Two NHL cities apply for expansion
In 1966, the National Hockey League consisted of six teams. The following year, the league doubled to 12. Now, the NHL might be moving toward an eye-popping 32 teams by the 2017-18 season, according to Deadspin.
On Monday, Las Vegas and Quebec City formally put forth proposals to have expansion NHL franchises in their respective cities. Seattle, Kansas City and Toronto, which have long generated conversations about getting hockey teams, decided to stay away from the process. Ultimately, Quebec and Las Vegas had to make a deposit of $10 million, with $2 million of that non-refundable.
Should either team be approved, the league would command $500 million for each expansion team. Now do you see why league love expansion so much? Just keep making those pockets fatter, while the rosters literally become a bunch of guys who 20 years ago, could not play in the American Hockey League.
The NHL has already expanded into many warm-weather climates, so going to Las Vegas should not be any different. The results have mixed to this point, with success being found in the Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning. However, the Arizona Coyotes and Florida Panthers are always on the brink of oblivion, while the Atlanta Thrashers had to move a few years ago to become the Winnipeg Jets.
Quebec used to have a franchise known as the Nordiques, who were absorbed into the NHL after the World Hockey League folded. The franchise lasted until the conclusion of the 1995 season, with stars such as Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg dotting the roster. The following year, they became the Colorado Avalanche and won the Stanley Cup.
Neither city currently has major professional sports, so the draw could be immense. It will be interesting to see how the NHL moves forward under commissioner Gary Bettman.
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