With the NHL desperate to unload the Phoenix Coyotes (which they've run since 2009), Cincinnati would be a viable alternative if a sale to an Arizona-based group doesn't come to fruition.
While hockey has an extremely limited history in the Queen City (most notably the WHA's Cincinnati Stingers, which can boast of having had two future Hall of Famers: Mark Messier and Mike Gartner on its roster), Cincinnati is able to support a third professional franchise.
US Bank Arena seats 14,500 seats for basketball and Fifth Third Arena on the University of Cincinnati campus seats 13,000 for basketball. Both could be expanded.
Of course, neither would be among the biggest arenas in the NHL, but the MTS Centre in Winnipeg seats just 15,000, by far the lowest in the NHL.
The Bengals generally play once a week. The fall and the winter, of course, is baseball's offseason. The University of Cincinnati Bearcats and the Xavier University Musketeers are local draws for their basketball teams, but that's collegiate sports.
People still yearn for an NBA team since the Royals departed for Kansas City/Omaha in the mid-'70s, so there's a definite void an NHL team can fill.
The Greater Cincinnati metropolitan area (which includes the Northern Kentucky and southeastern Indiana areas) has a population well in excess of two million people and counting.
Compare that to Winnipeg's: approximately 695,000 according to the 2006 census.
Highways I-75 and I-71 make getting to downtown (relatively) easy now that construction downtown is largely finished. Since most of the population lives outside of downtown, this is a must.
No. 26 on the Fortune 500 and No. 5 on Fortune magazine's “Most Admired Companies” list, and based in Cincinnati.
The makers of Bounty, Duracell, Fixodent (a natural for hockey!), Head & Shoulders, Old Spice, Oral-B toothbrushes (which can be used as a marketing gimmick!) and Tide could make it happen.