Which city deserves an NHL team the most? Fri, October 16, 2009
By Mike Zeisberger, Sun Media
Many of the Gary Bettman bashers figure the NHL commissioner seems to turn a blind eye to anything north of the 49th parallel.
To this increasingly vocal group that maintains Bettman is anti-Canadian, it doesn't seem to matter that he has continued to talk with Hamilton officials since Jim Balsillie's bid to move the Phoenix Coyotes to Steeltown died last month.
Or that, during the Coyotes trial, he pondered why the NHL would not at least touch base with Winnipeg in the event of the team's relocation, since that was the original birthplace of the franchise.
Or that he hosted a meeting a week ago with Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume, who wants to resurrect the Quebec Nordiques.
To these conspiracy theorists, Bettman's ultimate plan is to plop teams in Kansas City and Las Vegas one day while ignoring areas such as Winnipeg, Quebec City, and southern Ontario. It is a suggestion he vehemently denies.
"I'm sure there are people in Quebec City who would say if a team is moving to Canada, why should it be southern Ontario? Why shouldn't we get a team back?" Bettman says. "I'm sure there are people in Winnipeg who are saying the same thing. If the Coyotes move, I'm sure they say, 'Why aren't the Coyotes coming back here now that we have a new arena?' And so, there will always be a debate as to where the right fit is. But to the extent people think I have this master list hanging on my office wall in terms of where we are going next, that is not the case. If the opportunity presents itself, then we will look at all the situations and try to make the best judgment. You can confirm for yourself ... there is no list on my wall. Search away, You can look in all the drawers also."
What city should the NHL expand or relocate to in the future? Does it matter whether it is in Canada or the U.S.? Have your say in our forum.