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10-19-2012, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by KevFu View Post
If I were running the show, it would be QUE and HAM for #31 and #32. Then when Rogers/Bell couldn't get along, they split and one side keeps MLSE and one side gets a GTA expansion team (like Markham). Which means we need to go to 36 teams, so we (in phases) add Seattle, Houston and Salt Lake City.

As far as interesting alignments. For 32, take the NHL's proposed four-conference model and place:
QUE in the Adams with BOS, MON, OTT, TOR, BUF, TB, FLA.
HAM in the Norris with DET, CHI, STL, NASH, MIN, WIN, DAL
CBJ in the Patrick with NYR, NYI, NJ, PHI, WAS, CAR, PIT

Yes, I'm aware that HAM is very East of Columbus and Hamilton would make for good rivalries with BUF, TOR, etc., but they're the new guy and CBJ needs the financial benefits of the EC to their TV deal; so the Hammers are stuck in the West.

But it beats being in the AHL West.
I'd want Portland over Salt Lake City or Houston. Then you get a nice Cascadia rivalry going; Vancouver - Seattle - Portland. I'd be down with that.

Between SLC and Houston, the trade-offs are obvious; Houston is the largest market without an NHL team, but it is completely non-traditional and there isn't a significant hockey fanbase. However, it would give Dallas a proper rival, and Texas loves its sports. SLC is a great destination for winter sports in general, and the location lends itself to hockey. However, it has a small population and it is not the gigantic TV market that Houston is...

Personally, I've just been turned off recently by these massive non-traditional markets and I favor the smaller markets that give a damn. But there's great reasons on both sides, and perhaps the best approach would be a balanced one -- for every team you plop onto a large non-traditional market just to give you a better chance at a good national TV deal, you balance it with a couple of smaller, but more traditional, markets.

Regardless, I hope the NHL does expand (and/or relocate) to Seattle, Portland, SLC, Quebec City, Hamilton, Torontox2, and Houston.

As a Leafs fan, I feel a bit uneasy about having another NHL team in Toronto. It could become a laughing stock like some other second-fiddle teams, or it could be a real competitor to the Leafs. Regardless, as a Leafs fan, I'm not too ecstatic about it. But I realize that that the amount of money to be tapped is enormous and that the market can sustain a second NHL team easily.

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