Why The NHL Does Not Need Any More Expansion

The beauty of being an NHL hockey fan is that you have so many great players to choose from. Players like Alex Ovechkin, Henrik Lumquist, Tyler Seguin, Johnathon Quick and Jamie Benn just to name a few. But in reality, the NHL has enough teams to entertain the whole country.  In this article, we’ll examine some key points why the NHL will not benefit from any more expansion cities.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Reason number one, of course, is the price. The average price for an average seat in the arena is anywhere between 80.00 and 100.00 dollars. Depending on the size of the group it becomes a pretty expensive night out. But some people can afford it and in that case, it becomes a nice night out. Most cities run specials,  for example, college students and military. Also, teams have a family price where they can enjoy quality entertainment for a reasonable price.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Example number two is quality a lot of expansion teams have taken quite a long time to develop players and make a serious run at the Stanley Cup. The same can be said for the original six teams of the NHL.In Florida for instance, the Panthers have never won a  cup. Their counterpart  The Tampa Bay Lightning have won only one cup since their existence. On the flip side, the Lighting rank fourth in the league averaging slightly over 19,000 per game. This brings us to the desert teams the Coyotes of Phoenix,, and the new Vegas Knights. So far after ten games, the Knights are off to an impressive  8-2 record with the most updated arena in all of the sports.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The last example is saturation. The average fan is too busy keeping up with work and family With the league at already 31 teams the average worker does,t have the time to keep up with. It’s virtually impossible to keep up with the daily transactions of your favorite teams unless you’re a serious fantasy player.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Make no mistake about it hockey is one of the greatest sports of all time.The beauty of being a fan is that it’s relaxing but more importantly entertaining. The NHL will always be the NHL.

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One thought on “Why The NHL Does Not Need Any More Expansion

  1. I like your article Robert but I disagree with you on a lot points.

    1. Price? You are actually writing about a separate topic, one I have written about on this blog and several others over the years, the disappearance of professional sports from the “common fan”, but it has nothing to do with NHL expansion. And it is not confined to hockey. It really started with the Dallas Cowboys building Texas Stadium in 1971 when they introduced the idea of “private boxes” for rich fans to make more money. In effect, Dallas introduced the idea of European and Asian “class structure” into “free and equal” American professional sports. Since then the cost of stadiums and arenas has skyrocketed, many built with the rich in mind. And you can add other things like expensive players salaries, exclusive pay sports pay tv channels, expensive fan merchandise, etc. If you watch the movie, “Eight Men Out”, it starts off with 2 boys who sell a few newspapers so they can see the Chicago White Sox. Those days are long gone. You could probably write several good articles about this subject on this blog but it has nothing to do with NHL expansion.

    2. Long time between victories? Again you are talking about something that is long gone in the past. The Chicago Cubs going 108 years without winning the World Series? That is going to be quite common in all 5 North American sports leagues from now on. There are approximately 60 metropolitan cities in North America right now and they’ll keep increasing plus European and Asian expansion as well, so leagues are only a tiny fraction of what they could be. Get used to it. More damning is the record of Boston, New York Rangers, and Chicago who only won 2 or 3 Stanley Cups when there were only 6 NHL teams.

    As for not being able to follow every team, well to do that in the future, human beings will have to have the brain of a computer. Imagine what will happen when teams from other planets play against all the Earth teams. And it already exists in Canada. The CHL junior league (all 3 branches) has approximately 60 teams.

    All things point to the NHL becoming a 40 team (or more) league. Bettman made a tour of the three cities (Hartford, Winnipeg, and Quebec) in 2010 and offered them terms for readmission, the first sign that the NHL wanted to expand and to expand beyond the 32 NFL team limit. If all had gone well (which it didn’t) the NHL would now have 34 teams in an NFL structure, clearly intending to expand to the next symmetrical number of 40 (5 teams to a division). Quebec doesn’t have a team yet because the NHL doesn’t like its potential owner. Other cities like Hartford and Seattle want to upgrade their old arenas to get a team.

    Besides the special Quebec problem, the only reason the NHL does not now have lots more teams is because of the $500 million expansion fee which investors won’t accept. But if that is worked out, expansion here we come, and it won’t be confined to just the NHL. The NBA and MLB will certainly expand to 32 teams so that they can realign into an NFL structure. Instead of lamenting about what is gone, start thinking about which other 9 cities you would like to see join the NHL within the next 2 decades.

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