Aaron has yet to fill out a bio.
Aaron, move to Canada if you love hockey. It's a completely different atmosphere up here. You'll get better tv coverage, and more interest at every level including women, international, junior, etc. Right now you are stuck in a situation like so many other American fans in the unfamiliar markets are; devoted to hockey like any Canadian, but swimming against the tide.
Thanks for responding, Aaron. Actually, for the conditions, you have to read between the lines and make deductions. I'll go through each point on how I deduced them.
1. Adequate fan support
Kansas City built a proper NHL arena (18,000+) and there was speculation that the Islanders would move there. The Islanders played a pre-season game there and drew under 10,000. Since then there has been no talk about Kansas City getting a team. The bad fan support turned off the NHL.
2. Credible Investors
The NHL pulled out of Quebec, Winnipeg, and Hartford because nobody stepped forward in bad economic times to bail them out and build new NHL size arenas to ensure long term survival. The NHL has never wavered in that stance. There are other instances. Currently the league is searching for a new owner for Phoenix. They will only sell the team to a credible investor.
3. A proper NHL size arena. (18,000+)
Bettman discussed about returned franchises with both the mayors of Quebec and Hartford. Both mayors have stated they are willing to consider building a new NHL size arena and in Quebec's case, the mayor has pledged $50 million. Bettman has been openly supporting the building of a new Quebec NHL size arena. In contrast, built a new arena of 15,000 seats. Why haven't they been granted a returned team? Because the arena is too small and no credible investor who believes that the arena will be adequate has stepped forward to front a bid.
4. No territorial disputes
Hamilton can meet all three of the above requirements easily. They are willing to upgrade their arena from small NHL size of 17,000 to 18,500 with 200 luxury boxes. They had a credible investor in Balsillie and with their potential market, they probably wouldn't have trouble attracting a new one. The could probably start a franchise tomorrow. But Buffalo and Toronto regard the southern Ontario market as their own and the NHL hung a compensation clause on Hamilton's head. Hence they are not being considered despite being the best choice of all.
Of course all this can be dismissed as mere speculation on my part. There also may be other conditions that I don't know about. But I think I'm accurate.