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NHL Expansion Discussion


Stark

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Apologies if there is already a thread on this, but I went back quite a few pages and couldn't find anything. I've been thinking recently on how the NHL can even out these new divisions via expansion.

I'm sure everyone would love to see the Nordiques back in QC, but it would mean moving one of the teams in the East back to the West. Let's say the Coyotes relocate to Quebec City, which team moves back to the West? Detroit? I still think they should've thought this out before realigning the league, having 14 teams in one conference and 16 in the other just bugs me.

There have been a lot of talks about the NHL expanding to 32 teams ever since the lockout ended, and the most talked about cities include QC, Seattle, Kansas City, Hartford, another Ontario team (Hamilton, Markham), and even Houston and Las Vegas.

Personally, I'm not too fond of Houston or Vegas getting a team, it would be like PHX all over again. Seattle having a team would be awesome, but they still need the new arena. I'd like to see:

QC gets the Nordiques back either via expansion or with PHX relocating (Atlantic)

Detroit moves back to the West (Central)

Seattle expansion team or Coyotes relocating (Pacific)

Another Pacific expansion (Portland?) If there's a Kansas City expansion, Colorado would have to move to the Pacific.

Here are some other interesting propositions:

446x819xNHL-Map-Expansion-Seattle-Quebec-558x1024.png.pagespeed.ic.aeCs4L6QRz.png

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Looking at the scheduling described I think its pretty accurate to assume 4x7 + 2x32 + 2x3 = 82, Now whether or not this 2x3 would be against divison foes (works with 8 teams set in pods of 4 teams for additional home and home) or vs 1 team per non division would probably be up for debate, while I love the idea of playing chicago 4 times a year I think NHL and owners would try and get the additional games against division rivals as that is an additional 6 games with much less travel.

That being said I don't think the 3rd round has any chance of being re-seeded, It will remain east v east and west v west, not that I wouldn't like it re-seeded, I just don't see it happening.

Now as for teams, we have all heard the comment about NHL looking into pacific NW. For the longest time I thought this was an inclination to Seattle, but I think with Phx staying for the foreseeable future that Portland will end up getting a team 1st. The only reason is because if both Portland and Seattle were to get a team Pheonix would have to be moved over to a different division adding a ton of extra travel and games in different time zones. No, I think Phoenix will move after 5 years which will lead to a vacant spot in the pacific for Seattle.

I think the prospect of Texas, Kansas, and Las Vegas getting teams are a crock, and even Bettman knows there are much better locations to expand to, he more ore less wants to create a "bidding war" maybe with imaginary locations and prospective owners.

As for in the East, Quebec really is the only location worth looking at, they have done everything necessary to get a team, GTA will not get another team, it would cost too much and competing with a original 6 team for fans will be a risk the NHL will not want to take.

Portland to pacific

Columbus to central

Quebec to Atlantic

Florida teams to Metro

Seattle gets Phx in 5 years.

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Winnipeg is considered a small market team. Saskatoon is roughly 1/3 the size of Winnipeg. I know the whole province gets behind the Riders, but that's for one game a week, 10 to 12 games a year, with many of those games in the afternoon. I just don't see how it would work over the long NHL season. Sure there would be plenty of support in the short-term, but I don't see it working long-term in such a small city.

Personally, I think it's already in the NHL's plan to expand to 32 teams. I think we will see Seattle and Quebec announced in the not so distant future. That will make another realignment necessary, although if a Florida team moved to Houston, KC or another Western city, then it would be a more natural fit.

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No one spread pixie dust over PHX last I looked. Bettman just found more suckers to drain. The idea that PHX is 'now' viable is an absolute joke. That is why I suggest that the new ownership has a promise that they can move the club after so many years, 1, 2, 3 take your pick.

Without doubt the premium location would be Seattle then Portland. Built in rivalry right down the Pacific coast! Querbec City is not in the equation. To small, to corrupt. An expansion team to TO is the only eastern team I see coming.

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