A commenter named Matt added this Saturday, and I don’t think many people got to see it. It was, how you say, an excellent response to the lively relocation discussion we were immersed in. Anyways, I sought his permission, then copy and pasted it into this post. It’s like a clip show, but better. Thanks Matt. Without further ado…
Simply enough, Gary Bettman gives a flying rat’s ass about the NHL and its fans.
The two best places for relocation:
Winnipeg: The city has the MTS ready for another NHL team and enough interested fans to fill the seasts. In 1995 the citizens of Winnipeg had a rally with 35,000 in attendance to keep the Jets where they were. A few years ago the citizens of Phoenix also had a rally to keep the Coyotes where they are. Just 200 hundred people showed up at that rally. Who wants hockey more? You do the math.
Things got so bad that the team that under the direction of Bettman the league bought the team in 2009 for $140 million, then gave the team an additional $35 million loan to stay afloat, but they’re still losing money. Even after trying to reach a deal to buy the Coyotes, Matt Hulsizer said “It’s not going to look smart for a long time. This has not been a home run investment for us.”
Send the Coyotes back to Winnipeg where they belong.
Quebec: Gary Bettman is doing his absolute best to screw hockey fans in Quebec. He just said that the NHL has no interest in helping build a new arena where hockey flourishes, but he would rather keep teams in Phoenix and Atlanta where they have lost hundreds of millions of dollars.
While Seattle has bragging rights of being the first team in the US to win the Stanley Cup, I don’t think Seattle has much of a fan base for the NHL. The Key Arena holds a little over 15,000, but I’m not so sure that the fan base is there. However, it would be tantalizing to see Vancouver have a rival.
THE WORST CONSIDERATIONS FOR RECONSIDERATION:
As if pushing the NHL farther south will be anymore successful than Dallas or Atlanta?
The Houston Aeros are the IHL affiliate for the Minnesota Wild and are a pretty successful team at that. But in spite of their performance, the average attendance for the 2010-11 season is just a little over 5,300, while the all time record is a little over 13,000. But the kicker is that the Toyota Center has a 17,800 seat capacity for Aeros games. The record is well under seating capacity by about 4,000 seats. Hockey just isn’t popular in Houston.
Fans say that if the league strikes a major television network deal then that will be all the impetus needed to bring the NHL to sixth largest city in the US. But this is a town dominated by the Astros and Texans. Could the NHL find a home in Houston? Maybe. But if you’re a hockey fan in Houston, I wouldn’t hold my breath.
In 1974, the NHL arrived in Kansas City. It was hoped that the team’s name would be the Mohawks, but the Chicago Blackhawks had a tizzy over that because it so closely resembled their name, so the team became the Kansas City Scouts instead.
The first eight games were dismal for the Scouts, dropping seven and tying one. They finished the ’74-’75 season with a 15-54-11 record. The next season was even worse at 12-56-12. The very next season they packed their bags and moved to Colorado and later would become the New Jersey Devils.
During their time in Kansas City, the Scouts failed to fill the seats, averaging a little over 8,000 seats out of 17,000 seats at the Kemper Arena. Even after the owners tried to hold a ticket drive, they only sold 2,000 tickets.
Kansas City had their shot at the NHL, and their shot only lasted two seasons.
There’s not a word in any language in the known Universe to describe how bad of an idea it is to move another team to Toronto. The Leafs make more money than any other team in the league. The city needs another NHL team about as much as much as Phoenix needs a fleet of snowplows. Two good examples of cities with two NHL teams that don’t need them are New York and Boston.
In 1972, the New England Whalers were a fledgling team in the WHA. When they became an NHL team they moved to Boston. But after having trouble playing in Boston due to the presence of the Bruins, the team moved to Hartford, Connecticut in 1979, who you’ll read about in a minute.
Another example is New York. The Islanders had their day in the sun, but New York isn’t big enough for them and the Rangers. Now the Islanders can’t fill seats and are up for relocation.
So introducing yet another NHL team to Toronto is a very bad idea.
I hate to say it, but for as much as I miss the Whalers, bringing the NHL back to Hartford is a bad idea. During their 18 seasons in the league, the Whalers only had 3 winning seasons and only made the playoffs once. On top of lackluster performance they had trouble selling tickets.
Like the Kansas City Scouts, the Cleveland Barons only lasted two years in the NHL , had an abysmal record both seasons, and didn’t make the playoffs. Now that Ohio has an NHL team once again with the Blue Jackets, things still suck for hockey in Ohio. Not only do the Blue Jackets suck, but they can’t fill the seats, either.
By the way, the idea of not using AHL attendance as a gauge for a potential NHL team is ridiculous. If any of you who think that actually using an AHL team as a gauge really is a good idea, give me an example or two of places where this has actually worked.
The best thing the league can do in order to save some money (and some honor) is contract teams where hockey clearly isn’t loved and cherished. Take the Thrashers, Panthers, Predators, Blue Jackets, and the Lightning or Hurricanes and contract them all. Take the money and best players from each team and move them to another city where a team will flourish, and say good-bye to players who don’t perform as well.
The only real losers here are the fans who keep getting kicked in the balls by Bettman and the Board of Governors. In the meantime, not a damned thing is going to change back to the way things were until Bettman is shown the door.