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01-01-2013, 07:26 PM
Mayor Bee
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Originally Posted by htpwn View Post
Ok, I understand your point... to some extent.

I can agree that many arguing for retroactive expansion into Canada often do not consider that only one Canadian city bid in 1997 (and a poor one at that) and none in 1999. They also don't consider that Winnipeg and Quebec were in no position at the time to attempt to mount a serious bid.

Having said that, very few bring up the likes of Saskatoon and Halifax. It comes up occasionally and usually very little support because it is so impractical to have an NHL in cities of 200,000-400,000.

Hamilton, however, is a little bit of a different case. They did submit two bids in the 1990's expansion, the latter of which was rather poor, as you brought up. The 1991 bid was one of the better bids there, but the NHL effectively scuttled it by placing unreasonable demands on the potential ownership and then demonstrating a massive double standard with one of the winning bids, Tampa.
To be fair, the double standard was used with Ottawa as well. They were awarded a team on the basis of possibly having an arena down the road, which wasn't assured even after a full season on the ice. In Roy MacGregor's book "Road Games", he references this repeatedly. Most painful by proxy is to read that Quebec was prepared to offer Joe Sakic, Owen Nolan, and their top prospect (Peter Forsberg) for the #1 overall pick in 1993, which was declined since the entire Palladium project might be aborted if there wasn't a marketable star like Alexandre Daigle. There's also a reference to the scouts preferring Chris Pronger to Daigle, but Daigle being the pick on the same basis.

I can think of two reasons why the 1990 Hamilton bid didn't take:
1) The NHL saw the lack of premium seating in Copps Coliseum and, in a rare stroke of foresight, realized that there would have to be substantial upgrades and renovations in the near future to keep the team financially competitive. However, given that the NHL in 1990 was still very much being run by a group of short-sighted pinheads, this seems highly unlikely.

2) The NHL was threatened by Buffalo and Toronto over cutting into the immediate area with another team and, rather than press the issue, backed down in the threat of (at minimum) massive PR backlash or (at worst) significant legal action. Given John Ziegler's notorious spinelessness, this seems substantially more likely.

For what it's worth, I don't have any personal objection to another team in southern Ontario. I do have questions that have yet to be answered, and I am strongly opposed to the idea of relocating anyone into that territory at the expense of expansion.

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