Hamilton's pursuit of an NHL franchise dates all the way back to 1985, when the city built the Copps Coliseum and hosted the 1987 Canada Cup.
In 1990, the NHL chose two cities for expansion, and Hamilton wasn't one of them. Instead, Tampa Bay and Ottawa were picked as the two new franchises.
Hamilton has always felt slighted by the NHL and is constantly asking "why?".
A few years back, billionaire Jim Balsillie collected over 12,000 down payments for season tickets for a hockey team in Hamilton; part of his plan to move the Nashville Predators to Hamilton.
The problem was he tried doing this without the NHL's consent, which the NHL did not care too much for.
The move was blocked and Hamilton's hopes were dashed once more. Then, with the recent struggles in Phoenix with the Coyotes. Balsillie attempted one more time to bring a franchise to Hamilton, by buying the team from its owner and saving it from bankruptcy.
The NHL, already on sour terms with Balsillie, put in their own bid for the team and went to court. The NHL eventually won in court and saved the Coyotes from bankruptcy, once again diminishing any chance of Hamilton getting a team.
Why not Hamilton? There's an arena. The population is big enough. The economy is doing well.
The NHL argues that the building needs upwards of $200 million in renovations before it can be NHL-ready.
Additionally, the location may be too close to Toronto, one of the most popular teams in the NHL. Could a team in Hamilton compete against the Maple Leafs? It would be an uphill battle, that much is certain.
Oh, and did I mention the Buffalo Sabres as well? The Leafs and Sabres are two of the NHL's most loyal and dedicated markets, creating a tough sell for Hamilton.
I created a possible logo and team for this move as well. I used the popular Maple Leaf and the large H for Hamilton. The Rebels is to signify it's long battle to get an NHL team, in addition to Hamilton's war history, specifically in the War of 1812.
While Hamilton will always remain an option, right now it seems the least likely of the Canadien cities to get an NHL team.