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Realistically....How many teams should be in the NHL?

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Old
12-28-2012, 11:18 PM
  #76
SaintPatrick33
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Yes, good points, and I agree with most of it. Interesting dynamic in Winnipeg though that you might not be aware of; they do actually have a natural rival, that being Toronto. A history of enmity that goes back several decades actually. Heightened by such intransigences as Ballard (along with Montreal & and to a far far lesser extent Vancouver) trying to shut them out when Amalgamation with the WHA was being negotiated.

Just a sort of general contempt for the "Centre of the Universe" as many Western Canadians refer to central Canada & Toronto specifically. Additional rivalries did exist and will likely rise again with the Alberta teams; Ottawa & Montreal, Vancouver, Minnesota, perhaps Phoenix, Minnesota & Chicago, Detroit. Dont worry about Winnipeg, they love a good fight, no problem picking them either.

And ya, love to see Dallas vs. Houston, San Jose vs. Portland vs. Seattle vs. Vancouver & so on.
I suppose if a team ever wound up in Saskatoon it might make for a rivalry with Winnipeg. The problem is at this point at least Saskatoon just isn't big enough to support a major league team.

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12-28-2012, 11:25 PM
  #77
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Anyone want to make a case that contraction is a smart business move by the NHL? Between buying out the franchises to be contracted and exiting current contracts like arena leases you're looking at something like $200m to $500m per contracted team.

Removing six teams would cost the remaining teams $1b-$3b. How many years would it take for a franchise like say Winnipeg to recoup the $40m to $120m cost? Not to mention if they kept the current cap system that the Jets player expenses would rise as a result of the contraction.

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12-28-2012, 11:28 PM
  #78
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...theres nothing "weak" about the sauciness the fan bases from Montreal to Ottawa, Toronto to Winnipeg to Edmonton, Calgary to Vancouver extol upon one another. Usually pretty hot stuff, requiring a fair amount of libation to extinguish. We live in an age of wall-wall information, technology & ease of access, wars are fought from long range, sports no different, regional proximities nowhere nearly as important as they were throughout the 20th & early part of the 21st Centuries.

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I suppose if a team ever wound up in Saskatoon it might make for a rivalry with Winnipeg. The problem is at this point at least Saskatoon just isn't big enough to support a major league team.
You missed part of another earlier post in response to another member I made a few minutes ago I guess.... and no, Saskatoon is far too small, maybe in 80yrs or so, but it doesnt matter. This isnt 1985, 1965 or 1945, 1925 or 1905. Direct regional rivalries while nice are not the beat all & end all that they once were. Radio, TV & the Internet have trumped if not completely obliterated those concerns and on a Global Scale.

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12-28-2012, 11:33 PM
  #79
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
...theres nothing "weak" about the sauciness the fan bases from Montreal to Ottawa, Toronto to Winnipeg to Edmonton, Calgary to Vancouver extol upon one another. Usually pretty hot stuff, requiring a fair amount of libation to extinguish. We live in an age of wall-wall information, technology & ease of access, wars are fought from long range, sports no different, regional proximities nowhere nearly as important as they were throughout the 20th & early part of the 21st Centuries.



You missed part of another earlier post in response to another member I made a few minutes ago I guess.... and no, Saskatoon is far too small, maybe in 80yrs or so, but it doesnt matter. This isnt 1985, 1965 or 1945, 1925 or 1905. Direct regional rivalries while nice are not the beat all & end all that they once were. Radio, TV & the Internet have trumped if not completely obliterated those concerns and on a Global Scale.
You're right: I DID miss that mea culpa

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12-28-2012, 11:36 PM
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NHL fans might bash me right now but I've accepted the fact hockey in North America is just not for everyone.

It's never going to be a universal sport because the obvious:

Requires separate skillset, skating+stick handling.
Requires a lot of equipment.
Requires a lot of prep (rink rental, etc)


I personally think the league should run in partners with Europe and that the world championship should be between an NA winner and Euro winner.

I think Canada could support 8-10 teams with a lower cap (not much lower though).

American could support 12 teams.

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12-28-2012, 11:47 PM
  #81
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I am in favour of 32 teams. Add one canadian and one american team.

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12-28-2012, 11:51 PM
  #82
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As I said in the other topic just a few seconds ago, I think 28-32 is the sweet spot for the NHL, so I'd be fine with adding two new teams.

There are clearly markets still interested and getting ready to be full-time NHL homes (Seattle and Quebec City) and there might be a rush for refurbishment (Hamilton) and options to entice potential ownership groups (Portland, Houston, and Kansas City), so I think that the demand's there. Adding any more than two teams, however, would probably be a bad business move as it'd effectively seal up all future landing spots just in case a team does need to relocate for whatever reason.

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12-29-2012, 12:22 AM
  #83
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Originally Posted by Pilky01 View Post
As many as can remain financially viable.

It really shouldn't be more than 20.
Agree with the first part for sure. I think 20 is cutting it a little short though.A few teams need relocation, and I don't believe in pro hockey teams being run like charities. Be reasonably self sufficient or pack it in.

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12-29-2012, 12:46 AM
  #84
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Is that Saskatoon?
Saskatoon or Regina.

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12-29-2012, 01:17 AM
  #85
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Add in Quebec, Markham, Seattle, Houston and Hartford and you could re-arrange the league to have 32 teams that are profitable. Maybe Kansas City and Hamilton too. This would be new locations for a combination of relocation and expansion. Also Saskaton or Regina. Yes, I said it.

Teams on the bubble of relocation IMHO due to poor revenues:
Phoenix
Florida
Tampa
Columbus
Nashville
Anaheim
Dallas ( caveat is that a Houston franchise would help them)

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12-29-2012, 01:20 AM
  #86
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Add in Quebec, Markham, Seattle, Houston and Hartford and you could re-arrange the league to have 32 teams that are profitable. Maybe Kansas City and Hamilton too. This would be new locations for a combination of relocation and expansion. Also Saskaton or Regina. Yes, I said it.

Teams on the bubble of relocation IMHO due to poor revenues:
Phoenix
Florida
Tampa
Columbus
Nashville
Anaheim
Dallas ( caveat is that a Houston franchise would help them)
Hartford is NEVER going to see another NHL team: Like Saskatoon it's just too small.

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12-29-2012, 01:27 AM
  #87
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Originally Posted by Seedling View Post
Add in Quebec, Markham, Seattle, Houston and Hartford and you could re-arrange the league to have 32 teams that are profitable. Maybe Kansas City and Hamilton too. This would be new locations for a combination of relocation and expansion. Also Saskaton or Regina. Yes, I said it.

Teams on the bubble of relocation IMHO due to poor revenues:
Phoenix
Florida
Tampa
Columbus
Nashville
Anaheim
Dallas ( caveat is that a Houston franchise would help them)
Although I'm sure it's pointless to say it... Tampa isn't going anywhere. Mr. Vinik just bought the team a couple of years ago, has invested $45+ million out of his pocket for arena improvements, moved his corporation to Tampa and moved his family here. There's no way he would agree to the team being relocated.

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12-29-2012, 01:41 AM
  #88
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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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12-29-2012, 03:11 AM
  #89
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I don't get some people.
I can maybe see Seattle working.
But before any team is added anywhere in the USA another team in toronto and one in Quebec is needed.
Take the time drive here and get to know the NHL fans. It is not a leaf town. It is an
NHL fan. I had a discussion with my best friend about three months ago. We took 20 each of our closest friends outside of work(different group of friends) as well as many friends we knew at work and tallied up the percentage that were leaf fans. Our twenty closest friends were the friends that we are actually closest with. Poker, hockey buddies etc. We both live and work in the Toronto CMA. These fans include serious fans who watch on a regular basis and not just fans who are bandwagon jumpers that barely watch. between the 40 friends outside of work and 35 friends at work. My friend 20 best friends from leaside(toronto) where he grew up(most guys in thirties some teens etc). 8 were leaf fans and 12 were a mix. In Newmarket 6 are leaf fans and 14 are non fans. As for the 35 work friends. 12 were leaf fans and 23 were non leaf fans. 26 of 75 fans were leaf fans. Just over 33%. Although representing only a small number of hockey fans in Toronto it is pretty staggering. How many of those fans are fans like me that want to support a local team and don't want to support the leafs.

Balisille received 8,000 deposits for seasons tickets in one day and 12,000 in four days as well as all 80 luxury boxes in Hamilton. For **** sakes, what else to we need to prove anything. I do understand a team in Hamilton may affect buffalo as buffalo does rely on Niagara peninsula. But a team in peel region or kw woul definitely work.
Until that happens the NHL will not see another penny from me.
Get rid of a handful of teams including Phoenix and Miami and move them to The golden horseshoe and Quebec

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12-29-2012, 03:20 AM
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And what the **** are people thinking by picking Atlanta again, kc, San Antonio, Vegas? Before Canada. Lol. Quebec and Toronto area.
Many cities hockey is a novelty that wears off over time or are only supported when they have a winning team. Pittsburgh had proven that. Look at their attendance history. If the ended up drafting muller instead of Lemieux they would be gone. If they didn't get Crosby they probably would have been gone.
Even Chicago. How bad was there attendance until they got good.
Columbus, nyi, Miami, Dallas, Phoenix. Etc.

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12-29-2012, 03:48 AM
  #91
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I am still rather skeptical the NHL has any interest in relocation to Quebec. Among the many problems was an inability to market due to the language barrier, something that has only become a greater obstacle to a certain extent. After the whining and complaining mounted towards the Canadiens just for having an Anglophone coach. It seems far too much of a headache to be worthwhile, especially with Hamilton an equally viable option and half the issues.

Nonetheless, if expansion is the future desire. New American markets are more probable given the NHL's preference in growing the game outside the Canadian boarder. Seattle is the obvious choice. Portland also appears to have a growing hockey population and would certainly help balance travel.

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12-29-2012, 03:53 AM
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And what the **** are people thinking by picking Atlanta again, kc, San Antonio, Vegas? Before Canada. Lol. Quebec and Toronto area.
Many cities hockey is a novelty that wears off over time or are only supported when they have a winning team. Pittsburgh had proven that. Look at their attendance history. If the ended up drafting muller instead of Lemieux they would be gone. If they didn't get Crosby they probably would have been gone.
Even Chicago. How bad was there attendance until they got good.
Columbus, nyi, Miami, Dallas, Phoenix. Etc.
Chicago is a poor example. They suffered predominantly due to Bill Wirtz's draconian marketing strategies and an idiotic belief television coverage was "unfair" to season ticket holders. His death and the near immediate changes to that philosophy are what gradually spun around the Hawks. Alas, I agree the majority of those markets would never work. Vegas is perhaps the intriguing exception, although too much of a gamble (pun intended.) The issue I see there is less to do with lacking a hockey interest and more with it being a tourist state. It could work, if only because no other major sport has made a go of it but considering the disaster of Phoenix. I dare say the NHL's bravery has been spent.

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12-29-2012, 04:23 AM
  #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WingsFan95 View Post
NHL fans might bash me right now but I've accepted the fact hockey in North America is just not for everyone.

It's never going to be a universal sport because the obvious:

Requires separate skillset, skating+stick handling.
Requires a lot of equipment.
Requires a lot of prep (rink rental, etc)


I personally think the league should run in partners with Europe and that the world championship should be between an NA winner and Euro winner.

I think Canada could support 8-10 teams with a lower cap (not much lower though).

American could support 12 teams.
I would love an expansion to Europe and I think it would be good for business in N.A. too. To be fair, most hockey fans in Sweden do not care about NHL that much because SEL is the deal. Even if we live in a globalized world people like to cheer for the home town team even if it isn't in the foremost league. With a European conference this would change.

I think the US might have the teams the country can carry now, and Canada can for sure have say 4 more teams.

But both the increase of teams in Canada and with 100% certainty in the European case one need a lower cap.

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12-29-2012, 05:01 AM
  #94
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As I said in the other topic just a few seconds ago, I think 28-32 is the sweet spot for the NHL, so I'd be fine with adding two new teams.

There are clearly markets still interested and getting ready to be full-time NHL homes (Seattle and Quebec City) and there might be a rush for refurbishment (Hamilton) and options to entice potential ownership groups (Portland, Houston, and Kansas City), so I think that the demand's there. Adding any more than two teams, however, would probably be a bad business move as it'd effectively seal up all future landing spots just in case a team does need to relocate for whatever reason.
Kansas city not only lacks an ownership group, there is zero interest in the game. Zero. You might as well throw a dart at a map, build an arena there and that market would instantaneously be on the same footing as kc.

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12-29-2012, 05:08 AM
  #95
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Although I'm sure it's pointless to say it... Tampa isn't going anywhere. Mr. Vinik just bought the team a couple of years ago, has invested $45+ million out of his pocket for arena improvements, moved his corporation to Tampa and moved his family here. There's no way he would agree to the team being relocated.
So if the NHL told vinik he could move his team to markam ( which would be a money printing machine) he would pass? Really ? He wouldn't move to a brand new arena with a 10x larger market where he has to spend zero seconds growing the game? Why?

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12-29-2012, 05:21 AM
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Personally I think 30 is just fine. I'd just move 1 or 2 teams to different locations. From what I gather, the obvious choices for new NHL venues would be Seattle and Quebec City. Moving PHX for now is out of the question as they have just got a new owner who will likely want the team to stay where they are.

I actually think California should move a team. They have 3 teams in a non-hockey market, 2 should more than suffice. Who to remove? No idea. I'm obviously bias as I am a Ducks fan. But legacy-wise it would make sense to move the Sharks. They have had no cup success in their history, so no hame done here.

As for the second team to be relocated I'd make a case for Florida. From what I gather they are stuggling anyway with getting people to come and watch hockey and they haven't been a dominating team at all for the last what, 15 years? Maybe a fresh start would be the best.

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12-29-2012, 05:29 AM
  #97
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So if the NHL told vinik he could move his team to markam ( which would be a money printing machine) he would pass? Really ? He wouldn't move to a brand new arena with a 10x larger market where he has to spend zero seconds growing the game? Why?
That depends on his present leasing agreement and the according penalties applied to relocating. Not to mention Hamilton is by no means a guaranteed "money printing machine." It could just as easily become Ottawa or worse given the relatively stiff competition for fan appeal.

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Originally Posted by DuckNoire View Post
Personally I think 30 is just fine. I'd just move 1 or 2 teams to different locations. From what I gather, the obvious choices for new NHL venues would be Seattle and Quebec City. Moving PHX for now is out of the question as they have just got a new owner who will likely want the team to stay where they are.

I actually think California should move a team. They have 3 teams in a non-hockey market, 2 should more than suffice. Who to remove? No idea. I'm obviously bias as I am a Ducks fan. But legacy-wise it would make sense to move the Sharks. They have had no cup success in their history, so no hame done here.

As for the second team to be relocated I'd make a case for Florida. From what I gather they are stuggling anyway with getting people to come and watch hockey and they haven't been a dominating team at all for the last what, 15 years? Maybe a fresh start would be the best.
No offense but I am almost certain if a California team were relocated, itself unlikely, Anaheim is the one to go. Last I recall San Jose garnered superior profit and excluding their inaugural season, are among the most consistent teams in the league. Anaheim's only history is a cup win that did not vault their status in terms of fiscal value. And seeing Pittsburgh and Long Island's legacy has not prevented relocation talks at some point. Anaheim is unlikely to be any different. Bit moot though, as I doubt any of the three move.


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12-29-2012, 05:38 AM
  #98
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No offense but I am almost certain if a California team were relocated, itself unlikely, Anaheim is the one to go. Last I recall San Jose garnered superior profit and excluding their inaugural season, are among the most consistent teams in the league. Anaheim's only history is a cup win that did not vault their status in terms of fiscal value. And seeing Pittsburgh and Long Island's legacy has not prevented relocation talks at some point. Anaheim is unlikely to be any different. Bit moot though, as I doubt any of the three move.
Hence me saying I am bias Objectively the Ducks probably are the team most likely to be moved. As far as I can tell their homegames draw the poorest attendance numbers of the 3. But as I said...my team so I am bias.

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12-29-2012, 05:39 AM
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The only reason there are 30 in the first place is to mimic the other big three sports' market penetration and compete directly with them.

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12-29-2012, 06:07 AM
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The only reason there are 30 in the first place is to mimic the other big three sports' market penetration and compete directly with them.
I don't think so. Yes it is for market penetration but the fact that the other sports donthe same is circomstancial or at least it is not a primary objective. The NHL, as other sports, want a nation wide fan base for multiple reasons, such as TV deals and taping into every good and ok market available.

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