>>>The NHL shouldn't try to prevent the Whalers from moving if the current
>>>ownership wants to do so. There is at least a dozen more interesting markets
>>>than Harford in the US and Canada currently without a team.
>>I certainly won't argue on this one. There are indeed lots of other
>>markets out there that might be better.
>>Are there other cities in Canada that could handle a team?
> It continues to amaze me that Hamilton doeesn't have a team.
> The city has a beautiful stadium (Copps). The population could certainly
> support it. It will certainly suffer through a mediocre team :-).
Sadly, Hamilton is one of only a few cities in North America that *NEVER* will
have a team, which is exactly the way it should be. The reason is of course
that the Southern Ontario market is too saturated already. Hamilton's only 100km
from Buffalo and 80km from Toronto. Having three teams in NYC/NJ is bad enough,
why do we want to create a similar overcrowded situation by adding Hamilton.
They've already got two teams within commuting distance (almost anyway).
> Why doesn't Hamilton have a team? How did Ottawa deserve one more?
Because the Senators' ownership group is a bunch of incompetent idiots who are
in this league only because they were stupid enough to promise to come up with
the $50 million admission fee demanded by the NHL. There's no way a hockey
team is worth that much as long as the league doesn't have a NBA/NFL-size TV
contract. It is obvious that the Tampa Bay & Ottawa bids were the worst among
the applicants. Neither group has anything - no arena, no money (despite their
promises), no competent people in their respective organizations... In fact,
Phil Esposito, George Steinbrenner, Paul Anka (no wait - isn't he about to
leave the Ottawa group?) & Co. will fit right in among the other carpetbaggers
running the National Hockey League.
As far as expansion sites are concerned, I've always felt the NHL should add
teams in areas where they a) don't have hockey but b) either care about the
sport or *MIGHT* care if they had a team. Having a decent arena from Day One
might also help as long as almost all revenue comes from the box office (
the Senators will lose $10 million annually every year they have to play in
their current 10000-seater arena). What cities fit that description?
SEATTLE and MILWAUKEE should have been the NHL's 23rd and 24th franchises.
Milwaukee already has a an excellent building and strong hockey interest while
Seattle could play at the 20000-seater Tacoma Dome in nearby Tacoma until their
new arena is ready. Both cities have strong junior programs, a big plus because
the league can't rely on getting more players from Canada, Europe, Minnesota
and Massachusetts forever. Areas like the Pac. Northwest and Ohio/Indiana have
to produce more NHLers than they've done so far.
Other leading candidates include:
CLEVELAND (only cold-weather city w. pop. over 3 million without team. A new
arena would help a lot. Why did the Barons fail anyway?)
INDIANAPOLIS (Full-size arena, solid fan support for other sports and WHA
CINCINNATI (Less crowded [=no NBA team] than Cleveland, although the building is
on the small side (only 16000 seats))
DENVER (A shame the Rockies had to move. This is another cold-weather city
the NHL should put a franchise in)
HOUSTON (Hockey worked well here in the 1970s. Texas and the NHL need a team
- either here or in DALLAS)
MIAMI (Would perhaps have been a better choice than Tampa after all,
although the Miami Arena (15000) is too small for hockey)
ATLANTA (The Flames were victims of poor ownership, forced to move
although avg.attendance never dropped below 10000. Most former
Flames (Tom Lysiak, Eric Wail, Keith McCreary, Curt Bennett) claim
it was a mistake to abandon the South. A new arena is a must.)
SASKATOON (Only even remotely serious Canadian contender left. No province,
state or country have more many NHL players per capita than
Saskatchewan. That, plus the fact that they are the only major
province left without a team, is why the Whalers or the Devils
should end up there if things don't improve. Oh, one minor problem.
Their arena seats 5000 for hockey.)
> Evan Leibovitch, Sound Software, located in beautiful Brampton, Ontario
> If it's tourist season, why can't we shoot them?