SUN Hockey Pool

NHL open to growth

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:31 AM ET

The National Hockey League has not given up on one day re-visiting Canadian markets in Winnipeg and Quebec City and, way down the road, will examine a second team in the Toronto area.

Fielding those questions was new Hockey Hall of Fame builder Harley Hotchkiss, an executive with the Calgary Flames and chairman of the league's board of governors.

"I think we have an obligation (to see if those markets can work)," Hotchkiss said yesterday. "There were great fans in those cities to support those teams. "Speaking as a Canadian our team had some great games against the Winnipeg Jets and Quebec Nordiques."

But Hotchkiss does not dispute commissioner Gary Bettman's belief that the league should first get its current house in order.

"With 30 teams now, I don't see expansion in the short term. Our focus should be on where we are."

As for a second Southern Ontario team, Hotchkiss was intrigued.

"Not now, but I wouldn't rule it out totally."

MIND GAMES

Dan Brooks says his famous father Herb was a master of "reverse psychology" in his eventful career coaching NCAA hockey, the Olympics and the NHL.

"Win a game 7-0 he'd be miserable, lose 3-0 and he'd buy everyone a beer," Dan said.

ROCKY START

Patrick Roy is a legend in Denver, but remembers when the Avs first moved there in 1995 to pick up the pieces of the failed Colorado Rockies.

"You could go to a shopping centre and nobody would know the players," Roy said. "We think we all put a lot of pride in wanting to do well in Denver and having the fans coming over."


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