SUN Hockey Pool

Contenders

ADAM CLAYTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 1:20 PM ET

Cities in the running to land an NHL team:

- Houston -- Houston Rockets owner Les Alexander has expressed interest in landing an NHL team for the Toyota Center, which has a 17,000 seat capacity for hockey. The American Hockey League's Houston Aeros average 5,800 fans a game and rank 10th in the league in attendance. Former New England/ Hartford Whalers great Gordie Howe, who played for the team in both the NHL and the World Hockey Association, also played for the WHA's Houston Aeros in the '70s.

- Kansas City -- The NHL's Scouts played two seasons in Kansas City in the mid-'70s before moving to Colorado and later New Jersey. A civic group called NHL21 is hoping to attract a team for a new 18,500-seat downtown arena that will open in the fall of 2007. All 72 of the building's luxury suites have been sold but to date the building has no professional tenants.

- Portland -- Not too likely to land a team since Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is already trying to dump one of the two sports franchises he owns. Allen, one of the world's richest people, recently announced he is looking to sell the Portland Trailblazers. Allen also owns the 21,300-seat Rose Garden, which is home to the Blazers.

- Winnipeg -- The Manitoba Moose drew an average of 8,300 fans during the regular season, ranking third in AHL attendance. But after 24 seasons of Winnipeg Jets hockey -- seven in the WHA and 17 in the NHL -- and going 10 years without them, some Winnipeg fans are hungry for the return of NHL hockey.


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