit and light rail lines, not to mention it's right off the freeway. There has been significant investment in the west side of the valley in recent years and WVC has been one of the biggest beneficiaries. The commercial district that now surrounds Maverik is actually pretty great.

That said, if an investor came along and wanted to build a new stadium, I would wager it would not be on the west side.

Pretty much my thoughts, except I forgot to mention the Maverik Center part. I've long thought that if an NHL team landed in Salt Lake, their first year or two would be spent at The Building Formerly Known as the Delta Center before moving into an expanded Maverik Center. But, as I stated before, the biggest thing holding back an NHL team in Salt Lake from becoming a reality would still be the Jazz--at least initially--until the Golden Eagles were establish their own separate fanbase.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would Anaheim not have been encroaching on L.A.'s territorial rights the same way Hamilton would be on Toronto/Buffalo?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's exactly why they got a team: Bruce McNall was losing money on his fake empire of stolen coins, so he pushed Michael Eisner into applying for an expansion team, then turned around and demanded an indemnification fee for infringing on the Kings' territory. Eisner told him to blow it out his ass, the league split the expansion fee between McNall and the rest of the NHL instead, and then McNall went to federal prison for defrauding banks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The league does not need to expand. They already have teams that are struggling. If anything move the Coyotes to Seattle and the Panthers to Quebec. The divisions are already in favor of this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aren't the Florida Panthers kinda the same like the Texas Rangers where they are named after the animal? Maybe it's just because we are use to it, but sometimes naming a team after the state/province just sounds better than the city, like how Colorado Avalanche sounds better than Denver Avalanche to me.

The different parts of Ontario have their unique character, but there's no real overarching culture.

I'll have to disagree with you there Ice_Cap.

Yes, Ontario is diverse, but there IS an "overarching", uniting culture, and that culture is called hockey.

I can almost guarantee you that I could walk into any rink, in any corner of this province, and the sights, smells and sounds will be eerily identical...

The Zamboni will most likely clean the ice in a clockwise direction, while public skaters will circle in a counter-clockwise manner.

Hockey moms will yell "Holy Moly, what a goalie!" while sitting on their "Hockey Mom" cushions, and clutching their "TIm's".

Sometime during the day, a wicked game of mini-sticks will break out, and some dad will fume that his kid didn't get enough ice time.

Every winter weekend, all across the province we all dance the same dance.

So, not only would it be entirely possible to market to TROO (The Rest Of Ontario), but it would be a damn good marketing strategy.

If I was the billionaire owner of a second Southern Ontario team, I wouldn't be forkin' out a single penny to the fat asses at MLS&E.

(They might use that money to fund the other sports that are supposedly going to usurp hockey as the #1 sport in Toronto. (that's a whole other debate))

That means I'd be dropping my puck 'n business JUST outside the Leafs 80 km/50 m territory.

(That 'Leaf' territory includes Hamilton and Markham BTW).

I'd set up shop in your neck of the woods, Cap, (The Golden Triangle) with a local population of over 600,000, and an hour or so away from another 2 million puck-heads.

From that vantage point I'd poach every 416/905 hockey fan away from the Leafs that I could, and at the same time, would definitely include TROO in my marketing strategy.

The Leafs own the "Toronto" monicker, "Kitchener-Waterloo" (as a name) doesn't carry enough clout nationally or internationally, so yeah,

I would call the 2nd S. Ont. team...The Ontario (What-evers).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But an overarching hockey culture is a Canadian thing, not an Ontario thing. You could find all that purple prose about dances with coffee and Zambonis all across the country -- and in at least two languages. That doesn't change the fact that most provincial identities (obviously excluding Quebec) are rather weak. We went over this when the Thrashers moved and there was the big Manitoba-or-Winnipeg argument. Winnipeg is a point on a map where almost the whole province's population lives; Manitoba is a big empty box. Nomenclature turns out to have been one of the few right things that organization has done.

Again, any "Southern Ontario" team, as ill-advised as it may be, would have to be in Hamilton.

odsuEqq.jpg

That's over 2.5 million in the shaded areas. Moving the locus west into Kitchener would take you away from what I believe to be the highest density in the region, which is Hamilton and Oakville. Downtown Hamilton is the closest thing the area has to a centralized location, and happens to have an arena built for future renovation. Again, not wild about it, but that's the way it would have to be. Balsillie actually wanted to move the Predators or Coyotes out to Cambridge once he got them, and all Balsillie has done since then is demonstrate poor judgment all the time. So I'll go ahead and rule out an arena near Kitchener.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciate the confidence expressed in my home town(s) sparky chewbarky. I think admiral's right though. You're leaving a lot of money on the table if you move out of the GTA/Hamilton. Even with the money you'd have to pay to MLSE? It's where you have to be to properly capitalize on the "fans who aren't Leafs fans" crowd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The way I understand the territorial restrictions, it's not just being outside one team's 50-mile radius, but that your own 50-mile radius can't touch another. That effectively restricts any infringement-free expansion to London or Owen Sound. The former is too far away from everything else (which would be kind of the point) and the latter is a joke.

EDIT: this would seem to mean the Flyers are infringing on the Rangers somewhere around Princeton, but I'm guessing the NHL hadn't invented this rule yet. The Devils got whacked for infringing on the Rangers, Islanders, and Flyers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

London is right where they should be with the CHL. So is Kitchener-Waterloo, actually.

EDIT- back to names. I just don't see "Ontario" as a viable name because the province is so vast. "Ontario" isn't a singular "place." It's a boxy slab of territory that's there for administrative purposes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But an overarching hockey culture is a Canadian thing, not an Ontario thing. You could find all that purple prose about dances with coffee and Zambonis all across the country -- and in at least two languages. That doesn't change the fact that most provincial identities (obviously excluding Quebec) are rather weak. We went over this when the Thrashers moved and there was the big Manitoba-or-Winnipeg argument. Winnipeg is a point on a map where almost the whole province's population lives; Manitoba is a big empty box. Nomenclature turns out to have been one of the few right things that organization has done.

Again, any "Southern Ontario" team, as ill-advised as it may be, would have to be in Hamilton.

That's over 2.5 million in the shaded areas. Moving the locus west into Kitchener would take you away from what I believe to be the highest density in the region, which is Hamilton and Oakville. Downtown Hamilton is the closest thing the area has to a centralized location, and happens to have an arena built for future renovation. Again, not wild about it, but that's the way it would have to be. Balsillie actually wanted to move the Predators or Coyotes out to Cambridge once he got them, and all Balsillie has done since then is demonstrate poor judgment all the time. So I'll go ahead and rule out an arena near Kitchener.

No...it's more than just "purple prose" admiral. I've seen it.

I've done the "Ontario Tour" through years of coaching minor hockey, and it would amaze me, how similar hockey fans were across the province.

I think a smart marketer could very definitely put together a provincial theme, in more than just name.

As far as Winnipeg goes, I don't think it really mattered that much if the Jets were Manitoba's or Winnipeg's. The Manitoba Moose did very well in Winnipeg.

The thing with the Hamilton franchise is that you're pissing off two franchises.

I found this map in the Globe and Mail...

2b.png

The large circle is the Leafs "turf" and the smaller circles were showing the areas of the OHL teams. (I'm not sure what the article was about)

I'm damn sure that the Leafs' and Sabres' territories overlap, and that Hamilton is in that overlap area.

Hey, I'd love to see a team in Hamilton (It'd be nice and close for me), but I just don't see that happening.

I appreciate the confidence expressed in my home town(s) sparky chewbarky. I think admiral's right though. You're leaving a lot of money on the table if you move out of the GTA/Hamilton. Even with the money you'd have to pay to MLSE? It's where you have to be to properly capitalize on the "fans who aren't Leafs fans" crowd.

What money are you leaving on the table Ice_Cap?

You only need x number of fans to fill an arena on any given night. Any more than that is not lost revenue.

For some revenue streams, (television, merchandising) location is almost a non-factor.

I'm sure an easy access K-W-Cambridge location would have no problem selling out every night.

Cambridge is 40 minutes from Hamilton and Oakville, and what?...less than an hour from London (400,000+ population).

It probably takes a lot of Leaf fans at least that long to get through Toronto to the ACC.

The way I understand the territorial restrictions, it's not just being outside one team's 50-mile radius, but that your own 50-mile radius can't touch another. That effectively restricts any infringement-free expansion to London or Owen Sound. The former is too far away from everything else (which would be kind of the point) and the latter is a joke.

EDIT: this would seem to mean the Flyers are infringing on the Rangers somewhere around Princeton, but I'm guessing the NHL hadn't invented this rule yet. The Devils got whacked for infringing on the Rangers, Islanders, and Flyers.

I'm not sure admiral. I thought the rule stated that you couldn't hold an NHL game or event within an other team's territory.

I know that Sabres and Leafs overlap and I don't believe that there's compensation going either way.

London is right where they should be with the CHL. So is Kitchener-Waterloo, actually.

EDIT- back to names. I just don't see "Ontario" as a viable name because the province is so vast. "Ontario" isn't a singular "place." It's a boxy slab of territory that's there for administrative purposes.

Ontario...lakes, beavers, moose, muskoka chairs, Kawartha "dinner jackets", cottage country, hometown hockey, canoes, camping, bears, wolves, Algonquin Park, Roots, etc. etc.

There's lots of fodder for an identity that would connect with all Ontarians...with a lot of Canadians for that matter.

I think it would have a great vibe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of that feel good Ontario imagery? The Leafs are already a huge part of that. The fact of the matter is that the Leafs' "turf" goes beyond that large circle on your map. They were, for the longest time, Ontario's team. In many ways they still are. The Senators haven't even been able to win over the entirety of their home market.

It doesn't matter where you put the second team. Toronto, Hamilton, K-W-C, London. You set up a pro hockey team anywhere in Ontario you're effectively setting up shop in Leaf Nation. Why? Well as greedy as MLSE is, as bad as the Leafs have been, the fact remains that the Leafs are much a part of the fabric of this province as anything else you mentioned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They were, for the longest time, Ontario's team. In many ways they still are.

I'm not so sure about that, Cap.

It depends on what age group you're talking about.

I know that the Leafs aren't as loved by the under-30 crowd. The Leafs aren't as ingrained in their fabric.

I think that the Leafs dismal recent history has lost them a generation of fans. My kids are hockey fans, but they're not Leaf fans, yet I bleed blue.

I think the Leafs failure has made it entirely possible for a dynamic new southern Ontario team to swoop in and grab a whack of fans...especially in the younger demographics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you'd only see that if you had an Islanders type situation happen there, where you got an expansion team that got REALLY good REALLY fast and started winning Cups in the first 10 seasons there. .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you'd only see that if you had an Islanders type situation happen there, where you got an expansion team that got REALLY good REALLY fast and started winning Cups in the first 10 seasons there. .

You're right BrianLion..."Getting really good really fast and winning cups" would certainly help the cause...

But keep in mind- This is sad-sack-Toronto you're talking here. ALL of their pro teams (except the Argos maybe) have sucked for a long time now.

"Getting good enough, real fast" might be a more reasonable goal, and in this case (of enticing Leaf fans away from Leaf nation),

"Getting good enough" would mean just making the playoffs (a novelty in T.O.), or at least, just doing better than the Leafs.

Man, that doesn't sound like an insurmountable task does it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Man, that doesn't sound like an insurmountable task does it?

For an expansion team? It probably is. Keep in mind that the Leafs made the playoffs two seasons ago and would have made them last season if not for a 9 game collapse. Are the Leafs true blue (pardon the pun) Cup contenders? No, but they have enough talent to make some noise in a weakened Eastern Conference. So it's not like a second team in southern Ontario will have it easy. They'll be trying to build a team up from scratch while the team that's a civil, provincial, and in some ways national, institution is finally getting its head on straight.

I mean I'm under thirty. The Leafs haven't won anything of note in my lifetime. Yet I'm not going to abandon them for what would be the NHL equivalent of the Los Angeles Clippers. Even if they do have an identity that brings to mind the rink where I grew up playing (and now coaching) hockey. In my mind? The Leafs are as much a part of Ontario as anything else.

Being a 20 something guy who just got started in his career and has more money then he's ever had before? I'm the type of guy a second southern Ontario team would need to tap into. And you know what? I'd go watch...to see them play the Leafs. Or to maybe catch someone like Crosby play in person. Would I become a fan? Nah. Like you, I bleed blue. Again, look at Ottawa. The city's still got a huge Leafs fan contingent. Imagine how hard it would be to create a fanbase in the middle of southern Ontario, the Leafs' own backyard.

You mentioned your kids. If you're going to play the "when the kids grow up" card, remember. That's the justification used to put a team in Arizona. Look how that turned out. Waiting for 10 year olds to turn into 25 year olds isn't a viable business plan.

Now with all that said, it could still work, in a way. They'd be the NHL's Clippers. And the Clippers are viable. A second southern Ontario team would draw the Leafs fans who can't get into home games at the ACC and the contrarian crowd, and that'll probably be enough to keep them financially viable. They're just not going to develop a fanbase large enough to dethrone the Leafs. So really, it depends on how you look at it and define "success."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ontario...lakes, beavers, moose, muskoka chairs, Kawartha "dinner jackets", cottage country, hometown hockey, canoes, camping, bears, wolves, Algonquin Park, Roots, etc. etc.

There's lots of fodder for an identity that would connect with all Ontarians...with a lot of Canadians for that matter.

You just defeated your own argument. Most of that applies to Canada, not just Ontario, which is just a big arbitrary shape.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.