Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:32 PM
Why isn't Portland ever part of expansion discussions? The Winter Hawks have done a great job of creating hockey interest, and are apparently run like a professional franchise (so there may be an ownership group/management group in place already...just need the financing akin to Thompson in Winnipeg with True North Group). Portland is in the same population category as Denver, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Columbus and has as high per capita wealth as Seattle does.
The idea of a second team in the Metro Toronto area makes a lot of sense. The population north of Highway 407 is as large as the population south of it. Alternatively, a team in Hamilton should be reconsidered for the Golden Horseshoe area...they would draw from cities such as Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Niagara Falls, Ste. Catharines, Brantford, etc. The distance from either Markham and Hamilton to downtown Toronto (the ACC to be more specific) is further than the distance between MSG, Prudential Center (Newark), and Barclay Center (Brooklyn, where the Islanders will play next year)...in fact, Nassau County is about the same distance, if not closer to MSG than Hamilton and Markham to the ACC. I've lived in Edgewater, NJ and Richmond Hill, ON, and have traveled by car or train to ACC, MSG, Continental Arena (Meadowlands), and Nassau County Coliseum to watch games and even though CA and NCC were 2/3 capacity, these franchises have stood the test of time (point being, two franchises in the GTA/Golden Horseshoe is doable). BTW, Wang would never sell the Islanders. He has a lucrative local TV contract (I was surprised when he announced the move away from Nassau County, as NC is one of the wealthiest counties in the US...maybe the Wall Street investor bankers who live on Long Island aren't making the big bonuses anymore).