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NHL denies rumors about Canadian expansion

Oct 16, 2012, 10:50 PM EDT

Quebec Nordiques fans Getty Images

The NHL shot down rumors about the league adding two expansions teams – one in Toronto, the other in Quebec – according to Jason Kay of the Hockey News.

Kay originally said that there was “strong speculation” the NHL might announce that Canadian expansion once a new CBA was settled last Thursday.

It’s unclear what the exact origin of that “strong speculation” was.

That being said, one logical reason for expansion comes to mind: conference realignment. Perhaps two extra teams could alter the (currently unapproved) setup from two seven-team and two eight-team conferences to four eight-team groups?

Either way, it’s a moot point right now, as the NHL said “No” to the scuttlebutt.

  1. hojo20 - Oct 16, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    Great, maybe Commissioner Buttman will have 48 teams by his retirement. How about moving Phoenix, Nashville & Columbus to Quebec, Hartford & Toronto.

  2. greatminnesotasportsmind - Oct 16, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    32 teams might be the extreme limit. It would make sense to have 4 equal 8 team conferences or divisions or whatever. The NHL’s proposed realignment conveniently left 2 open spots on the Eastern side of the realignment. This also gives Jamison time to either buy Phoenix and keep them there or wait until the Seattle Arena is built. They could stay in the same division as proposed.

    This realignment needs to happen. Minnesota playing Chicago, Detroit, Columbus, St. Louis, Dallas, Winnipeg, and Nashville makes more sense than going to Colorado, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver as often as they do now.

    Not only that, it gives Winnipeg a natural rival with Minnesota. This realignment was proposed the day Winnipeg and Minnesota played last year. You could tell it could brew into something good. Same with the rematch. How Winnipeg doesn’t travel to Minnesota this year, is a big mistake by the NHL.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Oct 17, 2012 at 12:23 AM

      I know you keep pushing the Minnesota-Winnipeg rivalry but the Jets rivalry with the Flames/Oilers and to a degree Canucks has more history and will be more heated than the Wild rivalry would. No disrespect to the Wild intended but the Smythe division rivalries run deep.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:51 AM

        As a big fan of both teams and with many friends and family fans of both as well, I can say that more people I’ve spoken to express excitement about Wpg and MN being in the same div/conf than Wpg with Cal/Edm. It’s always a good time whenever Canadian teams get to play one another but it makes much more sense to put MN and Wpg together. Calgary is a 14 hr drive from Wpg vs. 7 hrs to St. Paul, they’re in the same time zone, and the rivalry started as soon as the Wild hit the ice at the MTS Centre.

        The Jets and Wild aren’t even in the same div yet but last year’s game at the X was the best Wild game I’ve ever been to, and I haven’t heard anyone disagree with me yet. As deep as Smythe rivalries run, this is the new direction it’s going. I’m all for Canadian hockey rivalries but Wpg and MN together just makes more sense to me.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Oct 17, 2012 at 1:37 PM

        Geographically it might be closer between Winnipeg and Minnesota but think of all of the people originally from Winnipeg living in Calgary and Edmonton and then all of the people from these two cities living there now. The loudest I saw and heard the Dome (admittedly on tv) was the game in March when Winnipeg was here, the fans were loud on both sides and it was a great atmosphere.

        Whichever division they end up in though, they definitely need to be back in the Western Conference so at a minimum you’re getting two games home and away against Winnipeg’s three rivals.

    • hojo20 - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:58 AM

      Winnipeg never played in the same division as the North Stars, so i don’t know where this fabricated rivalry idea came from. Winnipeg belongs with the Smythe Division teams, Minnesota with the Norris Division teams.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Oct 17, 2012 at 12:10 PM

        It came from the fact, Winnipeg is closer to St. Paul than Chicago or even Colorado for that matter. The day this proposal for realignment came out, Minnesota was in Winnipeg that day. Knowing they would/should be in the same division started what should be a rivalry. Look no further than Bogosain cheap shoting Bouchard into the dasher boards breaking his nose and basically ending his season with another concussion.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Oct 17, 2012 at 1:27 PM

        Bogo never cheapshotted PMB! He was gliding in and PMB turned his back on him. Watch the replay and tell me I’m wrong!

        /squints and shakes fist

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Oct 17, 2012 at 1:48 PM

        I know I know, I was just trying to see it in Wild color glasses. I figured I could get someone going…

  3. phipfwe76 - Oct 16, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    There’s already about 4 too many teams.

  4. mnwildfan15 - Oct 16, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    Contraction might be they way to go go back to 28 teams 4 divisions of 7. Plus there will be more revenue to go around. Should make everyone happy

  5. joeyashwi - Oct 16, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    New teams equals more one time revenue for owners. It will happen and the next CBA will be worse than this one once they blow through that chunk of money. Should have thought about adding teams where it made sense before the “sunbelt experiment”, Bettman!

  6. noozehound - Oct 17, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    no new expansion teams… however, just move the Coyotes and one of the Florida teams back north and all will be better. Another team in Toronto though? I know its a big city and tons of hockey fans and history in Toronto. But it would be like moving a new football team into Pittsburgh.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:53 AM

      Yeah, except Pittsburgh has a team worth cheering for. However, YES to moving Phoenix and Florida.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Oct 17, 2012 at 10:29 AM

        Here’s the thing about Florida. There attendance was so bad during the 2000’s so far. You also have to remember they haven’t made the playoffs until this since 2000-01, and to keep that into perspective, that was the inaugural season for the Wild and Blue Jackets. The 2nd year of the Atlanta Thrahers. Just like any other sports team, fans won’t show to see a losing product. For the those of you in Minnesota look at the Twins in the mid 90s, Timberwolves from 2005 until last year. Point is, now that they are relevant now, and did take the Eastern Conference Champion, New Jersey Devils to game 7 in the first round last year, they will start to draw more

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:11 AM

        I know that wins puts butts in seats, but I was completely baffled when I saw empty seats at the Panthers’ arena during the playoffs. That doesn’t even happen in Phoenix. If that changes this year, great. I’m just still shocked and dismayed that Florida (FLORIDA!) has 2 NHL teams. Then again, if they grow a fanbase like Nashville has, I’ll have no reason to be upset.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Oct 17, 2012 at 12:19 PM

        Game 1 attendance was 19,119 which is 99.3%
        Game 2 attendance was 19,248 which is 100%
        Game 5 attendance was 19,513 which is 101.3%
        Game 7 attendance was 19,313 which is 100.3%

        Not sure what game you were watching, must have been one in Jersey. I was down in Fort Lauderdale and tried to get tickets for Game 7, couldn’t even find a ticket broker that had tickets at a reasonable price.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Oct 17, 2012 at 1:18 PM

        Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit. I’m certain it was Florida but now you’re casting doubts upon my assertion. I don’t even know what game it was but I think that was the point where I stopped watching that series.

        In either case, the real test is not necessarily if they can get fans in the stands, but whether folks will still show up if they increase ticket prices. I used to love going to Twins games at the Dome because tix were only $7, despite that I give a rip about baseball. No chance I’ll pay $50+ or whatever prices are now, even if they were the best team in the league. Attendance doesn’t always mean much if the revenues aren’t there. Conversely, you can have a small arena if you’re still making cash hand over fist. Just look at WInnipeg.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Oct 17, 2012 at 1:22 PM

        *didn’t give a rip

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Oct 17, 2012 at 1:53 PM

        The reason Twins tickets were $7 because nobody gave a rats (bleep) about the Metrodome. New stadiums mean increased ticket prices. That’s for every sport. Vikings will be the same way. Florida isn’t moving out of BB&T Arena or Bank Atlantic Center, Office Depot Center, National Car Rental Arena, or whatever other name it’s had.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Oct 17, 2012 at 2:18 PM

        Right, but my point is, the reason I went to games in the first place was because tickets were cheap, not because I actually enjoyed the game or have some sort of emotional investment in the team. If your market is more representative of folks like me rather than diehards, you’ll have a difficult time getting people into the arena if your ticket prices go up. From what I see, Florida’s got some of the lowest in the league, which tells me demand is fairly low.

  7. broncosfan29 - Oct 17, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    ummmmm………doesn’t toronto already have a team? did i miss something?

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:24 PM

      Arguably (it’s a joke) but the team makes enormous amounts of revenue (twice the second place franchise) so putting a second team in that area is very desirable.

  8. elvispocomo - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    You can’t argue the league is losing money despite record profits and then expect to expand the league without doing something about the failing franchises. Some teams need relocation at best and contraction to a 28 team league (7 team groups) would be another option that would work towards fixing the issues the owners are complaining about.

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