Winnipeg Has Its Team, Now What Other Canadian Cities Deserve One?
The NHL will officially announce it's returning to the city of Winnipeg in the next couple of days. I say good for them, they deserve to be back in the NHL. I can name a few other Canadian cities that deserve a team in the league.
The problem that Canada has is that there seems to be a little bit of bias against us from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. Maybe there is, maybe there isn't but there has been more evidence to support the former option.
Every time there has been a chance for a team to come to Canada recently, it seems that Gary Bettman himself has shown up to shut down any Canadian's hope of seeing another team closer to home.
Now all of a sudden, Gary Bettman has finally let a team move to Canada. It is unfortunate for the city of Atlanta to lose their team, and if any fan's should be mad at Bettman, its Thrashers fans.
The fact that he fought so hard to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix just to let Atlanta move would really tick me off if I was a fan of them.
Now here a few more Canadian cities that should have an NHL team.
Let's face it, the Quebec Nordiques will be playing in the NHL in the 2012-13 season. They should be playing in the 2011-12 season if it weren't for the the city of Glendale spending $25 million to keep the Coyotes.
Gary Bettman will finally have to admit defeat and accept the Coyotes moving to Canada because Glendale can't pay $25 million every year.
The plans are in place for a new arena to be built and should be ready by 2015. I'm sure the Nordiques could play in another arena until that arena was built. They would have a natural rivalry with the Montreal Canadiens and would surely make money.
This one is personal for me as it is my hometown. Hamiltonians have been clamoring for an NHL franchise for close to two decades now. From losing out to Ottawa and Tampa Bay in 1990 to Jim Balsillie's constant attempts to bring a team to Steeltown, we have been consistently disappointed.
Now I understand that Jim Balsillie didn't exactly play by the rules in his attempts to bring the Pittsburgh Penguins, Nashville Predators, and the Phoenix Coyotes to Hamilton on separate occasions but it's more than a little disheartening for a city to be given hope so many times only to fall short.
After one of Balsillie's attempts, Wayne Gretzky said in the Hamilton Spectator, "Hamilton and the Southwestern Ontario region could definitely support a National Hockey League team...there is a lot of red tape but these kind of things have a way of working themselves out and both the corporate and commercial support would be there for a team in Hamilton."
Oddly enough, two of the teams that don't want an NHL franchise coming to Hamilton, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Buffalo Sabres, would also be their biggest rivals and they most likely all make each other money.
Another Team in Toronto?
There has been the constant joke about that if Hamilton got a team, Toronto should get one too. Well, now that the Maple Leafs seem to be on the road to contention, that should stop.
That being said, there is no question that the city of Toronto could handle a second NHL franchise.
The problem, of course, is that it looks like that Toronto doesn't want to share its playground with team in Hamilton, let alone its own backyard.
I could go on, but the Maple Leafs will never allow this, so it's really a moot point.