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It's Abundantly Clear that Canada Needs an 8th Team


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2 hours ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

If Bettman had grown the game in Canada as aggressively as he did in the US, we would have a second team in Toronto, a second team in Montreal, a team in Hamilton or London, and another team in BC.  Canada would be up to 12 teams if he did for us what he did for American hockey fans.

 

And you'd then have 4-6 more teams who can't economically compete in the league because they are in small markets without the corporate and fanbase support needed to go up against metros like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Tronno...

 

And 4-6 more teams that have trouble attracting free agents to small markets.

 

That said, I have zero problems moving the Panthères to Quebec.

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Just put them in Guelph take some heat off the Laffs...      

Or the Mississauga Spreadsheets

It's not missing it you prorate it.

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11 minutes ago, Podein25 said:

Yabbut, what about Saskatoon?!

 

The Paris of the Praries?

 

300,000 metro population? 15,000 seat arena?

 

I mean, what could go wrong?

 

:5a6425fa25331_VikingSkoool:

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1 hour ago, OccamsRazor said:

But even smaller than Arizona and Florida i find shocking and amazed at...wasn't aware but if it is the case then the NHL certainly needs to do their homework before they make a mistake.

 

The Phoenix metro area has a population close to 2M and other pro sports that can draw interest from the population. The major mistake was to leave downtown PHX to a no man's land in the middle of the desert. Now trey are trying (and will, I think) to move back to Phoenix. It's fragile but I still think this market can be sustainable. A lot of work has to be done though, and this goes by putting a good team on the ice. About Florida, you have the Miami/Ft-Lauderdale area, and the famous canadian snowbirds. Before the revenue share and salary cap era, having less than 5k in attendance would have put the franchise in jeopardy but it's not the case anymore with the current economic model. The Panthers also signed a new lease with the BB&T arena, so they are not going to move anytime soon. 

 

 

1 hour ago, OccamsRazor said:

And if not Quebec would you have another suggestion for another location in Canada for a team??

 

The most suitable location would have been Hamilton (remember when Balsilly wanted to move the Preds there) or the Toronto greater area. But the Leafs and the Sabres won't allow it. So I don't think there's room for an 8th team.

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5 hours ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

 

Has the NHL ever made a specific effort to expand into Canada?  I think the Ottawa Senators in 1992 are the ONLY Canadian expansion franchise. Every other Canadian team has been here from the league's inception or got brought in from the WHA.

 

Yes. Vancouver.

 

 

5 hours ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

One of the first moves Bettman made as commissioner was to pull the Jets out of Winnipeg and the Nordiques out of Quebec City. Yet he fought tirelessly to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix, with or without an owner!  

 

Did I mention that I hate Gary Bettman?   😡

 

TIL that Gary Bettman owned the Nords and Jets, and decided to yank them out of Canada.... Jeez: he fought the other owners to bring in things like US/Canadian dollar equalization program, so that teams like the Oilers and Flames could remain in Alberta, and he ran into major opposition from members of the Board of Governors to do it. I have my issues with Bettman with decisions he's made, but to say that never did a damned thing to help Canadian hockey is missing the point, in my opinion.

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3 hours ago, flyercanuck said:

 

 

 Let me guess....you've never spent any time there. One of the most beautiful provinces in this beautiful country. 

 

Nothing wrong with the scenery... it's the "we're not a province, we're a nation" sort of entitled attitude that stinks. The "we're going to force everything to be French-only in Quebec but we'll make the rest of Canada (the English speaking portion) have product labels that are 50% English/50% French because we can force our language on everyone else and still block English too". 

 

Sorry, I did mention the nice scenery right?  :) 

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4 hours ago, Villette/Lavaux said:

In fact it's almost 800k if you include the south shore, but north it's only trees, rocks and ice, west is already the MGA, east there's nothing and south is some random redneck territory. I was more speaking about TV Market and how many people you can get from it. 

 

I'm guessing you could get most of Quebec watching, and French-speaking Canadians spread throughout the rest of Canada..... which to me is better than 0 viewers in Florida, Phoenix, or Carolina where they give the tickets away for free to get fans in the building.  :) 

 

4 hours ago, Villette/Lavaux said:

But Montréal is bilingual 😉. The difference is, again, a french-speaking area far away from anything. I think there's a lot of players (US and some Canadians as well) that don't want to live in a fully french-speaking area (Lindros was one of those who publicly made it clear) and sometimes anglos are openly insulted in the streets here if they dare to speak english. That's terribly sad, but true.

 

Do any of the players actually live in the city of the team they play for though?  (With the exception of New York and LA.)  It seems to me that players are willing to live in NY or LA but nowhere else.  😕  

 

4 hours ago, Villette/Lavaux said:

True, but this still may lead to some uncertainties. And that's exactly what markets hate the most. Bettman was already in charge when the Nordiques left (unavoidable IMO) at the time of the referendum.

 

They had a stacked first place team with Sakic, Forsberg, Kamensky, Krupp, Lefebvre, Fiset, etc. and had no trouble drawing fans.  They added Patrick Roy and Sandis Ozolinsh in the off-season and won the Stanley Cup in their FIRST year in Colorado. Imagine if the NHL took the Penguins out of Pittsburgh (with Crosby, Malkin, and co.) and moved them to Quebec City just before they won back-to-back Stanley Cups!  

 

4 hours ago, Villette/Lavaux said:

When he was hired, his mandate was to develop hockey in the south.

 

I think the smart expansion strategy would have been to expand WEST, covering cities like Seattle 30 years ago already, and then SLOWLY progress south as interest warrants it.  Jumping head first into Atlanta, Florida, Carolina, Anaheim, etc... was silly. Bettman has more misses than hits from doing that. I'd rather have the Whalers in Hartford than the Hurricanes. I'd rather have the Nordiques in Quebec City than the Florida Panthers, and the Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets are 1000x the franchises than anything in Atlanta will ever be.  :) 

 

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3 hours ago, Podein25 said:

 

In fairness, he'd have to leave his mom's basement first. 

 

I've been all over Canada. Been out west, and can now say I've been out east too.  I went to Ottawa and crossed briefly into Quebec. The only provinces I haven't been to are Newfoundland, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan! But what's in Manitoba anyway amirite? That's one of those provinces you fly over to get somewhere good. 

 😃👍

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28 minutes ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

 

Nothing wrong with the scenery... it's the "we're not a province, we're a nation" sort of entitled attitude that stinks. The "we're going to force everything to be French-only in Quebec but we'll make the rest of Canada (the English speaking portion) have product labels that are 50% English/50% French because we can force our language on everyone else and still block English too". 

 

Sorry, I did mention the nice scenery right?  :) 

 

So what you're saying is they're like the Leaf fans of the hockey world. 

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3 hours ago, radoran said:

That said, I have zero problems moving the Panthères to Quebec.

 

And the nice thing about it is:

  1. It's the same division, so easy peasy to make the switch. No realignment needed.
  2. It would actually help the Tampa Bay Lightning because their fanbase would grow (being the only team in the state).
  3. It would recreate the famous Canadiens vs Nordiques rivalry, which was probably the most fierce rivalry in the NHL.

:) 

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5 minutes ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

 

  I went to Ottawa and crossed briefly into Quebec.

 

I didn't know you were so well versed on the subject...my apologies.

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3 minutes ago, flyercanuck said:

I didn't know you were so well versed on the subject...my apologies.

 

It means he went to Hull to drink cheap booze when he was underage in Ontario, lol.

 

#worldtraveller

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4 hours ago, flyercanuck said:

One of the most beautiful provinces in this beautiful country. 

 

In Philadelphia we call it "Patti" because it is La Belle Provence...

 

:5a6425fa25331_VikingSkoool:

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1 minute ago, radoran said:

 

In Philadelphia we call it "Patti" because it is La Belle Provence...

 

:5a6425fa25331_VikingSkoool:

 

Gitchee Gitchee ya ya dada!

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2 hours ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

Imagine if the NHL took the Penguins out of Pittsburgh (with Crosby, Malkin, and co.) and moved them to Quebec City just before they won back-to-back Stanley Cups!  

 

It almost happened ....

 

https://www.pensburgh.com/2012/2/14/2791955/mario-lemieux-was-much-closer-to-moving-the-penguins-than-hed-like

 

https://www.espn.com/nhl/news/story?id=2788701

 

https://www.post-gazette.com/in-the-lead/itl-2016-reports/2016/05/05/Penguins-score-big-in-fan-and-sponsor-engagement/stories/201604070212

 

Now we all know that the Pens got their new arena but for several terse weeks it was a very distinct possibility that the Pens where going to land up in KC.

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9 hours ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

It's half a million people in Quebec City with more that can come from surrounding areas

Truly, I get what you're saying, but in reality the numbers don't make any sense.

 

Yes, there is just over 500k people.   But except for Mississauga, the top 8 populated cities in Canada have teams. There are two other Canadian cities in addition that are larger than Quebec.  I know the politics involved, but I'd be quicker to make an argument for Hamilton 

 

There are 15 US cities with a larger population than Quebec with bigger TV markets, many of whom don't have major league teams in other sports.

 

Whether the bases there would be more rabid or engaged is hard to argue soberly. Gotta go with Quebec or Hamilton there. But it's hard to ignore the potential money, which of course would be the deal breaker.

 

I don't think Quebec is viable. 500k isn't too small a market; it's twice Buffalo, but it has way more hockey options than Buffalo.  

 

Again, I guess there's fear of encroaching on Toronto and Buffalo's base, but the most viable Canadian market is probably Hamilton.  

 

But it won't happen unless it's a relocation. The good news is Crosby and Malkin are getting towards retirement. Maybe Pennsylvania and Bettman won't give in to blackmail a second time and there will be a team available.

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4 hours ago, ruxpin said:

500k isn't too small a market; it's twice Buffalo, but it has way more hockey options than Buffalo.  

 

The Buffalo metro is over 1.1M. That doesn't count Rochester or across the Canadian border.

 

Quebec City is 800K.

 

If we're talking a 1:1 Canadian dollar, that's one thing. But we're really not.

 

The economics just don't make sense for more Canadian teams.

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6 hours ago, radoran said:

 

The Buffalo metro is over 1.1M. That doesn't count Rochester or across the Canadian border.

 

Quebec City is 800K.

 

If we're talking a 1:1 Canadian dollar, that's one thing. But we're really not.

 

The economics just don't make sense for more Canadian teams.

Yep.

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13 hours ago, pilldoc said:

 

It almost happened ....

 

https://www.pensburgh.com/2012/2/14/2791955/mario-lemieux-was-much-closer-to-moving-the-penguins-than-hed-like

 

https://www.espn.com/nhl/news/story?id=2788701

 

https://www.post-gazette.com/in-the-lead/itl-2016-reports/2016/05/05/Penguins-score-big-in-fan-and-sponsor-engagement/stories/201604070212

 

Now we all know that the Pens got their new arena but for several terse weeks it was a very distinct possibility that the Pens where going to land up in KC.

 

Absolutely. At that time the Pens sucked like hell at the time they drafted Crosby and Malkin, drawing barely 10k-11k in attendance. KC had their brand new Sprint center available, that was the best landing spot.

 

Of course Lemieux didn't want to move the team, but it's always business first. It was quite a ballsy strategy by putting a ton of pressure on Pittsburgh's officials and going all-in. That was kind of a bluff that could have slapped him back in his face but it worked: Pittsburgh got their new arena next to the old Mellon arena and the team was saved.

 

If I remember correctly, the same threats occurred also in the late 1990s for the same reasons.

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15 hours ago, pilldoc said:

 

It almost happened ....

 

https://www.pensburgh.com/2012/2/14/2791955/mario-lemieux-was-much-closer-to-moving-the-penguins-than-hed-like

 

https://www.espn.com/nhl/news/story?id=2788701

 

https://www.post-gazette.com/in-the-lead/itl-2016-reports/2016/05/05/Penguins-score-big-in-fan-and-sponsor-engagement/stories/201604070212

 

Now we all know that the Pens got their new arena but for several terse weeks it was a very distinct possibility that the Pens where going to land up in KC.

 

This makes it all the more infuriating that the NHL (and dumb owners like Lemieux) would rather beg, plead, and blackmail to try and get local support for their team (from a city that clearly doesn't place much value on their franchise, even after all these years of existence) rather than play in a hockey-mad city (Quebec City) that built a BRAND NEW ARENA even without a new NHL team there.  The city just went out and built the arena hoping SOMEONE would come. How much more local support can you get than that?

 

 

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, ruxpin said:

Truly, I get what you're saying, but in reality the numbers don't make any sense.

 

Yes, there is just over 500k people.   But except for Mississauga, the top 8 populated cities in Canada have teams. There are two other Canadian cities in addition that are larger than Quebec.  I know the politics involved, but I'd be quicker to make an argument for Hamilton 

 

There are 15 US cities with a larger population than Quebec with bigger TV markets, many of whom don't have major league teams in other sports.

 

Larger population... of baseball, basketball, and football fans, or more hockey fans?

 

You need HOCKEY FANS, not just people.  :) 

 

15 hours ago, ruxpin said:

Again, I guess there's fear of encroaching on Toronto and Buffalo's base, but the most viable Canadian market is probably Hamilton.  

 

I think Hamilton is far enough away from Toronto and Buffalo that it shouldn't be an issue. There are plenty of US-based teams that are located in closer proximity. 

 

Hamilton is almost a TWO HOUR drive from Buffalo, and it's an HOUR drive from Toronto.   :) 

 

10 hours ago, radoran said:

If we're talking a 1:1 Canadian dollar, that's one thing. But we're really not.

 

You really can't go by the value of the Canadian dollar. Historically speaking, it's almost always somewhere in the 70 cent range compared to the US dollar.

 

If the plan is "we'll wait for the Cdn dollar to hit parity and then get a team" then you'll be waiting until the year ~2045. Your franchise will exist for the 2-3 year period that the dollar is at parity and then you'll have to relocate when it inevitably plummets back to the 70 cent range.  :( 

 

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14 minutes ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

(...) hockey-mad city (Quebec City) that built a BRAND NEW ARENA even without a new NHL team there.  The city just went out and built the arena hoping SOMEONE would come.

 

Honestly, that was terribly stupid from the QC gov't and Québec City to opt for that option as they were convinced the NHL would be back in town (Buttman didn't promise anything). The arena cost $400M entirely funded by the province with the condition that all additional costs would be paid by the city taxpayers only. Two scenarios were on the table: one with an NHL team with profits generation, and a second one without an NHL team that involved many shows, concerts and other events just to cover loans and operational costs. The context was also inside the latent rivalry between Québec and Montréal: Québec wanted to show and prove towards Montréal its ability to build such a big infrastructure with success.

 

If an expansion team would have been awarded to Québec, they still could have played one season or two in the old Colisée, just the time to build the new arena. San Jose did that, Ottawa, Carolina also. Now the city has a nice, beautiful but useless white elephant, just for junior hockey. 

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21 hours ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

You really can't go by the value of the Canadian dollar. Historically speaking, it's almost always somewhere in the 70 cent range compared to the US dollar.

 

Canadian teams earn and pay Canadian dollars. The comparison between a small market Canadian team working in Canadian currency vs. a small market American team with currency 30% more valuable means that the small market Canadian team has a 30% higher hill to climb.

 

It's really simple economics.

 

21 hours ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

Hamilton is almost a TWO HOUR drive from Buffalo, and it's an HOUR drive from Toronto.   :) 

 

Hamilton is 1h15m from Buffalo, pending traffic. Under an hour from Tronno, pending traffic (which there always is). The Hamilton question has been asked and answered already. The NHL rejected Hamilton before due to the concerns raised by Tronno and Buffalo and they more than likely do so again.

 

I can assure you that Sabres games often feel like Tronno home games when they play the Leafs because so many Canadians come across the border. Buffalo sings "O Canada" before every home game regardless of the visiting team (I first heard it when the Atlanta Thrashers came to town) and don the poppy around Remembrance Day.

 

The Canadian audience is a very important one for the Sabres.

Edited by radoran
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On 1/18/2021 at 3:26 PM, JR Ewing said:

Yes. Vancouver.

 

I made a mistake in my previous post!  I said that Ottawa was the first expansion team in Canada that wasn't absorbed into the league from the WHA.... but I forgot that Ottawa was one of the NHL's original franchises. So the 1992 expansion team put a team back into Ottawa that was previously there. 

 

I thought Vancouver was in the WHA but I'll take your word for it that it was an NHL expansion.  So congrats Vancouver Canucks on doing the impossible!  :) 

 

On 1/18/2021 at 3:26 PM, JR Ewing said:

TIL that Gary Bettman owned the Nords and Jets, and decided to yank them out of Canada.... Jeez: he fought the other owners to bring in things like US/Canadian dollar equalization program, so that teams like the Oilers and Flames could remain in Alberta, and he ran into major opposition from members of the Board of Governors to do it. I have my issues with Bettman with decisions he's made, but to say that never did a damned thing to help Canadian hockey is missing the point, in my opinion.

 

I'll never accuse the NHL's Board of Governors for being intelligent, but I think the writing was on the wall as they say. If the Canadian teams couldn't make a go of it because of an exceptionally weak Canadian dollar, then you don't have a league any more. 50-60% of the NHL players come from Canada. I think Bettman realized that an NHL without Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Winnipeg, (even Vancouver and Montreal were in trouble when our dollar hit ~60 cents US) wouldn't have survived. The league would have folded and its farm system would have died. 

 

Not only that, but a rival league like the WHA would have popped up again shortly thereafter.  :) 

 

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