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What if Quebec had joined the NHL? – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Blog

What if Quebec had joined the NHL?

Call it a slow news week, Pens fans. I’ve done articles on goaltending, the great and still unresolved center debate, the salary arbitration process and possible long-term effects on our team. I’ve also blogged about the farm system in comparison to the rest of the NHL, and the possibility of a three-peat.

With the exception of the coaching staff and the new management changes, which I briefly outlined in my “Life on the Farm” post, there aren’t a lot of new subjects to write about at this time of year.

With that in mind, I want to do a little hypothetical article that may someday have relevance to our team.

What if Quebec City had joined the NHL this year?

It almost happened. That was the NHL’s master plan in 2015. There were two teams expected to join the league for 2017, Las Vegas and Quebec City!

One billion dollars in NHL application fees. League Commissioner Gary Bettman and the NHL owners could not contain themselves. The NHL Players’ Association (NHLPA) thought Santa Claus had come early that year.

The plan was that every NHL team would have to give up two players off their everyday roster in exchange for a lot of cash. Some say each team would receive $25 million. The balance would go to the NHL and a bit for the NHLPA.

When half the NHL teams do not make much money in relation to the significant size of their financial investment, getting a quick $25 mil payday for two players off the bottom half of your roster seems like a great idea. Like winning the lottery!

Quebec City even built a brand new, state of the art, hockey arena (it’s bigger than PPG Paints Arena). They were even able to access some Federal and Provincial grant money to help build it. Only in Quebec.

Quebec City is a great hockey city. They had a new top-notch facility. Over a million-plus crazy hockey fans with disposable income. Next to Toronto and the Hamilton area, the best market in Canada.

What went wrong? The official story: the falling Canadian dollar was being devalued against the US dollar, making the situation in Quebec City too risky. So the applicant withdrew their application. Now there was only one new team to join the NHL in 2017, the Vegas Golden Knights.

We’re all living with the aftermath of the recent entry of Vegas into the NHL and trying to adjust our rosters accordingly. It has caused some real issues for a lot of the top NHL teams.

What if Quebec City had remained and we had to give up two good roster players?

We were lucky that we only lost Marc-Andre Fleury. If Quebec had remained we could have lost one of our key defensemen…Justin Schultz, Olli Maatta, Ian Cole or Brian Dumoulin.

Same thing at forward. Some real good players would’ve been exposed…and possibly picked.

So maybe, just maybe, Pens fans, we got off lucky this year. The fact that we only lost MAF is a real blessing. We could have lost much more. When you’re trying to make history and three-peat, every player counts!

A Final Point

According to the Quebec City media, the ownership group remains hopeful they’ll have an NHL franchise someday soon. Media reports say at least two (maybe more) NHL owners approached the Quebec City group and said, “why pay 500 million for a new NHL team, take all that time to build a contender, when I’ll sell you ours for 400 million or less.”

Apparently there is a moratorium, imposed by Bettman, on adding new teams until Vegas gets operational. But within 2-3 years you will see a team move from the southern United States to Quebec City. To save 100-plus-million dollars and get a better team to begin with, I think I would wait a year or two as well. How about you?

Thanks for reading. Hope you’re all enjoying your summer.

Hockey starts in a month…. let’s three-peat!

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26 Comments

  1. Thierry C.'s Gravatar Thierry C.
    August 15, 2017 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Hi,

    I would like to know which are the 2 NHL owners you’re talking about?

    Your post is shared by many Nordiques fans in Quebec and we’re all asking that same question?

    • James Arthurs's Gravatar James Arthurs
      August 15, 2017 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Bonjour Thierry.
      Welcome to the PP blog. I am so pleased that fellow Canadians, especially from Quebec are reading our stuff. Myself, I am one of your poor cousins from New Brunswick. Please do not be shy in the future.
      These guys and gals are a real great bunch of people. Know their hockey !
      To answer your question Thierry, is that a few different sources had indicated the same. My first recollection was from a ROGERS, Hockey Night in Canada TV broadcast about 2 years ago and George Stroumboulopoulos was still the anchor for Rogers/HNIC and they discussed the possibility of a team in Southern USA to relocate to Quebec City. The talking heads mentioned Florida as a possibility. That was the first time I remember this subject because I really thought at that time the Quebec deal was going thru.
      Second time was an article in our provincial news paper written well over a year ago, and it was a story about the collapse of the sale in Quebec. That article mentioned that ” unnamed sources ” said that two different NHL franchises were seriously looking at Quebec, but Commissioner Bettman put the idea on hold. Carolina was mentioned and Arizona as possible relocation targets the article said. Most recently, was the New York Islanders and their potential problem with Barclays Center. I just read an article on the internet saying that Barclays lose 15 million a year if the Islanders play there because they make much more money ” hosting events”. So you know that marriage is short lived and if you read my next post you will see that the Islanders do not make much money.
      Plus I heard the Quebec NHL situation mentioned on radio talk shows as well. Even Bob McGwoan of the nationally syndicated THE FAN RADIO SHOW has approached this subject.

      I really think Thierry, you will get your NHL team with in 2 to 3 years. They just have to lose another 30 million or so before some body wises up.

      Hope you make us a regular habit. I am just a poor substitute for the summer and the others do a much better job.

      salut…. 🙂

      • Thierry C.'s Gravatar Thierry C.
        August 16, 2017 at 7:16 am | Permalink

        Thanks for your response James.

        I hope you’re right (2-3 years….) but actually, there is a feeling of anger rising among Nordiques fans.

        The NHL didn’t gave any update about the Quebec expansion since 13 months (that is defered) and there is a total silence both from the NHL and Quebecor, the group that wants to bring a team in Quebec.

        Some says that this silence is a good sign, Quebec is next for a relocation coming soon and Quebecor keep the silence, which is the way the NHL works in such situation.

        Others says this silence is not a good sign, Quebecor just gave up and won’t admit it because it could hurt the telecom business or the NHL don’t want Quebec and won’t admit it neither.

        Here’s what is happening right now here, Nordiques fans are pissed off.

        Salut

        • James Arthurs's Gravatar James Arthurs
          August 16, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

          Good morning Thierry,
          Thank you for your reply. You and the other 900,000 Quebec City fans have every right to be “pissed off”. Our brothers and sisters in Winnipeg felt the same way until the NHL realized their errors and returned a franchise to Manitoba.I know I am showing my regional bias here, but if Winnipeg can support an NHL team I know that Quebec City certainly can.
          Your last comment about the NHL possibly not wanting Quebec City raises a great point. I did not raise it before because it was a ” local issue” that many others reading from afar would not really understand.
          You, and I obviously love the Nordiques very much. If I may ask you your opinion on 2 very sensitive, local topics.
          1. Do you think Geff Molson, owner of the Canadians really wants a team in Quebec City ? I know publicly he said yes but really he has to say that because he sells Beer and next to good food, Quebekers like their Beer. If Molson wanted to help Quebec City, I think you would have had a franchise by now!! Just a personal opinion ..I have no facts to back it up.
          What do you think ?
          2. This second point is really touchy….. Jim Balsillie made enemies inside the NHL reports say over his handling of the Pittsburgh and Nashville debacle. In the end the NHL would not sell him anything at any price. Do you believe that there is a chance that one of the principals in Quebecor has upset the NHL ?? Maybe the NHL said get me a new applicant and then we will proceed ?? Do you have any opinion on this ?
          My friends in Quebec believe it to be true..
          I await your comments…
          Jim

          • Thierry C.'s Gravatar Thierry C.
            August 16, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

            1. I think Molson would like a team in Quebec City because it means 4 premium games in Montreal so $$$, less money going to south USA (in case of relocation) and a rising TV attendance (8 games) so again more $$$ as we know that a perfect rivalty = a profitable synergy, what the NHL and owners are looking for, my opinion. A 8.3 millions population province (Quebec) can easily support 2 NHL teams as we know Alberta is 4.2M and Manitoba 1.2M.

            2. I don’t know because there is a total silence from Quebecor, we just can speculate about this. I personnaly think Balsillie wasn’t the kind of owner the NHL was looking for, if we compare it to the Thompson family with the Winnipeg case, just my opinion. Anyway I think that Quebec City and Toronto2 (or Hamilton) are innevitable in the mid-long term, Quebec is next and then we’ll hear more and more about a third team in southern Ontario, my opinion again.

            • James Arthurs's Gravatar James Arthurs
              August 16, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

              Thanks for the great comments.
              Hope to talk with you again soon.
              Cheers

    • James Arthurs's Gravatar James Arthurs
      August 16, 2017 at 1:26 am | Permalink

      Hello Thierry,
      I just read in the June 25,2017,” The Hockey News”, a story about getting a NHL Team back into Quebec City. It is written by Ken Campbell and he outlines a plan B for getting a team back into Quebec City. His article states that once Vegas is operational, that the NHL will go to Seattle to establish the 32nd NHL league franchise. Giving the league a balanced 32 teams.
      His assertion is after that happens then weaker teams will be able to relocate and Quebec City should be home to one of the teams mentioned above.The same names I mentioned he did as well in his article. So a lot of people are pulling for Quebec City to see them return to the NHL.
      FYI to our Pens readers: The article also states that last year the Quebec City Major Junior hockey team, the Remparts averaged 13,835 paid fans per game. ( that is better attendance than Carolina, Arizona,and the Islanders of the NHL ). Florida is not to far ahead either. I think that says it all folks.

      Quebec City is a real Hockey town and I do not think that they have to give tickets away to get people to come to ANY hockey game. Plus their fan club established 6 years ago called the, “Nordique Nation” has 90,000 members the Hockey News article states. 90,000 !!
      How many NHL clubs can say that !!

      Thanks for reading Thierry.

  2. James Arthurs's Gravatar James Arthurs
    August 12, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Hey Coach,
    I started a fresh post on the Carolina story. I am going to do a new story on the latest Hockey Valuations that Forbes Magazine released and the other information from the NHL. It will surprise you !!
    Based on the 2015-2016 season, the last year of official reports posted, Forbes Magazine says that Carolina lost 15 million dollars and had a debt of approximately $ 124.2 million dollars and a market evaluation of a league low $ 230 Million dollars. Revenues were $ 99 million for the year ending 2016.
    Some how, and by some miracle apparently according to the Team President Don Waddell in 2017 they made a remarkable 2 million dollars profit.
    Would you pay $ 340 million or even better still $ 500 million that Bettman wants for a team that loses money every year,except this year and has only 11,000 paying?? customers and has a $ 124.2 million dollar debt load ?
    If you answer yes, I got a bridge in Brooklyn I sell you real cheap ? 🙂
    Cheers,

    • The Other Rick's Gravatar The Other Rick
      August 12, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Right there with you Jim, I don’t understand the leagues reticence to allow a team that bad off to move. I would think the excitement of teams in Quebec and Hamilton would not only translate into bigger box office revenue but better TV ratings and Merchandising revenue. At the very least there would be a huge spike in Merchandising.

      How can the league think of expansion when there are teams losing money?

      • James Arthurs's Gravatar James Arthurs
        August 12, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        Easy Coach,
        The ship is sinking and they needed to increase the values of NHL teams through out the league and some genius in the NHL said lets fudge the numbers upwards. The NHL fooled the Vegas crowd but the French men in Quebec were not so easily taken.
        FYI…Found another interesting story developing about serious Concussions.Apparently the NFL was motivated to do something because of it’s unique ownership structure where by individuals actually own the NFL teams.?? Conversely they can be held personally responsible if and when the NFL retired players and widows got all together and filed a multi-billion dollar class action law suit against the NFL and there owners.
        That got the NFL owners attention real quick.
        In the NHL case, because of something call “Directors Liability ” in Canada, where by directors of Company’s can be held accountable to a certain degree and I am sure you have similar legal laws in the USA owners may be wishing to sell their teams before this becomes a real problem in the next 5 years. Just a thought !!

        • The Other Rick's Gravatar The Other Rick
          August 12, 2017 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

          Many companies tried that approach and it works for a little while but eventually the time comes to pay the piper and the accumulated bad debt of fudging numbers catches up with you.

          Below, when I broached the subject of concussions I was only writing about how it is potentially draining the talent pool from parents opting not to have their children participate in Hockey but your point is well taken. The concussion issue is going to be another financial disaster.

  3. Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
    August 10, 2017 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Hey Jim,

    Really interesting piece…very original.

    Truly, it was a shame that Quebec City lost the Nordiques in the first place. It certainly wasn’t for a lack of support among the fan base, who’d endured an extended stretch of miserable teams similar in scope to our ghastly pre-Mario Penguins of the early ’80s.

    The sad irony? The Nordiques, loaded with young talent like Peter Forsberg, Joe Sakic and Owen Nolan (they’d just traded Mats Sundin) turned the corner their last season in Quebec…then won a Stanley Cup the very next season (’95-96) in Colorado.

    Can you imagine? It would’ve been like having the Pens leave town just before winning the ’09 Cup.

    Rick

    PS–Always loved the Nordiques’ powder blue uniforms.

    • James Arthurs's Gravatar James Arthurs
      August 10, 2017 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      Hi Rick,
      I know that many Quebec fans still harbor ill feelings on what happened to their beloved team especially after the Cup win in Colorado that you refer to.
      I also believe that the Montreal Expos Major league baseball team had a similar fate happen to them. That is why there is so much pent up demand in the City of Quebec and also the entire Province of Quebec for major league sports.
      The Quebec business men who made the application have long time roots inside the NHL,many dating back to the Nordiques days. Obviously some owners went behind Bettmans back and approached the group directly and now they decided to wait for a better deal by buying an existing franchise some day in the future. Time will tell on which one it will be.
      But as a Pen’s fan I am glad we did not have to lose another good player to the expansion draft. With our weak farm system and Cap space issues we could not get another quality d man to replace what we have now.
      If we are going to 3 peat in 2018 we will NEED to keep as many veterans as we can.
      Good points you raise Rick.

      FYI.. My favorite Nordique moment was when the BIG club came and played an exhibition game against their farm team, THE FREDERICTON EXPRESS. Peter and Anton Stasny had been playing in the NHL the year before older brother, Marion arrived in Canada a month previous. First time the 3 brothers were on the ice together since Peter and Anton defected.
      Somebody forgot to tell Marion that the Express were the good guys. In the first period it was pure magic. Tape to tape to tape and in the net. No look behind the back passes and on to the middle of the stick and in the net.
      The Fredericton crowd went wild.
      Magic…Just pure magic. In reality it was years and years of hard practice !!

      • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
        August 10, 2017 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

        Hey Jim,

        I don’t know if this was ever confirmed, but the Nordiques were rumored to have offered all three Stastny brothers for the right to draft Mario Lemieux.

        Marian, 30 at the time, would soon fade out. But Peter and Anton combined for 70 goals in 1984-85 and would put up a ton of points over the next several seasons. Peter, in particular, was a big-time star and perennial 100-point scorer.

        If the offer was legit, it would’ve taken an enormous amount of resolve not to bite, especially given how bad the Pens were. Thank goodness then-GM Eddie Johnston held firm.

        Rick

        • James Arthurs's Gravatar James Arthurs
          August 10, 2017 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

          Hi Rick,
          I did not hear that one about Stastny’s for Mario.
          I fully believe it could be true because of Mario’s close ties to Quebec City and surrounding communities.
          I said it before and I will say it again that Mario Lemieux has a ROCK STAR status in his home Province of Quebec.
          Political pundits say he could be the NEXT PREMIER of Quebec if ever chose to run for office. Given his unique stature in our country of being a successful French Kid made good in English America as a sports and business hero, his national popularity is very,very high among the rest of Canada.
          Meaning if he was Premier of Quebec for one, 4 year term he could then run for federal politics and be a Prime Minister of Canada some day.(That is what the political pundits say!)
          I believe it.
          We are a divided nation along language lines and very few people have the mass appeal that Mario has across our country. Also 4 of our last 5 Prime Ministers have come from Quebec.That is not by chance, but by design.
          So when Mario leaves Pittsburgh and returns for good to his native Quebec, his future is what ever he wants it to be !!

          Remember the late, the great, Jean Belliveau was made a SENATOR because of what he did for national unity and keeping our Country together in the 80’s and 90’s during the Quebec separation crisis. People of all languages,of all colors listened to Jean and his words of calmness and clarity and do not give into the fear mongering of the French separatists he said. He was the shining light that unites us all.
          Mario’s voice is even stronger across Canada if he ever chose to use it…
          Sorry for the flag waving Rick….
          But it is all true. 🙂

          • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
            August 11, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

            No need to apologize for flag waving, Jim. You always provide a unique perspective, and one we don’t often hear or think about south of the border.

            Like Other Rick, I hope if the NHL adds new teams (or moves existing ones), they’ll go to Canadian cities like Quebec and Hamilton. After all, it truly is your national sport.

            Rick

            • James Arthurs's Gravatar James Arthurs
              August 11, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

              Thanks Rick,
              For me, if I was running the NHL I would definitely move a team from one of the struggling US markets to Quebec City, then sell another Franchise into the greater Toronto-Hamilton corridor for a lot of money.To the highest bidder with the proper credentials.
              But this is where my plan goes off the rails a bit. It amazes me that California has 3 relatively stable and successful NHL franchises. I think some of them share ownership with the NBA and that may be the reason for their long term success. In other words, the NHL team is the weak sister to the NBA franchise and if the owners did not own both NBA/NHL franchises the NHL would have failed a long time ago.
              Maybe you can answer that question ?
              So my heart says why not have another NHL franchise on the west coast in Northern California or in Seattle Washington ?
              Also in Texas…What about a team in Houston ?
              Build a rivalry for Dallas ??
              As I said above this where I get a little off track Rick because I want the NHL to succeed in the USA and to do that they need a national TV contract of their own that pays big dollars.
              ???

            • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
              August 11, 2017 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

              Again, Jim, really interesting thoughts.

              With teams like the Seattle Thunderbirds, Spokane Chiefs, Portland Winterhawks and Tri-City Americans in the WHL, Washington/Oregon has a long and rich hockey history.

              Seattle, in particular, would be a natural rival for Vancouver and, to a lesser extent, Calgary and Edmonton.

              The Houston Aeros of the old WHA featured the late, great Gordie Howe, and won two league titles. However, their AHL descendants moved to Iowa in 2013. So perhaps a caution flag there.

              Rick

            • the Other Rick's Gravatar the Other Rick
              August 11, 2017 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

              Hey Guys,

              Just barging in with my 2 cents. I was glad when Winnipeg got a Franchise back, even though I was in Atl at the time and it was my the closest NHL team for me. I will also be glad to see both Quebec and Hamilton get teams, hopefully sooner than later, like I wrote below.

              However, for the nonce, I would rather see contraction rather than expansion. Again as I wrote below, I would rather see Az and some of the other weaker financial teams migrate to better markets, particularly weak market teams in cities where there is no snow.

              Right now, I don’t see enough talent to support the 31 teams that are in the league now, Taking 1 more player off of already diluted rosters will cheapen play. Ticket prices will undoubtedly continue to go up, but the quality on the ice will plummet until their will be very little difference between the AHL and the NHL.

              With all the existing sports trying to expand, the rise of new team sports to more prominence, like soccer, as well as more and more interest in solo sports like golf and tennis, there is a drain on the talent pool, and as Jim pointed out, with the rise of concussions awareness among hockey moms, fewer and fewer parents are making the choice to put their children at risk and are opting for safer sports, sports with less concussions and bigger salaries.

            • James Arthurs's Gravatar James Arthurs
              August 11, 2017 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

              Hey OTR
              As I said below I agree that the league should not expand to 36 or 38 teams given the current talent pool.
              We agreed on moving a struggling US team to hockey crazed Quebec City as soon as possible.
              But with my discussion on another team for northern California or Seattle or maybe Houston I was looking at moving another failing US team to a better location.
              Not sell a new franchise. Problem for me is I do not have enough local market knowledge to make a proper choice. Given the fact that at least 2 NHL teams contacted Quebec City about relocation there,we need another US site to be considered.
              That leaves the Toronto/ Hamilton situation. Unfortunately that market is to valuable to relocate a NHL team. So I would sell the Toronto/ Hamilton market for 800 million + to the highest bidder.
              You would get it OTR.
              That would be the 32nd NHL team and now we have a balanced 16 teams for each conference.

              The NHL orginally wanted to sell 2 new teams in 2015 and then 2- 3 years after sell 2 more new teams including the 2nd team for the Toronto area. That was 34 teams. My plan would be 32.
              I believe teams like Carolina, Arizona, Florida and now the NY Islanders need better markets to be profitable long term.
              So we are pretty close in our feelings about league expansion plans.
              Good comments.

            • James Arthurs's Gravatar James Arthurs
              August 12, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

              Hey Guys, FYI
              Speaking of Carolina….Cory Lavalette of the North State Journal reports that Carolina was last in league attendance in 2017 at 11,776 fans per game.
              Secondly he reports that team President Don Waddell said the team only made 18 million dollars this year !! TWO million in true operating profits and a ONE TIME payment of 16 million dollars from the Vegas Expansion sale from the NHL.
              There was an erroneous report of a possible sale for 500 million the article said. The NHL wants to protect the values of their franchises..
              The NHL also said the Team has to stay in Carolina and not move to Quebec City.
              The owner has had the team up for sale for about 3 years now and has had NO serious bidders. It was reported he wanted about 340 million last year for his team before all this NHL interference.
              My point is the team only made 2 million dollars in 2017 … Many years it lost money.
              Who pays $ 340 million for something that makes only $ 2 million at best.
              Plus that is even with all the revenue sharing programs and the $ 73.4 million NHL imposed salary Cap that is supposed to represent a 50 % / 50 % revenue split with the players ??
              This is not a healthy situation for the NHL moving forward. As we noted with the Connor McDavid signing and all the crazy salaries being paid to much lessor talents, the league can not sustain this long term.

              Your thoughts..

            • The Other Rick's Gravatar The Other Rick
              August 12, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

              Hay Jim,

              Agreed there are at least three teams ripe for moving. I think the best thing the league could do is allow 2 of them to move to Quebec and Hamilton, then fold the 3rd and redistribute the players to improve or really since the expanded anyway, maintain quality of play where it was. My guess is that we will see players like McDavid and Matthews, as well as our own Crosby and Malkin see their numbers go up a little this year since all teams depths have now been challenged as well as getting to play against the Knights.

              And your point about revenues is well taken, if the numbers you quoted from Carolina are accurate, how are they going to be expected to compete if they could only draw about 11K fans a game. They would have to hike ticket prices through the roof, especially since their merchandising should be pathetically low, if they could only draw 11K fans.

              The Salary Cap will not matter to them, they will only to be able to afford to pay a fraction of that Cap.

              And if they can only draw 11K fans will any media outlet want to take that kind of loss televising those games?

  4. the Other Rick's Gravatar the Other Rick
    August 10, 2017 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Hey Jim,

    I for one would prefer not to see expansion but would rather see some of the more financially unstable teams in the South move. At the risk of exposing my biases, I don’t think a city that doesn’t get snow should have a team. Yes I did enjoy getting a chance to see NHL hockey when the Thrashers and I were both in Atlanta, but I also remember the game in the 70s when the previous Atlanta franchise, the Flames, played the Pens in the only game to get fogged out because of the heat from the city melting the ice and causing a fog that made vision to obscure to all safely allow the game to continue.

    With all of the sports now vying for athletes and an over expanded NHL as it is, the talent pool for NHL teams is diluted. All though I was born during the end of the original 6 era, I can’t say that I remember anything before the Pens entered the league. I am left only wondering what it meant to have that much talent on just 6 teams. All though Sports Science and Technology has taken Human performance to undreamed of heights, to those from that era, with so many teams and so many sports competing for athletes the difference in talent between the best 10% and worst 10% is far greater.

    I do hope that Quebec does get a team but an existing team that moves.

    • James Arthurs's Gravatar James Arthurs
      August 10, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      Hey Other Rick,
      As always my friend you raise some real good issues that require further dialogue.
      1. With regards to the diluted talent pool in the NHL, AHL and their minor league affiliates you are dead on. I know the NHLPA and others will disagree with both of us, but numbers of kids playing Hockey does not Translate to quality of play on the ice.
      I was 10 years old when the league expanded from 6 to 12 teams.I can remember in 1966, the last year of the NHL being a 6 team league and my father having heated discussions with my brother and many others about how hockey would be ruined in 1967 when the NHL adds 6 more teams.
      Purists will say it took the league 10 years to recover and there were many nights where the expansion clubs of 1967 failed to compete properly.
      In short the quality suffered.
      You know OTR, there is a move a foot to see the NHL expand internationally some day and add teams from Sweden, Finland, Russia, Germany,Slovakia and even China ??? Maybe I am to old or just to dumb but I really do not think that is such a good idea for our game.
      2. The second point you raise is more subtle. Can the NHL or a better word is should the NHL expand to 32 or 36 teams in North America ?? Quebec City, yes.Toronto,yes. Maybe Houston or maybe another team in Northern California / Seattle ?? There really is not a lot of options right now.
      One of Toronto’s media talking heads said how about Mexico City ??
      I answered about the same chance as playing an out door soccer game in Winnipeg in January. ( 40 degrees below zero and 5 feet of white snow on the ground trying to find a white soccer ball .) That makes a lot of sense.
      3. By expanding the NHL you are really are just increasing salary costs.That is why the NHLPA likes it.

      Thanks for your comments

      • the Other Rick's Gravatar the Other Rick
        August 10, 2017 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

        Hey Jim,

        I for one am glad the first expansion did occur however, I would agree that some teams foundered for many years, including our Pens and one even went the way of the Dodo (Seals/Barons). My person opinion is that the best thing for the league to do is contract by 1 team back to 30 and then move 1 to 2 teams back to Canada; Quebec and Hamilton would be my picks for cities. Maybe some day, if more quality athletes start filtering back into hockey, then they can expand again. But even then, only to cities with snow.

        As for Europe, could you imagine what would happen to costs if teams had to travel to Europe to play? If they want some sort of international play, the only way I can see it financially is to simply have the European Champion play a series against the North American Champion.

        • James Arthurs's Gravatar James Arthurs
          August 10, 2017 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

          Hey OTR,
          I fully agree about the travel costs to Europe. The tight wads in the NHL do not even want to fly an extra 300 miles in North America so how could you possibly do 3000 miles to Moscow ?
          I could agree with more World Cup play or NHL verses the European Champions every 2 years. Something along those lines.
          Can you ever imagine flying from Pittsburgh to Beijing 2-3 times a year and crossing the international date line ?

          To think these guys in the NHL get paid big money to dream this stuff up !


            

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