It would be great if the NHL returned to Quebec City, which steps are being taken to achieve.
Same thing goes for having a team again in Winnipeg.
Before the league allows either of those scenarios to happen, though, it would be better off adding a second squad in Toronto or southern Ontario.
Resurrecting the Nordiques and Jets would benefit the NHL in so many ways. Hey, better to have the 15,000 seat arenas in those cities always filled than the half-empty venues we have in Phoenix, Tampa, Atlanta, Florida and on and on.
However, first moving one or maybe even two of those teams -- or Nashville or the New York Islanders -- to Ontario makes more sense.
You have the corporate dollars. You have the population to make it a sold-out building night after night.
Best off, you have the appetite.
Toronto has plenty of Maple Leafs fans -- we won't say hockey fans since so many junior teams in the area as well as the AHL Marlies don't draw well enough for Hogtown to have that title.
Also, you have the population of anti-Leafs fans, which is what happens when you go more than 40 years without a title. Those fans would love to wear the logo of the Kitchener Fighting Blackberries or the Yonge Street Yaks.
In a perfect world, the NHL would have nine or even 10 teams in Canada. If we absolutely knew the Canadian dollar would remain close enough to par with the U.S. buck, it would be feasible. Plus, travel costs for teams north of the border would decrease.
It is more appropriate for NHL hockey to be in Winnipeg and Quebec City than so many sunbelt cities, since the plan for going everywhere in the U.S. has not developed into a lucrative TV contract.
Plus, it would be especially great if those world-famous hot dogs at Le Colisee would be available where the new Nordiques play. But the first step would be to tap into a bigger market which is under-serviced.
You can understand a few Flames wondering why Miikka Kiprusoff has not been tabbed for player of the week yet this season. In his nine starts since the 7-1 Chicago game Nov. 19, when Kiprusoff was hooked after allowing six goals in the first two periods, he's posted a 6-2-1 mark, with both regulation-time defeats coming by 2-1 scores. Kiprusoff's numbers in that stretch are: 1.22 goals-against average and .957 save percentage. He's allowed two or fewer goals in all those games (although one was a 3-2 shootout final). "He's been a star for us every game he's played," said defenceman Adam Pardy. "I don't know what's going on there. I guess I don't pick 'em, eh?" ... Based on the theory Darryl Sutter had of 12 points per 10-game segment, the Flames are ahead of that pace with 41 points through 30 games, including a very tough stretch in November ... If anyone heard the version of O Canada performed by ex-Pussycat Dolls singer Kaya Jones, you'll understand why Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times apologized to all of Canada via yours truly. Why can't teams just stick with someone like Calgary's Heather Liscano, who performs both anthems flawlessly instead of trotting out American Idol wannabes?
Wednesday's 3-0 shutout win helps matters, but it's hard to believe a Blue Jackets team coached by Ken Hitchcock is near the bottom of the league in goals-against average ... First thoughts were firing John Stevens wasn't the answer in Philadelphia, and the Flyers' start under new bench boss Peter Laviolette isn't proving that theory wrong ... By the way, here's a guess who'll be the next coach canned: Anaheim's Randy Carlyle ... If the Capitals have any flaws, it's the insistence Jose Theodore (7-4-4 record, 3.06 GAA and .902 save percentage) and Semyon Varlamov (12-1-2 record, 2.21 GAA and .924 save percentage) are both No.-1 goalies ... Back to L.A., Kings rising star Anze Kopitar obviously needs Ryan Smyth to be the magnet which pulls him to the net. Kopitar, who snapped a 13-game goal-scoring drought against San Jose Wednesday, has sublime skill but wasn't anywhere near the goal against the Flames and won't beat many goalies, especially Miikka Kiprusoff, from the outside.
You don't say
"I'm a goaltender, I can't score.
-- Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo