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redwings8831

Toronto might get a second NHL team.

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And I'm not sure it would again. I lived in Kansas City for 9 years before coming back to MI...hockey was very unkown there. The only pro teams that people seemed to know about were the Red Wings, Blues, Stars, and Avs. The Kansas City Blades folded due to poor attendance. So I doubt a pro franchise would survive.

Eh, Blades didn't fold due to attendance. The entire IHL (of that time) folded into the AHL in '01 and only 6 teams made the cut to merge into the other league. Granted, the attendance didn't help persuade anyone to keep them through to the AHL - but competing against KC Chiefs tailgating, the monstrosity that is Kemper Arena, and the crappy public relations department... Yeah. Good luck with that.

Granted, I don't think an NHL team would really survive past a season or two (and then living purely off the novelty of a pro team, because the hockey folk in this town aren't enough to keep it afloat) but it gives me hope to dream :P

At least we'll get CHL hockey next season.. we're hoping. Ground got broken for a smaller venue in Independence that the CHL fully intends to expand into. If we can get that off to a good start - maybe it could breed the interest/desire for an NHL team. But.. no promises of course.

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DISCLAIMER: Normally, I don't argue for moving teams that have tradition and history in their current location. But for this post, I'm going to throw that out the window for the sake of argument.

Before the greater Toronto area gets another team, the League and its owners need to consider the similar large markets that have multiple teams. New York/New Jersey and Los Angeles/Anaheim in particular. Both markets could stand to lose a team.

NY/NJ has one team that consistently draws high attendance; the Rangers, and two teams that usually draw enough to get by. The Islanders and Devils fighting each other for the 'leftover' fans doesn't help either franchise. The Islanders would be the team I would choose from this market to relocate; they get the least fan support, and compete the most directly with the Rangers for fans so it would be the most difficult for them to build it up.

LA/ANH includes two teams, both with fairly weak tradition or history, and one team that is clearly favored by the locals as far as attendance. The Kings get much more local support despite the fact they have had significantly less success for their time in the league. Anaheim is the clear choice to relocate from this market, especially considering that their location and team name were a marketing gimmick by their original owner, who no longer owns them.

Beyond that, there are other teams which are in a middling state financially but might be better off elsewhere. Teams that are solo in their market that are in the league's bottom 10 in attendance and having potential financial issues: Phoenix, Nashville, Florida, Atlanta.

So we have six potential 'relocation' teams. Beyond that, as myself and others have stated on here before, 32 would be a good, solid number of teams for the league to expand to and REMAIN AT, because it allows for division and playoff systems that work extremely well.

Getting back to the point at hand;

Tor/Buf includes one of the league's "given" reliable draws in the Maple Leafs, who will sell out no matter what they put on the ice. Buffalo generally has a little bit more trouble with attendance but manages respectable numbers. Adding another team to the area would likely result in serious troubles for Buffalo.

Of the 'move' teams I mentioned, from most viable to least viable situation I consider the order to be as such based on factors such as ownership/management, fan interest, and long term stability.

1) NY Islanders

2) Atlanta

3) Phoenix

4) Nashville

5) Anaheim

6) Florida

So we have to consider what the best markets to add teams in are for team viability. Markets I have thought in the past would work well are Portland, Houston, Salt Lake City. Other markets that have been mentioned include Kansas City, London. I would rank those five, according to viability:

1) Portland

2) Houston

3) Salt Lake City

4) London

5) Kansas City

The only remaining matter, of course, is how to solve the matter of adding two teams and moving up to six. There are, of course, a few ways to do this. One would be straight expansion into two markets, and three standard moves. This is probably the simplest.

But the method I favor would function as follows:

The teams on the list are given an opt-in, starting with the least viable team and working towards the most viable team. Once we get to three teams opting-in, the opting-in is closed.

Expansion draft, phase one:

"Opt-in teams" submit a list of 15 skaters and one goaltender who are 'protected' while "Expansion" teams pick six players with no more than one goaltender each in a snaking draft format from the remaining pool of players off of those teams. Players who are waiver-exempt are not eligible to be selected and need not be protected. No team may lose more than two players, and no team may lose a goaltender and a defenseman. All teams must expose at least one forward, defenseman, and goaltender.

Expansion draft, phase two:

All remaining teams submit similar protected lists (15 skaters, one goaltender) and "Expansion" teams pick from the exposed players until they each have 15 skaters and one goaltender. Players who are waiver-exempt are not eligible to be selected and need not be protected. No team may lose more than two players, and no team may lose a goaltender and a defenseman. All teams must expose at least one forward, defenseman, and goaltender.

Expansion draft, phase three.

All "Expansion" and "Opt-in" teams pick eight players from the available players. No team may lose more than two players, and no team may lose a goaltender and a defenseman. All teams must expose at least one forward, defenseman, and goaltender.

NOTE: I included London over Hamilton because Hamilton is halfway between Toronto and Buffalo, and the discussion was about a possible expansion team in the Toronto area. London>>>Hamilton for that purpose. Realistically, neither should have one as the area already supports two teams and New York/New Jersey shows what happens when you try and shoehorn a third into an area like that.

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I brought this up with my dad last night and he said that Toronto will get a second team because now don't quote me but I think he said that there the richest team in the NHL or something like that.

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The territory rights fee would make it really hard for the numbers to work in Toronto. At one time I can remember there being talk of Davidson moving the 'Ning to the Palace back when it looked like the NHL in Tampa was never going to be a success. But the fee that they would have had to pay to the Red Wings made it cost-prohibitive to do so, and that was a situation where someone else had already sunk the costs for a modern professional sports stadium.

Territory rights + new arena + ten years of playing second banana in town ala the LA Clippers, and you need someone with deep enough pockets to probably lose $200 million in addition to the $150 million or so it would cost the team to start up.

Hamilton, IIRC, can put a arena in just outside of Toronto's territory rights area and also would not have to deal with the Clipper effect in building a fan base.

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NOTE: I included London over Hamilton because Hamilton is halfway between Toronto and Buffalo, and the discussion was about a possible expansion team in the Toronto area. London>>>Hamilton for that purpose. Realistically, neither should have one as the area already supports two teams and New York/New Jersey shows what happens when you try and shoehorn a third into an area like that.

London's too far away from Toronto to make it work there.

Hamilton, IIRC, can put a arena in just outside of Toronto's territory rights area and also would not have to deal with the Clipper effect in building a fan base.

Yeah, up on Hamilton Mountain, near the airport, likely.

Although Balsillie was just going to renovate Copps Coliseum because he was prepared to go to court to argue that the NHL's "territorial rights" clause is illegal.

Edited by MacK_Attack

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London's too far away from Toronto to make it work there.

The 10 largest metro areas in Canada are listed below. In bold are areas that already have one or more teams within 50 miles driving distance of the city center.

1) Toronto

2) Montreal

3) Vancouver

4) Ottawa

5) Calgary

6) Edmonton

7) Quebec City

8) Winnipeg

9) Hamilton

10) London

As you can see, London is the third most populous metro area that does not currently have a local NHL team. The other two have both lost theirs within the past fifteen years due. Winnipeg had low fan turnout and no corporate support, so I would not support attempting to return there. Quebec had strong fan support but poor corporate support due to the Montreal Canadiens culture, so a return might be difficult. This makes London the top choice for adding a team to Canada unless we are choosing to oversaturate a market. It is in an area that should provide strong attendance, and the corporate support should not be an issue. I would, however, not have included London or Hamilton had the topic not been about expansion into the Toronto area.

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are they really that desperate to make the leafs look good that they would bring in an expansion team which more than likely will suck worse than them?

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MLSE would get to rent the ACC to the new team....theres your payout you spoke of....

Actually I was thinking a team would be better off relocating to Hamilton, Ont.

There's an arena there (Balsillie would pay for the renovations if he's to bring a team to Hamilton), & as another poster already mentioned - the interest was evident when Balsillie went ahead, & took down-payments for season tickets.

I'm pretty certain that the MLSE would demand a massive payout (something like $50 million) for infringement.

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As you can see, London is the third most populous metro area that does not currently have a local NHL team. The other two have both lost theirs within the past fifteen years due. Winnipeg had low fan turnout and no corporate support, so I would not support attempting to return there. Quebec had strong fan support but poor corporate support due to the Montreal Canadiens culture, so a return might be difficult. This makes London the top choice for adding a team to Canada unless we are choosing to oversaturate a market. It is in an area that should provide strong attendance, and the corporate support should not be an issue. I would, however, not have included London or Hamilton had the topic not been about expansion into the Toronto area.

London won't get overflow from Toronto like Hamilton would. Nobody is going to do a 2+ hour drive to London from Toronto (and probably at least three hours with traffic on the 401) on a weeknight in the winter. That can be a ghastly drive once you get out of the GTA.

Whereas in Hamilton, they're currently working out the logistics of building a light-rail line from downtown Hamilton to Union Station in Toronto. There's already the GO train line, as well. It'll probably be possible to get from downtown Toronto to Copps Coliseum without having to drive at all or transfer trains. It is technically possible now, but it takes at least one train transfer just outside Hamilton.

15,000 people trying to get season tickets for a Hamilton team surely can't be a sign of over-saturation.

Also, a team in Hamilton requires a less-costly renovation of Copps Coliseum, where a team in London likely requires a new arena in a city that just built a 10,000 seat OHL arena. That's also another issue, you'd lose a team with history like the London Knights, but Hamilton would gladly see the Bulldogs go for an NHL team.

If London was closer to Toronto, it would be an option, but it's simply too far away. Kitchener/Waterloo might be as far away from Toronto as you can get without damaging the overflow from Toronto.

Edited by MacK_Attack

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London won't get overflow from Toronto like Hamilton would. Nobody is going to do a 2+ hour drive to London from Toronto (and probably at least three hours with traffic on the 401) on a weeknight in the winter. That can be a ghastly drive once you get out of the GTA.

Whereas in Hamilton, they're currently working out the logistics of building a light-rail line from downtown Hamilton to Union Station in Toronto. There's already the GO train line, as well. It'll probably be possible to get from downtown Toronto to Copps Coliseum without having to drive at all or transfer trains. It is technically possible now, but it takes at least one train transfer just outside Hamilton.

15,000 people trying to get season tickets for a Hamilton team surely can't be a sign of over-saturation.

Also, a team in Hamilton requires a less-costly renovation of Copps Coliseum, where a team in London likely requires a new arena in a city that just built a 10,000 seat OHL arena. That's also another issue, you'd lose a team with history like the London Knights, but Hamilton would gladly see the Bulldogs go for an NHL team.

If London was closer to Toronto, it would be an option, but it's simply too far away. Kitchener/Waterloo might be as far away from Toronto as you can get without damaging the overflow from Toronto.

I included London merely because it was a large population center in Southern Ontario. I leave Hamilton out because if you assume that there truly is this mythical "Toronto Overflow" that would justify having a second team, then currently it should be helping prop up the Sabres, right? Hamilton is halfway between the two, so it's reasonable to argue that hockey fans from Hamilton who cannot get Leafs tickets should go to Sabres games instead, right? Well, Buffalo has consistently had trouble filling their arena. Imagine what happens to that team when you add another team in Hamilton?

I'm not concerned about the welfare of the Maple Leafs. They'll be fine. It's the Sabres who are the team that will suffer. If a team is to move to Hamilton, the ONLY logical choice is the obvious one; the Buffalo Sabres. Here's an analogy.

Two patients are in the hospital. One is a senior, has several chronic illnesses, has been a severe alcoholic all his life and only has his left kidney. The other has kidney cancer, localized to the same kidney and causing the kidney to fail. The cancer patient is otherwise the paragon of health. What you are basically suggesting is removing the cancer patient's right, healthy kidney and giving it to the senior, thus directly and imediately placing the cancer patient's life in danger.

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