So last night rumors came out that the NHL was putting a team in Las Vegas and I HATE that move. I think that Las Vegas is the last place you put an NHL team. Look how well having a hockey team in the desert is working out for the Coyotes... Las Vegas is generally a bad place for any professional sports team but hockey? wake up. The people that go to Vegas aren't going to be choosing hockey over all the other tourist attractions. Everything in that city is a tourist attraction and I don't think a hockey team would flourish in that type of setting. On the other hand now, I love the idea of putting teams in Quebec City and Seattle. I think Seattle would be a great city to have an NHL team. Quebec City would also be awesome since it's another Canadian city. They could get an awesome rivalry going with Montreal and/or Ottawa. Plus their new barn looks unreaaaaaal.
As for Toronto, I'm gonna say no. Although the Maple Leafs are a HUGE team, I think you just let them have Toronto. Don't try and bring someone new into the mix. They have some diehard fans up there and I personally don't think you should mess with that.
If I was going to bring 4 new teams into the mix, I would keep QC and Seattle and then also put teams in North Dakota, because they have a HUGE market for college hockey, the people up there are absolutely OBSESSED so I can't imagine what would happen if they put an NHL team in. As for the second city I would go with maybe a city in Minnesota or Salt Lake City in Utah. I think both would be awesome spots to have hockey teams.
I'm all for an expansion, just to the right cities. I don't want the NHL to put a team in LV and then hear them complain about how much money they're losing. It's just what happened with the Florida Panthers and Arizona Coyotes. You don't need 2 NHL teams in Florida, be better NHL. The move I think might be to relocate the Panthers and Coyotes and then focus on expanding. The Panthers' and Coyotes' average attendance were 14,177 and 13,775. Those are the lowest two ratings. In addition those aren't 14,000 fans that LOVE hockey, I'm sure you have a couple hundred die hard fans, but c'mon. Now look at a shitty team like Calgary, their average was 19,302 and that's cause they're in a city that LOVES hockey.
Obviously being a CT native I'd love to see them bring back the Whalers but that's just not realistic. Hartford is a B Market city, a professional sports franchise isn't going to do that well. Right now we have the Hartford Wolf Pack (the Rangers AHL affiliate) and no one goes to their games. I think it's kind of dumb that people don't, you get to see some guys that are going to be huge in a few years. The games are also $5 and you can't sit right on the glass, beer is cheap, food is cheap. Connecticut also has 2 of the best college hockey teams in the country in Yale and Quinnipiac and it's not like their attendance is through the roof. While you can argue that these aren't NHL teams so it's different, that's true, but until CT hockey fans start going to see the teams we have now, the NHL won't even think about putting a new franchise in Hartford.
So I guess we'll see what happens with all this expansion talk. I really hope the whole Las Vegas thing doesn't pan out.
P.S- The Whalers had the most fire song of all time. I could listen to it on repeat forever.