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NHL back to Hartford?

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Another thing to consider about Hartford is the current arena there, the Civic Center, is owned by Cablevision who owns MSG and the Rangers. They will probably try to block a new arena gettign built as it would compete with the Civic Center (Much like how they defeated the West Side Stadium in New York). They may renovate the Civic Center and put that option out there to try to stop a new arena from being built. If the Civic Center does get renovated you can be assured that no NHL team is going there because Cablevison/Rangers will not sign a lease to be played there.

So here you will have a case of a NHL owner trying to stop the arena being built. That makes it even harder for Hartford to get a team.

MSG is on record as saying they wouldn't oppose the NHL's return to Hartford, so that theory is shot right there.

Hartford is over 100+ miles from all four of the other teams in question, so I doubt highly territorial issues will come up.

The issue is market size. We just don't have it.

Would I like the Whale to come back? Sure. Will it? Doubtful.

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Another thing to consider about Hartford is the current arena there, the Civic Center, is owned by Cablevision who owns MSG and the Rangers. They will probably try to block a new arena gettign built as it would compete with the Civic Center (Much like how they defeated the West Side Stadium in New York). They may renovate the Civic Center and put that option out there to try to stop a new arena from being built. If the Civic Center does get renovated you can be assured that no NHL team is going there because Cablevison/Rangers will not sign a lease to be played there.

So here you will have a case of a NHL owner trying to stop the arena being built. That makes it even harder for Hartford to get a team.

MSG is on record as saying they wouldn't oppose the NHL's return to Hartford, so that theory is shot right there.

I still think they would oppose a new arena in Hartford. That's the first thing Hartford needs to get a team as that's the reason why they left.

I would love to see Hartford get a team it just isn't going to happen. It's a small market that suck in between 2 huge markets.

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:shocked: As a CT native & HUGE Whale fan, the killing phrase in the news item that started this horrific anti-Hartford screed (Sarcasm Alert!) is "public funding" for a new HTFD arena. What's the phrase "non-starter"? Publicly funded new Hartford arena, not likely to happen presently, which ALL leads back to our cluster-you-know-what circle-you-know what solipsism that IF Hartford could've built a new arena, the Whale might've stayed. Oh, and those NE Pats victory parades down Main Street to the CT capitol . . . :therock:

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Hartford does not deserve an NHL team period. There are many other cities more deserving of an NHL team than Hartford.

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Hartford does not deserve an NHL team period. There are many other cities more deserving of an NHL team than Hartford.

You actually have to make a point when you start off with an opinion.

Why is it not deserving?

Start there then work up.

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Hartford does not deserve an NHL team period. There are many other cities more deserving of an NHL team than Hartford.

Looking at the past of the Hartford franchise, and looking at the fanbase, I believe that Hartford does deserve another team. The only reason they left (the only real reason) was because a new arena was not on the horizon.

For a small market like Hartford, the fanbase they had was enormous. Hartford had fans in many places in the eastern US, if, for no other reason (and many on here will agree), the uniforms. THey were a lovable team, that you could root for, even if they weren't your favorite. They had the Brass Bonannza, they had THE Foghorn (best ever!), the Whalers were a great hockey franchise stolen from us before their time.

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Are you kidding, Winnipeg's demographics are better suited to Hockey than at least 5 NHL cities. As, to a lesser extent, does Hartford & Quebec. If you have an 18,000-20,000 seat arena like Florida but only draw 10,000-12,000 a game, how is that better than cities like Winnipeg & Quebec who have 16,000 seat arenas that sell out every game.

The reason teams like Quebec & Winipeg left town was because of the economics of the old NHL. However, with the new economic reality of the NHL teams like Winnipeg would thrive.

And anyone who might be thinking of moving an NHL team is going to pick Winnipeg's demographics over those of... say... Houston? C'mon.

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Hartford does not deserve an NHL team period. There are many other cities more deserving of an NHL team than Hartford.

You actually have to make a point when you start off with an opinion.

Why is it not deserving?

Start there then work up.

Deserve or not, they won't get one for the reasons I've stated above.

Me? Like I said I'd love for them to have one, but it just ain't gonna happen folks.

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yah but if you have 5 million people in atalnta yet only 100,000 hockey fans and you have 700,00 people in Winnipeg and 500,000 of them are hockey fans what city is better? just cause you have a greater popualtion doesn't mean greater success.

I can answer this one.

The answer is, believe it or not, Atlanta. Why?

(1) Atlanta has a much larger potential base of support. In your example over 70% of Winnipeg's potential market has already been exploited. In Atlanta, that number's less than 2%.

(2) While I'm building awareness with the other 98% of Atlantans, I'm also able to cater to the 100,000 hockey fans in the city to a level of detail much greater than those in Winnipeg - building the foundation of my overall customer and season ticket bases.

(3) TELEVISION. With a local TV deal in Winnipeg, I'm preaching to the choir. In Atlanta, I'm exposing my product to people who may have never seen the sport before, expanding its overall interest level and ultimately bringing more casual fans into the fold.

You can have your smaller markets with a small, dedicated base of rabid fans. I'll take the bigger city that I can grow a market in every single time. The small city may do well in the short run, but over the course of the next 20-25 years, the bigger city will always do better financially.

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The fact that Bettman says all but Winnipeg isn't getting a team should clue you into the fact that Winnipeg isn't getting a team.

Bettman can say whatever he wants, and I'll admit, getting a team in Winnipeg is a longshot at best. Look at it this way though. If the Pens (or any other team) are bought and the new owners want to put the team in Winnipeg, who's going to stop them? No one has territorial rights over Winnipeg. If a new owner seriously wanted to move his newly aquired team to Winnipeg it will happen. The only thing that could stop the move then would be if the owners voted against it, and I don't see any of the excisting NHL teams having any problem with a team in Winnipeg. Maybe Vancouver, just because that's where their farm team is.

The owners wouldn't approve Winnipeg. There's not enough of a total revenue stream that can be shared (I know gate receipts are shared to an extent, but also have heard that a percentage of local TV revenue is pooled along with other types of locally generated revenues) compared to other, larger markets.

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jkr, to address your post (and to those interested as well):

I would agree with you that under normal circumstances, there should be no way that Cablevision and MSG would ever allow a new arena to be constructed (or even plans drafted for one) in Hartford. However, leases are expring and property rights are about to be negotiated - I'll quote from Jeff Jacobs in the Dec. 30 Hartford Courant:

The CDA would have to notify Madison Square Garden by Jan. 21 if it plans to end its Civic Center deal. We are led to believe there's no way that will happen. There is another option date later in 2006, but evidently it would allow the Wolf Pack to stay another season. After a certain point in 2007, MSG would have the option to remain until 2013.

Should the CDA (Connecticut Development Authority) choose to end this deal - which I do not see as likely happening Jan. 21 but maybe later this year - I would assume, then, MSG would be freed from their sole ownership rights over this area. Thus, as Baldwin and Gottesdiener are trying to do, they would then approach the CDA with plans for a new arena. Without MSG's lease on the Civic Center, they would essentially be powerless to block the move, no?

I'm just postulating here, since I don't know very many details about property law and such. But I mean, taken in simple terms - and I understand this is not a simple problem - it seems reasonable to see that Hartford would be able to obtain a new arena. I think the CDA would have to be absolutely floored by a Baldwin/Gottesdiener proposal to give up the lease this early, but who says they can't have it waiting in the wings for 2013?

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The bottom line is that we live in a "If you build it, they will come" world. Population and fan base don't matter anymore. All you have to do is build a new arena loaded with luxury boxes, and you're set. So, all they have to do in Hartford is build a new arena with boxes, sell out those said boxes, and bingo, the Whale's back.

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Yah Hartford, Winnipeg and quebec had there shot. but so did colarado ( had the Rockies and theb Spurs of the WHA) , atlanta, minnesota, and if you count old team so did Ottawa ( orginal sens, nand the nationals, civics of the WHA). so with the exceptions of atlanta the others are as strong or stronger then the previous NHL franchise. People are saying Kansas City they had a shot and how long did that last. so lets see Colarado has a had 3 pro teams, ottawa has had 4, minnesota and Atlanta 2 so why can't hartford winnipeg and quebec get a second chance, if they get proper venues and owners?

If you're going to count Denver's WHA team, you need to count Minnesota's TWO failed WHA teams.

Kansas City's failure with the Scouts was the direct result of weak ownership (too many minority owners unwilling/unable to answer cash calls) and a blown player salary budget (entire 1974-75 player payroll blown on signing Wilf Paiement) thanks to the salary war with the WHA. You can probably throw in that it was an immature market incapable of handling 4 major league teams - something that's not changed based on their support of the poor-performing Royals.

I don't see Portland being added anytime soon. The NHL looked like complete fools to Paul Allen during the last expansion round. Allen was busy purchasing the Seahawks and submitted his bid after the deadline. The NHL said "too bad," then proceeded to give Columbus and St. Paul extension after extension to get their arena funding in order.

Cleveland has gone from being a great hockey town to jack squat in just a couple of generations. The NHL should have added the Barons in the 1950's when they had the chance.

I used to beat the war drum for Oklahoma City but not any longer. While they were thoroughly screwed by the NHL in the last expansion, I no longer believe the fanbase could support or even wants an NHL team. This is doubly true if OKC ends up with the Hornets (or some replacement) on a permanent basis.

However, before anything happens with relocation/expansion, I still think we have a couple more seasons before determining the true impact of the new CBA.

Marc

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Well, I don't think Cleveland is an option. There is already a team in Columbus, I think Cleveland is too close. They may take a few of the Blue Jacket fans that are north of Columbus.

The bottom line is that we live in a "If you build it, they will come" world. Population and fan base don't matter anymore. All you have to do is build a new arena loaded with luxury boxes, and you're set. So, all they have to do in Hartford is build a new arena with boxes, sell out those said boxes, and bingo, the Whale's back.

Well being able to sell those boxes may be in question. This is where Hartford being located in the middle of Boston and New York. Coporations south of Hartford might continue to support New York and Coporations north of Hartford might continue to support the Bruins. Hartford is only about an hour from each city so coporations in the area are well within driving distance of the bigger markets.

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That's another thing I've found moderately interesting about the Hartford area hockey fans - the territorial rights are just that, and there seems to be no real loyalty to anyone except the Whalers around here.

Living just outside Hartford, of all the hockey fans I know who still follow the NHL (we're talking about 12 of 20 or so people), almost all don't have a favorite team and, if given the choice, would favor the Bruins over the Rangers. The Islanders have little to no fanbase whatsoever up here, and the Devils are nonexistant.

By strict geography, I wouldn't give Hartford a chance to nurture a franchise. But neither the Rangers nor the Bruins seem to patronize this area much - I don't think the Bruins even have a Connecticut day this year but do have a Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine day. While the Rangers have the Wolf Pack as their affiliate, I don't know of anyone who has followed our players into the big leagues.

Something else to consider is television coverage - in central Connecticut, we don't get MSG through Cox, and so thus our only option to see the Rangers is either on OLN or to buy a dish. The Bruins are on NESN, which many people have because of the Red Sox, but I'd really like to see a regional breakdown of their viewers - I doubt there are many from this state.

The point of this post is, for as much as one wants to argue geography and territorial rights, the Bruins and the New York teams do a very good job neglecting this area.

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Hmmm, with some thinking, I might create some more Whalers shirts with more good sayings to add to my already pretty cool collection for sale!

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Are you kidding, Winnipeg's demographics are better suited to Hockey than at least 5 NHL cities. As, to a lesser extent, does Hartford & Quebec. If you have an 18,000-20,000 seat arena like Florida but only draw 10,000-12,000 a game, how is that better than cities like Winnipeg & Quebec who have 16,000 seat arenas that sell out every game.

The reason teams like Quebec & Winipeg left town was because of the economics of the old NHL. However, with the new economic reality of the NHL teams like Winnipeg would thrive.

And anyone who might be thinking of moving an NHL team is going to pick Winnipeg's demographics over those of... say... Houston? C'mon.

Well, I'm not sure of that.

Keep in mind that Houston DOES have a rich hockey history, dating back to the Avco Cup-winning Aeros in the WHA, and the Calder Cup-winning Aeros in the AHL.

As for Winnipeg, I say all the power to them. They wanna gun for that franchise, go for it.

32 teams and a little reorganization, and the NHL looks like the NFL!

Hartford, of course I romanticize with them coming back, but all I really want is for the current holders of the trademarks to finally sell them to the NHL! I WANT MY GODDAMNED WHALERS JERSEY, and I DON'T wanna go on eBay to get it!

Quebec City, however, has always been THE hotbed for hockey culture. Maybe if Patrick Roy can get behind it (born there), and a new arena could be built...

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Quebec City, however, has always been THE hotbed for hockey culture. Maybe if Patrick Roy can get behind it (born there), and a new arena could be built...

Good point. If Roy gets behind a movement to bring hockey back to QC, it will probablly happen.

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Quebec City, however, has always been THE hotbed for hockey culture. Maybe if Patrick Roy can get behind it (born there), and a new arena could be built...

Good point. If Roy gets behind a movement to bring hockey back to QC, it will probablly happen.

Um, isn't Roy pretty much "the enemy" in QC?

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And anyone who might be thinking of moving an NHL team is going to pick Winnipeg's demographics over those of... say... Houston?  C'mon.

Well, I'm not sure of that.

Keep in mind that Houston DOES have a rich hockey history, dating back to the Avco Cup-winning Aeros in the WHA, and the Calder Cup-winning Aeros in the AHL.

You missed the sarcasm. What I was saying is that anyone would have to be out of their skulls to pick Hartford/Winnipeg over Houston.

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