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2012 GAMES


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.

Bettman: Have patience


This comment is FULLY MODERATED.


Here's the scoop,Winnipeg,Hamilton,Quebec City,second team in the Toronto area....As I said a long time ago,expansion in the States is a failure, a number of teams are going belly up and you're now getting the tip of the iceberg,here me now and believe me later. Bettman knows it, and his now suddern willingness to be open to Quebec City is about business as it should be, don't think for one instance that Bettman is now doing any of us in Canada a favour, it's just a matter of time now, not if but when Canadian teams will be returnibg.
Ed, 2009-12-11 11:47:41

Winnipeg can't support a pro franchise. They won't have the corporate sponsorship and with ticket prices being so high, not many will be able to afford to go to the games. Quebec city would be a great place for the next franchise in Canada; they can find the funds and have passionate fans. Winnipeg may have the fans but will show in time they don't have the funds. As for S. Ontario...tired of hearing it all. Ballsillie ruined it for us after all that garbage he tried pulling.
future NHLer, 2009-12-11 11:43:43

Maybe it should read "Venomously denies"...haha. It all comes down to business. If you can't keep your team then it should be taken from you. I think people in Phoenix don't care about hockey so you know what...that's fine...bring the team to Hamilton. Canadians love hockey and will support it (especially there) because the population and opportunities for profit exist. I'd love to see a team in Winnipeg or Quebec City for that matter too, but it's all gonna come down to the almighty dollar. Kansas City and Las Vegas eh? i can see the names now...The Kansas John Browns and the Vegas Prostitutes/Gamblers...LOL
gerry, 2009-12-11 10:50:43

Bettman is not paying attention to those who

other then the people in

Toronto, Hamilton is still

a great place for a team or

what about Kitchener or the

great town of London, all of those areas have a fan base of six million or more, do the math and talk to those people to see if they would indeed support a team, and another thing

why do you need an arena the size of 40 to 60 thousand seats, I would rather see a smaller place and full then a large place half empty.
Andre, 2009-11-20 04:44:55

PERSONNE, 2009-11-15 09:54:30

Another team in Toronto area!! Great, Leaf fans would have a hockey team to cheer for.
Fred, 2009-11-11 10:02:11

The safest place for the NHL to put another team is the Toronto area. The team immediately makes tons of money for the NHL and the team owners. There is no guarantee that a team will work in Winnipeg or Quebec. Been there, done that. I'm not saying that teams wouldn't survive in those two cities but I'd have to believe the NHL would be nervous about returning to a city that lost a team because of a low fan base.

Anywhere in South Western Ontario would be extremeley successful for a new NHL team.
Cappthook, 2009-11-10 07:19:07

Bothwell ontario would be the logical choice for sure!!!
snakey, 2009-11-10 07:11:49

David, I hear you, bhelieve me. But the bottom line is, as always, profit and the NHL is a business after all. Quebec City, Winnipeg and Hamilton could probably fill an 18,000-seat arena each on a FAIRLY regular basis, but none among them could sustain a long-time loser (as has Toronto) and none have anywhere near the potential corporate sponsorship or fan-base than the GTA. Hell, all three combined don't even come close to the potential number of fans in Southern Ontario.

I don't like the idea much either of seeing yet another team in that region for the local media to fawn over (and then shove down the throats of the rest of Canada), but as I say, it's a business and they'll go where the profits are.

Yes, they made mistakes in the U.S. (Phoenix, Miami, Tampa, Nashville, Raleigh) but they did so in the vain hope that hockey would catch on in all three for more than the short run and, had they been right, they'd be swimming in money.

But there are still untapped locales in the U.S. with a great hockey tradition (Seattle, Portland, Houston to name just three) and they'll go there before they'll try Winnipeg and Quebec again, or even think about Hamilton.
Gary O., 2009-11-09 22:04:12

Great, another city for Toronto! Sarcasm here. Spread the wealth, there are hockey fans across Canada, and a rink would be full in Hamilton, Winnipeg, Quebec city to name a few. Not to mention building legendary hockey rivalries. Canadian's fund probably over 60% of the NHL, and it is only fair that other cities who have shown interest have a chance. I guess this is Bettman's way of showing Balsille who is boss around here. Way to go, Batman! Hey, maybe you can put a team in Mexico city!
David, 2009-11-09 18:12:52

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