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Jonathan Willis is a writer who has been covering hockey since 2008. He is a National Columnist with Bleacher Report.
Additionally, he currently writes for the Edmonton Journal and Oilers Nation. He's co-written three books, appeared on television and radio, and written for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue, now the SBNation website covering the Edmonton Oilers.
So, the NHL had a brief period of accepting applications for expansion? Expansion? Are you kidding me? This league is so damn greedy. The NHL needs to contract, not expand. You have a team in Phoenix that has a 2-year lease, teams such as Tampa, Carolina and Florida that are bleeding money (and Nashville isn't far behind), they just had to relocate the Thrashers back to Winnipeg a few years ago and still have no major tv presence in the United States.
They received 2 applications from Las Vegas and Quebec. Of course, one of the parameters the NHL set is that the city has to have an arena already constructed or an arena in is the process of being built. Long-term speculation had cities such as Seattle, Kansas City and Toronto bidding, but, none of them did. Seattle and Kansas City don't have arena plans yet (and, oh by the way, those two cities barely afford just having 2 teams per region - Mariners/Seahawks and Chiefs/Royals - and, didn't Seattle lose the Sonics recently and the NBA rejected the city from buying the Kings when the Maloofs were selling them, in part due to not having an arena?
There was a nonrefundable application fee of $2 mill as part of a $10 mill total application fee. Okay, these rich moguls can handle that. But, then, commissioner Bettman announced that the expansion fees would be $500 million! Per team! Or, $650 million for Quebec. That's ridiculous. Considering the fact that the last time the NHL expanded was in 2000 with Columbus and Minnesota. They paid $80 million each for the expansion team. You're telling me that the league has grown in revenue in 15 years to equate to $420 extra million per team? No way. In 2000, the NHL actually had an ESPN presence. Then, the lockout dropped a ton of sponsors and tv networks.
A Kansas City NHL franchise would be worth less than the expansion fee. The franchise would be in debt to the NHL from their inception. It would be insane to think they could compete, sell merch, drive TV growth, and court top talent by being in the red. This is a ploy to legitimize the avg valuation for an NHL team. The NHL wants to believe it's franchises are worth that much, to sell stadiums to second and third tier cities, by convincing them they are buying into the big leagues. Can you honestly believe a new Nordiques team would be worth 500 million? Gross domestic product in the Yukon Territory is about 2.5 billion (that's like $60,000 per capita they must be pulling some serious oil out of the ground up there). You could buy a significant portion of a province that's slightly larger than California, or you could bring hockey to yet another TV market with less than a million viewers, 170 miles from Montreal.
The league has like four marketable stars, no tv presence, no strong video games, no visible sponsorship deals in advertising (imagine walking by the Adidas store and seeing John Tavares on a 30 feet billboard).No wonder, Toronto dropped out of having a 2nd team.
Either contract or relocate teams such as the Coyotes and Panthers.
I miss the Hartford Whalers.
With Chiarelli stating he wants the Oilers to play bigger and harder, there's a guy I've been wanting them to recruit for a while now, and since you're following him on Twitter, I figured you could suggest it to PC: SIGN OSKAR OSALA!!
Why has the NHL link in the top menu been tucked away next to the likes of the WNBA, Cricket and other afterthoughts? Is B/R actually trying to move away from hockey or are the visitors to the site that shallow and juvenile to actually have more interest in a "sport" like WWE?
Hey Jonathan...not sure how much time you put into this, but clearly not enough. If you're going to write a story that involves all teams, do your homework, and get to know the situation(s)...may help getting more people reading your articles?!
Why do you continue to poke at Jonathan Quick? Your article calling him "not elite" is a piece of crap. I have watched every Kings game since he has been on the team and for the years before with sub-par goaltending from the Kings for so, so long. Have you actually watched them? This article is so ridiculous I will be unsubscribing from the Bleacher Report and looking for better quality articles about the NHL, The Kings, and hockey in general.
I found your article on Subban's contract very telling. It'll definitely be interesting to see how it pans out if the salary cap stays stagnant.
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you are a retard like lozo
Mike: Steve Mason has never played for Florida.
1. Steve Mason recieved the Calder trophy his rookie year in Florida, not Columbus.
2. Someone else wrote an almost identical article in October which focused on the lack of precidence of goaltenders getting better over time.
3. Ryan Miller, consider an elite goaltender, won but a few playoff games in his career in Buffalo. Would you say that because of his history he is the weak link in St. Louis, a team that is even better since his arrival? You have to consider the team he, just like Mason, played for during those years.
To think that Columbus' failures in the postseason can be blamed solely on Mason is ridiculous.
Also, it's an easy out to predict that Mason is/will be the weak link. Everyone knows that teams win with goaltending (with the exception of the 2010 Stanley Cup finals), and since the Flyers aren't exactly the Cup favorite, chances are, they are going to lose.......objectively speaking. So, don't say "I told you so" when the Flyers are eventually knocked out of the playoffs, as if their only weakness right now is goaltending.......objectively speaking.