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12-29-2012, 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Dojji View Post
Now see, I disagree. I happen to think that having multiple teams in a given region is much better for real penetration than having one team in a region. That's how you get rivalries. History. Tradition. It has to start somewhere, and where it starts is 2 teams that rub elbows enough to really start hating each other. The fact that teams are so spread out in the west and south has a lot to do with why they're struggling. Not enough proximity to really build some serious hate. Bostonians and Montrealers have to deal with each other on a regular basis due to the ordinary regional diaspora -- they compete economically, not just in hockey. Vancouver and Dallas really don't.

Now it's possible to go too far in the other direction and just plain have a franchise squeezed out by its neighbors. Hartford is a classic example. But you need that regional jostling if you really want to start building the stoylines that will make a success of the Sunbelt. That's why success in Atlanta was so critical. A successful Atlanta builds rivalries with all the other southern squads. Atlanta is the axle, the other franchises are spokes. Without that, southern hockey is just tepid.

By the same token, neither of EDM and CAL as well in a league where the other is absent.

One of the many reasons I am skeptical of WPG is that they're in a market wher this has ABSOLUTELY NO chance of really happening.

Houston, Dallas and SA are used to seeing each other in the NBA. To really start competing with the NBA for entertainment dollars in Texas, you need penetration in all 3 markets.
Winnipeg is only 100km further from Minneapolis than Toronto is from Montreal.

Besides, I think your skepticism on Winnipeg has more to do with a personal bias than geography. While geography can certainly help build a rivalry, it is by no means a guarantee or something that cannot be overcome by a few great playoff series.

Atlanta never did cultivate rivalries with its division rivals or Nashville. Florida and Tampa have yet to develop anything either, after nearly two decades in the league. Anaheim-Los Angeles, Toronto-Buffalo, Columbus-Pittsburgh all teams who are in close proximately to each other yet can hardly be considered rivals.

Meanwhile, one of the top rivalries over the past two decades has been Colorado and Detroit, despite the two teams being no where near each other. The Canucks are an example of an incredibly successful franchise with no 'natural' rivals.

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