- 08/10/2009, 04:16PM ET
Kev316 said 08/10, 04:16 PM
North American cities only, doesn't matter if they had a franchise before. List first, state why, then argue 2nd and 3rd. Change one city but if you can change two..., no big deal. Here's the 3 I chose and why. (don't want to get into statistics as population and such but if you bring it up, that's fine!)
1. Milwaukee Wisconsin - Milwaukee's one of the larger cities in the Great Lakes region, there are around 5 or 6 NHL teams around it and it would make great rivalries with Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, etc.
2. Winnipeg Manitoba - Being a Canadian and a hockey fan, I miss the Jets and bringing a team back to Winnipeg would make a lot of us Canucks happy. The Moose are selling out regularly, went to a Calder final and if Bettman wants another team in Canada, put it there.
3. Portland Oregon - I was banging my head over this selection..., had a few more in mind but this one makes more sense. The Rose Garden houses 20,000 for basketball and being in the Northwest, it would add to the rivalries with Colorado, Vancouver and the California teams all close to Portland
Bigalke said 08/10, 07:56 PM
1. Seattle - This is a city that loves its sports teams (witness the support for the new MLS franchise), has an open arena (KeyArena) that is begging for a viable team to host, and a natural rival (Vancouver) just across the border already in place. Everything about this move is sensible, including a metro area bigger than Portland. Plus, the city was hosted the first American team to take the Stanley Cup out of Canada (the Seattle Metropolitans of 1916-17), so it would be a nice continuum of history...
2. Hamilton - Balsillie aside, there is an insatiable craving for hockey in this Southern Ontario hotbed. With Copps Coliseum in place and ready to host capacity crowds as soon as tickets become available, there would be tremendous support from an already-educated public. And what's not to like about another Canadian team?
3. Winnipeg - For that matter, as much as I'd love to see Milwaukee get a team, it seems only appropriate to bring another Canadian team into the fold. And what better place than Winnipeg, where the MTS Centre has been clamoring for the Jets since they flew away to Phoenix. The league can easily stand to have two more Canadian teams...
Kev316 said 08/11, 11:44 AM
Portland vs. Seattle
Portland was higher than Seattle for a few reasons..., one being that it was home to the first pro hockey team in the US, played for a Cup and then became known as the Chicago Blackhawks..., so they have a history with the NHL. Secondly, while it's a smaller metro area than Seattle, I feel they have a more 'hockey feel' to the city..., the fans are crazy for the Winterhawks, the team has been successful over it's 20+ year career and has been the home for such stars as Hossa, Neely, Ferraro, Deadmarsh, etc. While Seattle has a lot of support for MLS and the NFL, I just don't think that, even though the Canucks are two hours away, the need for a team is really there..., look at what happened to the Sonics. Portland has had a great hockey tradition over the years and the addition of an NHL team there would only add to that. Will argue Hamilton later.
Bigalke said 08/11, 05:30 PM
First, let's dispel the rumor that the Sonics left Seattle due to anything other than a greedy ownership group that saw the dollar signs piling up in Oklahoma and ran for the cash. KeyArena was renovated just 15 years ago and still holds WHL games. Unlike the Rose Garden in Portland, though, the NHL would not have to share space with an NBA team.
Just because Portland saw the Rosebuds enter the PCHA in 1914, a mere year before Seattle introduced the Metropolitans, the fact remains that it was the city to the north that took the first Cup title for an American team. Also, you speak of the history of Portland's Winterhawks, but the fact remains that Seattle's Thunderbirds have had broad public support as well.
And in Vancouver, a Seattle franchise would have a natural rival that just wouldn't develop nearly as well for Portland, a place that is too far from either Vancouver or San Jose to have a meaningful derby with either. While I live closer to Portland and would appreciate a close team, Seattle is simply the better fit for an NHL team. All the cards are stacked in the city's favor, and there's no other team in town to compete with for paying customers...
Kev316 said 08/12, 03:43 PM
Milwaukee..., I would love to see the NHL placing a team there. Aside from the huge arts and entertainment centers in the city, Milwaukee's close enough to several already established NHL teams. While Hamilton's a good choice, it's not really the best option. The only reason Hamilton was brought up was because of Bald sillie desperately trying to buy a franchise. It didn't work and now he's got nothing. I'd prefer to have a team in Milwaukee rather than Hamilton..., Milwaukee's in need of another sports team in the city and with the Brewers contending and the Bucks coming around, maybe it's time for the league to step up and relocate one of it's floundering teams north. Hamilton's just not right at this point. Yeah it has a building and the fans up here would love it but, there are issues. Toronto, Buffalo, Detroit and New York may have issues with Hamilton 'stealing' their fans and I don't believe that Hamilton would even be seriously considered by the NHL at this point. If the league wants to make hockey viable in the States, forget Hamilton..., go to Milwaukee.
Bigalke said 08/12, 04:10 PM
An NHL franchise would be all good and well in Milwaukee, don't get me wrong. But what is viewed as a positive for 1 potential city -- the fact that Milwaukee would have natural rivals in Minnesota, Detroit & Chicago -- is for some reason viewed as a negative when discussing Hamilton. Buffalo has a 99.2% attendance rate & Toronto is over capacity at 102.7%, so fears that 1 or the other would be rendered obsolete are ill-founded.
What we must not forget is that the NHL was created as the National Hockey League of CANADA. Southern expansion has marginalized that reality, & we've always known that the league is at its strongest when it has as many strong Canadian franchises as possible. The Bradley Center in Milwaukee would be a decent venue for hockey, but just like a potential Portland franchise they would be forced to share it with an NBA team. In Hamilton and Seattle you have 2 sports-crazed bases clamoring for winter action.
The league needs to focus on making its franchises strong, & viability as a U.S. spectator sport will follow. Creating strong cross-border rivalries in Buffalo-Hamilton & Seattle-Vancouver is the best way to achieve this mandate...
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