Salt Lake City?
Some cities are good hockey markets and some are not. Some lie in places that get an actual cold winter while not being hockey cities.
So just for fun, what cities without the NBA could handle more hockey?
I wouldn't see a second Detroit one happening, the fans are too die hard Red Wings fans. Some of these cities, like San Antonio, have no hockey base but given that every other hockey-friendly (eg: Seattle) was tapped, maybe cities as big as San Antonio could get a shot.
I think Milwaukee would have been a much better NHL city than NBA.
I don't know about that. Put an NHL team here and give them the same success the Bucks have had the past 20+ years (record of 707-939) and see how fans react to them. That's 7 playoff appearances in the last 21 years (assuming they don't make it this year which seems likely) where over half the teams make the playoffs and 6 of those playoff appearances came as a 6th seed or worse and only once did they advance past the first round. And that year the Bradley Center along with Arco Arena out in Sacrmamento were considering the NBA's loudest buildings.
It actually might be better since lower seeds have a better chance of advancing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs than they do in the NBA but interest would be fairly low.
Maybe not as low as the game from last night where you could get seats a few rows from the court for $20 and seats in the lower level but higher up for free if you filled out a survey.
It's also why I take the attendance on ESPN with a grain of salt because the listed attendance for this game is about double of the amount of people that were actually there.