It just depends on how strong the market is. Toronto has lost a version of the Marlies about 3 times now. Some cities it works out, some it does not. Even now, the hockey crazy market is in danger of losing it's OHL team again due to bad attendance. Calgary is a city where it works out nicely. Sometimes there is enough entertainment bucks to go around, sometimes not. The OHL never caught on in Detroit, another case of not enough entertainment money to go around.
A few thoughts:
1) I've read elsewhere that Vancouver might actually like having a "natural" rival in Seattle. Right now they don't have a proximate opponent.
2) My backyard Panthers have been given a big tax and rent break by Broward County to put a tourniquet on Viola's losses and to keep a tenant. The NHL does not want to lose a large media market. I think the Panthers stay put.
seattle would be as good a location as any for an NHL team, natural rival with Vancouver. I could see it.
One thing I would like to see is an end to this Western/Eastern problem, trying to fit square pegs into round holes as it were pretending for years that Columbus and Detroit are in the West for instance or that Smashville still is. I think the logical thing to do would be to follow Baseball and Football and have two conferences EACH with a Western Division ala the National and
This was mentioned last year on another thread here, but I will repeat because I think it's a damned good idea!
The Seattle Kraken.
The overkill 'stripey' sweater is pretty awful, but the others are pretty cool.
Plus, when the team takes the ice, they could have them skate through some giant tentacles (like the Sharks in SJ skating through the shark mouth), with good ol Liam Neeson and THIS sound byte as they come out: