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02-01-2013, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by 2525 View Post
If the league was solely interested in profitable franchises then the following three cities-- QC, Hamilton and Markham (in no particular order)

Yes, the Toronto area could support 3 franchises.

PS: I don't think a team in Hamilton would have a negative effect on Buffalo. That's just a lame excuse to keep a team out of Hamilton. A predictable excuse.
Quebec City has the most will to get a team back there. Even if the Habs are a no vote, I don't think there's enough will on their part to be a roadblock. Not sure how much blowback they would get if they do that. They're in prime position for the Coyotes. The sooner they can get the team (from their POV) the better. Seattle has their hands tied up with getting the Kings now. The longer the process is drawn out, the more time to seal the Kings end of things and to start looking at the NHL side of things. I still think QC has the best odds, it's just that the odds go down a bit if Seattle can enter the negotiations.

I agree with the idea that there will probably be 2 expansion teams (if they expand) and they probably won't both be Canadian cities considering how much the league considers US markets and the US tv market. Of course, I don't think they'll both be American cities either. There would be public outcry across Canada. Governments will fall, glaciers will crumble, beaver dams will burst, maple syrup would boil. Besides 1 & 1 looks fair from a PR perspective.

Markham. First off, from a balance perspective, GTA2 makes sense. The Maple Leafs have an absurd amount of money over the 2nd richest team, let alone the rest of the NHL. It's even more exaggerated than the Yankees in MLB. Dividing Toronto/Ontario just makes sense, and if Toronto is the hockey capital of North America, it can support 2 teams. There's a lot of money to be made in GTA2 from tv contracts and fostering a competition with the Maple Leafs and perhaps other Canadian cities. Now, the Maple Leafs will try to fight this, but if enough of the heavyweights behind the scenes can see the value in this, the better. Should not the weaker US teams favor this as Markham will likely be a revenue-sharing contributor? Getting the stadium built shifts the odds to their favor. I agree, they should take the Ontario name for wider marketability.

Hamilton. Markham seems to have shifted to the top spot. Hamilton also will face no votes from Toronto & Buffalo and their allies whereas Markham probably won't have much sway on Buffalo.

Based on what I've read, what I think may most likely be is:
Coyotes -> Quebec City
Expansion: Markham, Seattle

Houston is probably a relocation candidate, though beyond the Coyotes, it doesn't look like any are up. Panthers are locked down and desired to be kept in Sunrise more than people think. Predators have a few year buffer at least and they are trying to seed hockey in Tennessee (more then the Coyotes ever did). How's their attendance been so far? Not sure about Blue Jackets profitability though I know they are locked in for a long time, though if the losses pile up enough consecutive years, they might be able to get out of the lease. I'm not familiar enough with the owner/lease conditions to know what possibilities they can leave and how much will/capital the owner has to keep them. Haven't heard anything about the Hurricanes or Lightning. Others may know more.

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