I was thinking about this on the way to work today. ...
What the hell happened to the idea of having a second Toronto/Toronto Area team in the National Hockey League?
The reason I'm wondering is because I listened to a Podcast courtesy of The Scott Radley Show on AM900 CMHL in Hamilton.
Long story short. Radley was interviewing a City Councillor from Hamilton. They were discussing building a 10,000 seat complex in the Lime Ridge Mall.
My second entry on the Blog was about David Shoalts' Hockey Fight in Canada. He was also a guest on Radley's program to talk about his book and the Sportsnet talent shuffle.
We will circle back to that book and the NHL Rights contract with Rogers.
Back to the new Arena at Lime Ridge Mall.
After many attempts in the Hamilton area to gain an NHL Franchise, building a 10,000 seat facility tells me that the City is throwing in the white flag when it comes to ever bringing an expansion or a relocation NHL Franchise to the Steel City. The City went from having an AHL team that supported the Montreal Canadians then they became an OHL City.
Now granted " The Knights Model" As I like to call it could work. You could have sold out games like clock work. You could also produce NHL players and have an amazing environment. If you own the team you could make a ton of cash.The concerts and events there would be awesome.
The City of Hamilton has had a few attempts in getting an NHL team.
Courtesy of Wikipedia:
In 1980 Mayor Jack McDonald tried to lure the Colorado Rockies to the City. You know them as the current day New Jersey Devils.
They then tried to get in on the early 90's expansion. The one where the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Ottawa Senators joined the league.
Then Jim Balsillie the former King of BlackBerry got involved. He tried to bring the Pittsburgh Penguins to Hamilton. The NHL wanted him to keep the team in Pittsburgh so he moved on.
Then he tried to buy the Nashville Predators. The owner backed out and sold it to a group of people who would keep the team in Nashville.
There is more.
He tried to buy the Arizona/Phoenix Coyotes after the Owner declared Bankruptcy. That didn't go through either.
Balsillie had enough.He felt the NHL and the Owners and Uncle Gary the Hall of Famer were slighting him and Canada.
After rumblings of relocating the Atlanta Thrashers to Hamilton there was a rumour that someone would buy the Buffalo Sabres and bring them to Hamilton.
That was it for Hamilton.
There was a proposal in 2011 to build a 19,500 seat arena in Markham. Another one near Downsview before that. None of that came to fruition obviously.
So a couple things to think about here. The two new expansion teams were awarded to Las Vegas and Seattle. Not Quebec or anywhere else in Canada.
I am not sure who the fuck Nate Silver is. He said there were several markets in Canada that could hold two teams.
With all seven NHL teams playing sub par, television ratings are down. As per the previous mentioned book by David Shoalts, Rogers is currently losing money on their rights deal. Hence all of the talent movement.
It makes me wonder if we have just raised our hands and thrown in the white towel collectively when it comes to a second team in the Southern Ontario area. I know the Maple Leafs and the Sabres to an extent have veto power.
So the idea of most working people going to an NHL game in Toronto is slim to none.
Could you put a team in Kitchener/Waterloo? What about Woodstock? Would London put their big City pants on and bid for an NHL Team?
Time will tell. Maybe if the league get's a new Commissioner.
Until then. Don't give up on another NHL team yet Southern Ontario.
Annoyed Maple Leaf Fans.