Still elitist, but good try,
Lets use your logic and talk about the teams that have been losing money (looks to be about 18 of them according to Forbes.) Screw all the teams that aren't able to make money. "They can put an NHL team anywhere they want as long as they can support themselves" So, goodbye to:
Phoenix, Florida, Nashville, Columbus, Carolina, which would make you happy. However, you also lose St. Louis, Winnipeg, NYI, Buffalo, Tampa Bay, New Jersey, San Jose, Anaheim (don't you live in the CA area? Would suck to lose your opportunity to go see games, no?) Washington, and the Cup Champion LA Kings. Man, what a great league with lots of exposure that would be./s
Revenue sharing is something built in to the league. All of the major sports league incorporate it. Most of the teams I listed would take advantage of it if they were able. However, there are restrictions that prevent some teams from utilizing the program, which would help them at least break even. Not every team can be the Wings or the Leafs with so much tradition that you have a built in fanbase, no matter how the team performs. It takes time, and lean seasons sometimes, to build up the tradition.
But, what do I know? I'm just one of the fans that could have given a crap about hockey growing up, due to no teams even remotely close to me, but became a rabid fan once hockey became available to me.
Winnipeg can support itself... It was the teams first year, it actually did very well for a first year team taking over Atlanta Thrashers, it will make money in the coming years... do not include it on your list.