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OT New Orleans? Memphis? Louisville? Salt Lake? Richmond, VA? Norfolk?

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Old
12-06-2010, 08:45 AM
  #76
tarheelhockey
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My thoughts on each:

New Orleans
- I say this as someone who has deep NOLA roots and as someone who loves and believes in hockey: there is absolutely no chance that the NHL could work there. Hell, the NBA doesn't even work there. It's culturally nothing like any other US city. Other than the Saints, who are something of an anomaly themselves, pro sports is not on the radar in New Orleans and probably never will be. It's too distracted, too poor, and (please don't take this the wrong way) too black of a city for the NHL to just drop a team and get by on a wing and a prayer. Again, if the NBA can't make it work there's not a chance for the NHL.

Memphis - Similar to New Orleans but somewhat more like St. Louis. It would be a hard go for the NHL, especially being a second team in Tennessee. IMO, Memphis doesn't have the corporate element that made the NHL viable in Nashville, so this is probably also a no-go.

Louisville - This is the best candidate of the group, being more or less virgin territory, but I think the NBA has a distinct edge if it comes to a territory war. But, it's all about marketing and opportunity. IMO, the time isn't right for the NHL to go into a marginal small market, but if the timing was better this would be a short-list choice.

Salt Lake City - No idea on the specifics, but my general impression is that SLC is not and never will be a great sports town. Putting a team there would be... odd.

Richmond - Just isn't quite a major-league city. Which is really a shame because it would be a nice geographic addition. But I know Richmond well enough to know why they aren't even talked about as an expansion market in any league.

Norfolk - They tried for an NHL team in the past, and it's not out of the question that they could support one, but there are a lot of different municipalities in play in that "Tidewater" area. I'm not sure they could ever get their collective act together enough to make it happen. It would probably be for the benefit of that area to merge into one large entity and be a little more coordinated about their approach to this sort of thing.

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12-06-2010, 09:46 AM
  #77
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Originally Posted by MoreOrr View Post
Here we go again with this "sunbelt" argument. By your definition, it seems much more than a "belt" region but rather like half of the continental United States (not including Alaska).

And then to continue with that argument, it appears that you're saying that cities in the southern HALF of the US just aren't appropriate for hockey. That's a huge chunk of the US landscape that you think should be 'tierra non-grata' to the NHL. Let's see, how many teams is that that you'd be cutting out of the League:
- 3 California teams
- Phoenix
- Dallas
- St. Louis
- Nashville
- Atlanta
- 2 Florida teams
- Carolina
- Washington
with Philadelphia, Colorado, and Columbus being borderline (literally).
That's 15 teams, if you count the "borderline" ones... HALF the League.
I don't see a problem with this, personally. I think Washington, LA and St. Louis should get passes for nostalgic and historical reasons, and of the "borderline" teams, Philly should of course stay in the league, but all the rest of them could go and I wouldn't be shedding any tears.

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12-06-2010, 09:57 AM
  #78
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New Orleans I would rather go for Houston. #3 TV market and was one of the first southern cities to get a hockey team with the Houston Aeros of the WHL in the 1970s. The Aeros were dissolved with the merger.

Memphis Nashville would not be happy with this and Memphis is hurting economically and would be like adding team into 8-Mile road. There are arenas that are viable but the economic situation is not viable.

Louisville I would rather go after Indianapoils which would make more sense. Bigger city, you could have Louisville within it's sphere of influence and Indy does have a history with the Racers.

Salt Lake City This is a prime target if the Jazz were to leave or become dissolved for some reason. When people say 'HEY! The NBA can't work there why should the NHL go?' is crap. The NBA is pricing out it's fans and the players aren't doing it any favors. Most NBA teams are at about 80-85% attendance and they are losing a metric ****ton of money.

Richmond Norfolk I think the OP is a Virginian. Pinched between these two towns is DC and Raleigh. The NHL isn't like Simcity where you are trying to squeeze in buildings everywhere you can. Teams have spheres of influence and Want to make claims on territories. Ottawa had to pay fees to Montreal and Toronto when it expanded even though they were no where close to those cities.

I'm going to make a sports medicine metaphor when it comes to teams. With an injury there is a 'sphere of primary' injury where the initial damage occurred and a 'sphere of secondary injury' which is caused by the swelling killing off the neighboring cells.

There is the radius of a team's territory defined by the NHL's charter which gives teams their zone of primary ownership. BUT there is an additional sphere of influence outside of that which is created by the marketing and popularity of the team. Even though a cityis outside the first zone of territorial claim, they are still within the influence of the team by broadcasting and marketing.

This is why Hamilton is FUBARed. They are within Toronto's sphere and Buffalo's sphere.

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12-06-2010, 10:06 AM
  #79
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OP is from Ontario, just tried to pull cities with metros areas over 1 million.

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12-06-2010, 10:28 AM
  #80
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
My thoughts on each:

New Orleans
- I say this as someone who has deep NOLA roots and as someone who loves and believes in hockey: there is absolutely no chance that the NHL could work there. Hell, the NBA doesn't even work there. It's culturally nothing like any other US city. Other than the Saints, who are something of an anomaly themselves, pro sports is not on the radar in New Orleans and probably never will be. It's too distracted, too poor, and (please don't take this the wrong way) too black of a city for the NHL to just drop a team and get by on a wing and a prayer. Again, if the NBA can't make it work there's not a chance for the NHL.

Memphis - Similar to New Orleans but somewhat more like St. Louis. It would be a hard go for the NHL, especially being a second team in Tennessee. IMO, Memphis doesn't have the corporate element that made the NHL viable in Nashville, so this is probably also a no-go.

Louisville - This is the best candidate of the group, being more or less virgin territory, but I think the NBA has a distinct edge if it comes to a territory war. But, it's all about marketing and opportunity. IMO, the time isn't right for the NHL to go into a marginal small market, but if the timing was better this would be a short-list choice.

Salt Lake City - No idea on the specifics, but my general impression is that SLC is not and never will be a great sports town. Putting a team there would be... odd.

Richmond - Just isn't quite a major-league city. Which is really a shame because it would be a nice geographic addition. But I know Richmond well enough to know why they aren't even talked about as an expansion market in any league.

Norfolk - They tried for an NHL team in the past, and it's not out of the question that they could support one, but there are a lot of different municipalities in play in that "Tidewater" area. I'm not sure they could ever get their collective act together enough to make it happen. It would probably be for the benefit of that area to merge into one large entity and be a little more coordinated about their approach to this sort of thing.
Unfortunately, I have to agree about New Orleans. Im a (new)resident and huge hockey fan but the NHL is just not a possibility. I don't like the NBA but had tix to last Friday night's game btw the Hornets and Knicks. The crowd was pathetically bad for a Friday night and a 'premium' game. This is a team w/ a superstar(Chris Paul) and off to a tremendous start. The NBA has ascertained that they need to take over ownership of the Hornets. The Hornets have an attendance threshold that the city has to meet before Jan 31., and I believe were avg. 13K+, which is below board. I would love to get an ECHL team as a tenant when the Hornets leave. New Orleans had the Brass(Sharks affiliate? also owned by former mayor Ray Nagin ) for about 5 years and they played at the Municipal Auditorium before moving to New Orleans Arena. The state of Louisiana wanted the team to pay for the conversion of the floor from court to ice, etc. at the N.O. Arena and the team was unwilling/unable to pay for said conversion(s). Unfortunately, their former home, Municipal Auditorium owners had already gotten rid of the ice machine, thus leaving the team w/ no where to play.
IMO, The city will make an excellent ECHL affiliate for the 'new' Quebec Nordiques when they make their return to the fold. N.O. is definitely a unique city culturally, etc. and that's best expressed through 'our' pride in 'our' French heritage. I always get complimented on my 'vintage' Nordiques tee. I will say that we are a poor city and that's been exacerbated by both Katrina and the oil spill. This would be a good location for some of the grass roots NHL work in the inner city. We have a wonderful roller hockey facility nearby in the 'burbs but the closest ice facility is about 70 miles away in Baton Rouge.
Hey Quebec, think of us when you're looking for an ECHL type affiliate! Sorry for the lengthy post.

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12-06-2010, 12:17 PM
  #81
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Continuing with the OPs list, again only Salt Lake City would make any real sense for the NHL if the NBA were no longer there. As for Norfolk, which is part of the Hampton Roads area, that's the only place on the list that could actually be considered now since the NBA isn't there, as well as no other major league in a metro area that's certainly large enough to support at least one major league franchise. And in addition, the Hampton Roads area has a far bit of minor league hockey history, as well as one former bid coming from there to bring an NHL team.

As for the other locations:
Tennessee already has the Predators and almost certainly can't support another NHL team; and with Nashville's struggles to support a team, at least at the corporate level, Memphis would even be more hard up.

Can anyone really imagine New Orleans as a hockey town? I can't. And with the NFL on its plate, I'd certainly think that the NBA is the next best option, if that city can in fact support two major league franchises. If the NBA were to leave town, then certainly it's not a place for the NHL.

As for Richmond, perhaps, but why choose Richmond when there's the Hampton Roads area with a larger population base and further removed from Washington.

Louisville would certainly seem like a possible option, on the surface of things, because there isn't any other major league team, not only in the city but in the entire state. But I've been well informed on previous ocassions, when I suggested Louisville as an NHL option, that the people there are totally focused on basketball, college basketball. But hey, who knows, if you give them a major league team to root for them perhaps they'd go for it, though the minor league hockey history isn't much, little to nothing recently, and inconsistant at best, not much to base much hope on.

And on that note, again Salt Lake City and the Hampton Roads area have the best minor league history among this group of cities.
http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=842958

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Old
12-06-2010, 12:25 PM
  #82
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If the NHL were to expand/relocate teams, there are many more locations I'd look at before going back to the Southern USA. The list includes:

-Quebec
-Hamilton
-Winnipeg
-Saskatoon/Regina
-Seattle
-Portland
-Green Bay
-Hartford

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12-06-2010, 12:29 PM
  #83
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Originally Posted by MoreOrr View Post
Louisville would certainly seem like a possible option, on the surface of things, because there isn't any other major league team, not only in the city but in the entire state. But I've been well informed on previous ocassions, when I suggested Louisville as an NHL option, that the people there are totally focused on basketball, college basketball. But hey, who knows, if you give them a major league team to root for them perhaps they'd go for it, though the minor league hockey history isn't much, little to nothing recently, and inconsistant at best, not much to base much hope on.
The one glimmer of hope is that all of the above (except the part about other in-state teams) could have been said about Raleigh prior to the Hurricanes. Still, I do generally agree that there are at least a few better options on the table.

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12-06-2010, 12:35 PM
  #84
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Well, the answer is of course that any of the above are virtually an automatic yes, should there appear a local owner who can get an arena built, who also has the cash to make team ownership and arena financing work. Besides that, all you really need to convince the BOG is a local population base deemed large enough, and a dream, as an owner. Territorial rights as a possible wild card.

The only parts of Virginia with any latent/current interest in hockey are currently served by the Capitals in the northern VA area, and the AHL Admirals in the transient US Navy area of Hampton Roads/Norfolk. Pretty barren wasteland otherwise. Solid football country, a little baseball, a little basketball.

Of that list, I really do like Salt Lake City. It might be somewhat small in terms of its population base, but that is a winter sports town and it always has been such. It's one wealthy Mormon city leader, with a penchant for hockey, away from having a NHL team, in my opinion. They have the NBA and a ready-made building, and the city has money. I think it could work.

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12-06-2010, 12:41 PM
  #85
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I still have a bunch of stickers from the committee that was trying to bring a team to the Norfolk area about 10-15 years ago. I don't think calling themselves the Rhinos and having a happy looking purple rhino was the way to go about obtaining a team, but that's what they went with. There's a plenty of people that live around there, but a lot of it is military folks stationed there for a couple years at a time. There's a pretty decent sized Caps fanbase around there though. I didn't run in to any Hurricanes fans around there, possibly due to that area only receiving Caps games on TV without center ice.

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12-06-2010, 12:45 PM
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Shockmaster View Post
I still have a bunch of stickers from the committee that was trying to bring a team to the Norfolk area about 10-15 years ago. I don't think calling themselves the Rhinos and having a happy looking purple rhino was the way to go about obtaining a team, but that's what they went with. There's a plenty of people that live around there, but a lot of it is military folks stationed there for a couple years at a time. There's a pretty decent sized Caps fanbase around there though. I didn't run in to any Hurricanes fans around there, possibly due to that area only receiving Caps games on TV without center ice.
unlikely Norfolk will get an NHL Team, if it has the commitment from Ken Young (who owns both the Admirals/Tides) and Tampa.

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12-06-2010, 12:50 PM
  #87
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Continuing with the OPs list, again only Salt Lake City would make any real sense for the NHL if the NBA were no longer there. As for Norfolk, which is part of the Hampton Roads area, that's the only place on the list that could actually be considered now since the NBA isn't there, as well as no other major league in a metro area that's certainly large enough to support at least one major league franchise. And in addition, the Hampton Roads area has a far bit of minor league hockey history, as well as one former bid coming from there to bring an NHL team.
Isn't the Norfolk area the biggest US tv market to not contain a major league sports team?

And I do have to admit that, even though he's getting up in years, it would amuse me to no end if John Brophy was part of a successful Norfolk bid for a NHL franchise.

As for New Orleans, the Brass were a perfectly nice ECHL team that got screwed by their arena situation, and I'd like to see a team at the 'Coast or AHL level in the city but I'm not sure the money is there to support NHL level ticket prices.

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12-06-2010, 12:53 PM
  #88
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There's been a big push on these boards to move the Coyotes there, perhaps you haven't noticed.

I think that Cleveland would make a good spot. It's far enough from Columbus and there is already a very strong football rivalry with Pittsburgh which could play out onto the ice.
Cleveland is a city in financial trouble. IMHO, putting a team there would be a mistake.

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12-06-2010, 12:55 PM
  #89
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Originally Posted by Pauser View Post
If the NHL were to expand/relocate teams, there are many more locations I'd look at before going back to the Southern USA. The list includes:

-Quebec
-Hamilton
-Winnipeg

-Saskatoon/Regina
-Seattle
-Portland
-Green Bay
-Hartford
I'll give you Quebec, Winnipeg, Seattle, and Portland. Hamilton is worthy but it would be over Buffalo and Toronto's dead bodies. Regina, maybe. I would want more information. GB, not really. Milwaukee is close by and so if Chicago. Hartford is too damned close to NYC.

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12-06-2010, 12:57 PM
  #90
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Originally Posted by The Shockmaster View Post
I still have a bunch of stickers from the committee that was trying to bring a team to the Norfolk area about 10-15 years ago. I don't think calling themselves the Rhinos and having a happy looking purple rhino was the way to go about obtaining a team, but that's what they went with.
A little bit of background reading, for those interested in this failed project:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hampton_Roads_Rhinos

Something tells me this would have turned out to be the worst of the expansion franchises, if it had been selected. Everything about it was wrong, from the owner down to the logo.

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12-06-2010, 01:00 PM
  #91
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I'll give you Quebec, Winnipeg, Seattle, and Portland. Hamilton is worthy but it would be over Buffalo and Toronto's dead bodies. Regina, maybe. I would want more information. GB, not really. Milwaukee is close by and so if Chicago. Hartford is too damned close to NYC.
Hartford seems to have a lot of support for the return of a team, though, plus they have the NHL/WHA history. The renaming of their AHL team to the Connecticut Whale (along with the change to Whalers-esque colours) also seems to be a pretty big hint that people in Hartford would like the Whalers back.

Regina would be great too, but I can't see a second NHL team popping up on the Prairies if the Jets come back to Winnipeg -- which would definitely happen first due to the ownership/arena/everything coming together. There's certainly support for hockey in Regina, but Saskatchewan, like Manitoba, has a relatively small population despite being a large province, and I think a lot of the criticism Manitoba has faced would be double in SK, because they don't even have the NHL history for reference.

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12-06-2010, 01:08 PM
  #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fidel Astro View Post
Hartford seems to have a lot of support for the return of a team, though, plus they have the NHL/WHA history. The renaming of their AHL team to the Connecticut Whale (along with the change to Whalers-esque colours) also seems to be a pretty big hint that people in Hartford would like the Whalers back.

Regina would be great too, but I can't see a second NHL team popping up on the Prairies if the Jets come back to Winnipeg -- which would definitely happen first due to the ownership/arena/everything coming together. There's certainly support for hockey in Regina, but Saskatchewan, like Manitoba, has a relatively small population despite being a large province, and I think a lot of the criticism Manitoba has faced would be double in SK, because they don't even have the NHL history for reference.
only difference, Fidel, MSG owns the Whale..... all WSE did is run the marketing....

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12-06-2010, 01:09 PM
  #93
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Here we go again with this "sunbelt" argument. By your definition, it seems much more than a "belt" region but rather like half of the continental United States (not including Alaska).

And then to continue with that argument, it appears that you're saying that cities in the southern HALF of the US just aren't appropriate for hockey. That's a huge chunk of the US landscape that you think should be 'tierra non-grata' to the NHL. Let's see, how many teams is that that you'd be cutting out of the League:
- 3 California teams
- Phoenix
- Dallas
- St. Louis
- Nashville
- Atlanta
- 2 Florida teams
- Carolina
- Washington
with Philadelphia, Colorado, and Columbus being borderline (literally).
That's 15 teams, if you count the "borderline" ones... HALF the League.
Using your list, you need to include Pittsburgh.

The people living in St. Louis, Philly, Denver, Pittsburgh, Columbus and Washington will be thrilled to learn they are in the Sunbelt. Their economic problems are over!

The lack of understanding of the US and it's geography on this board is simply amazing!

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12-06-2010, 01:10 PM
  #94
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-Hartford
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Originally Posted by BigFatCat999 View Post
Hartford is too damned close to NYC.
It's about 120 miles from city-center to city-center. Darn close for territory indemnification.

It's a mere 102 miles (cc to cc) to Boston -- they also would probably demand territory indemnification.

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12-06-2010, 01:11 PM
  #95
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only difference, Fidel, MSG owns the Whale..... all WSE did is run the marketing....
I don't know what either of those (MSG, WSE) stand for.

I'm just saying I've seen a lot of interest online about the Whale and about support for the (someday) return of the Whalers over the last little while.

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12-06-2010, 01:32 PM
  #96
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It's about 120 miles from city-center to city-center. Darn close for territory indemnification.

It's a mere 102 miles (cc to cc) to Boston -- they also would probably demand territory indemnification.
And that's why it could never have worked out for the Whalers. They were squeezed between two much larger, Original Six cities with relatively successful teams. People wax nostalgic about how beloved they were, but at the time they were kind of a joke franchise. Talking to veteran Whaler fans around here, their biggest games of the year were playing the Bruins and hoping they'd win so half the arena wouldn't chant "Let's go Bruins" the whole time.

BTW, in terms of distance -- Hartford is only 25 miles from Springfield, Mass which is obviously Bruins territory nowadays. And it's 40 miles from New Haven which is actually part of the New York CSA. They can't even look to Rhode Island, because that's solidly Bruins-backed including their AHL affiliate in Providence. Their niche would be tiny, even if they could afford to pay the price of acquiring rights to it.

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12-06-2010, 01:46 PM
  #97
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And that's why it could never have worked out for the Whalers. They were squeezed between two much larger, Original Six cities with relatively successful teams. People wax nostalgic about how beloved they were, but at the time they were kind of a joke franchise. Talking to veteran Whaler fans around here, their biggest games of the year were playing the Bruins and hoping they'd win so half the arena wouldn't chant "Let's go Bruins" the whole time.

BTW, in terms of distance -- Hartford is only 25 miles from Springfield, Mass which is obviously Bruins territory nowadays. And it's 40 miles from New Haven which is actually part of the New York CSA. They can't even look to Rhode Island, because that's solidly Bruins-backed including their AHL affiliate in Providence. Their niche would be tiny, even if they could afford to pay the price of acquiring rights to it.
I know that Long Island and Newark are really part of the NYC metro area, but still Newark is in another State. Whether we're talking Hartford, Bridgeport-New Haven, or Providence... wouldn't sort of the same megametro area idea come into play, as it does with Newark (which standing by itself is significantly smaller than any of those three areas I mentioned.

That said, I personally wouldn't be in putting another team back in the New England area. Any expansion in the east, speaking the US, the best or only reasonable location is Norfolk-Virginia Beach.

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12-06-2010, 01:51 PM
  #98
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I know that Long Island and Newark are really part of the NYC metro area, but still Newark is in another State. Whether we're talking Hartford, Bridgeport-New Haven, or Providence... wouldn't sort of the same megametro area idea come into play, as it does with Newark (which standing by itself is significantly smaller than any of those three areas I mentioned.
I think Connecticut is a little different, since there are so many wealthy NYC'ers who move there. Unlike Newark it isn't just an appendage of New York infrastructure, but a cultural outgrowth of NYC's upper class. IMO, it would be a much harder go for the Whalers than for the Devils, and that's saying quite a lot if you think about how long it took the Devils to carve out a niche.

Quote:
That said, I personally wouldn't be in putting another team back in the New England area. Any expansion in the east, speaking the US, the best or only reasonable location is Norfolk-Virginia Beach.
Which is to say, the east/southeast is finished for a good long time. IMO any new teams need to be focused toward Canada and the west coast, with Texas being a possible exception.

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12-06-2010, 02:10 PM
  #99
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Which is to say, the east/southeast is finished for a good long time. IMO any new teams need to be focused toward Canada and the west coast, with Texas being a possible exception.
Yep, I'd pretty much have to agree with that, and would be very content if it were in fact the case.

This thread is considering cities that the NBA might abandon, but without that... Seattle, Portland, a Texas city, and perhaps Tulsa are the best US options (not considering Norfolk-Virginia Beach, nor a Las Vegas 'gamble', nor a 4th team somewhere in California). Oh, and there's Kansas City but I'd even rank it after Tulsa.

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12-06-2010, 02:12 PM
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davidy2d
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fidel Astro View Post
I don't see a problem with this, personally. I think Washington, LA and St. Louis should get passes for nostalgic and historical reasons, and of the "borderline" teams, Philly should of course stay in the league, but all the rest of them could go and I wouldn't be shedding any tears.
So 3 teams without a Stanley Cup get passes for historical reasons but you're willing to cut out 11 teams with 6 Stanley Cups between them in the last 14-15 years?

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