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NHL denies there are plans to expand to 32 teams

Jan 30, 2013, 11:05 AM EST

Bill Daly

The decision by Markham city councilors to press on with plans to build an NHL-caliber arena in the Toronto suburb seems to have everyone talking expansion today. Does the league have plans to add a couple of new teams? Perhaps one in the Toronto market and another in Quebec City?

Former NHLPA chief Paul Kelly, in attendance at yesterday’s meeting in Markham, seems to think so.

But deputy commissioner Billy Daly says no.

“There’s never been a plan to expand to 32 teams,” Daly told ESPN.com Wednesday morning. “Whether we talked conceptually at some point if things are going well whether we could expand to 32, I’m sure we suggested we could, but we certainly never reached the point where that was appropriate when Paul Kelly was executive director of the NHLPA and I’d say we haven’t got there at this point.”

The still-alive Markham arena plans also raise the question of whether the Maple Leafs could block expansion into their territory.

The NHL has vehemently said no; however, the Leafs have said they “reserve all rights to take whatever actions are necessary to protect their exclusive rights to their home territory.”

Translation: litigation.

Unless, of course, the NHL makes it worth the Leafs’ while.

  1. lordfletcher - Jan 30, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    There should be a plan to move the Phoenix Coyotes, to anywhere else in North America

    • barkar942 - Jan 30, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      Anywhere else in North America north of the US border (except for Seattle, which is right next to the border).

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Jan 30, 2013 at 1:10 PM

        Eh, north of the Mason-Dixon line at the very least.

      • barkar942 - Jan 30, 2013 at 4:52 PM

        well, technically, the Mason-Dixon line goes through southern NJ. The Devils play above the Mason-Dixon line, and that still doesn’t seem to help the fan base.
        Better stick to north of the border!
        lol

  2. axisofweasels - Jan 30, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    there are no plans for expansion. that’s the hill the NHL is going to die on, right Daly?

  3. elemeno89 - Jan 30, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    you mean that the NHL and its owners are going to deny that there’s going to be an expansion? even when the fees for the expansion will go 100% into their own pockets as per the new cba?

    “oh ill believe that when me s*** turns purple, and smells like rainbow sherbet….”

    • axisofweasels - Jan 30, 2013 at 11:53 AM

      if your poo tasted like rainbow sherbet, would you eat it?

  4. tmoore4075 - Jan 30, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    Yes and the Coyotes were fine and the Thrashers weren’t moving…..ok. Then a year from now they’ll say oh hey we are expanding starting in the 15-16 season.

  5. mashoaf - Jan 30, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    What about a team in Seattle?

    • supr49er - Jan 30, 2013 at 2:19 PM

      I would love a team in Seattle. Road Trip!!!

  6. beerjunkie69 - Jan 30, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    Your poop will look purple and smell like sherbet if, on an empty stomach, you spend an evening drinking vodka and grape soda.

  7. govtminion - Jan 30, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Wonderful news then, Daly, since you all can’t run the league you have right now worth a crap- I’d hate to see you focused on adding more teams when you can’t go half a decade without a work stoppage.

  8. jimw81 - Jan 30, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    Phoenix Coyotes would probably wind up in Seattle if they cant find investors by tomorrow.

  9. comeonnowguys - Jan 30, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    Translation: All this talk about Seattle vs. QC vs. Greater Toronto as a destination for the Coyotes is moot, because all three will be getting teams. The only difference is one of them is coming from Arizona.

  10. nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 30, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    Oh so very sad to hear there are no current expansion plans because the worst problem the NHL has had in recent years is that it clearly doesn’t have anywhere near enough teams.

  11. puckyouall - Jan 30, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Yeah, water down the talent even more. Right, that’s a good plan.

  12. capsrockva - Jan 30, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    They need to address the re-alignment before expansion is even thought of. Winnipeg should not be in the SE division. Seriously do the re-alignment first

    • tmoore4075 - Jan 30, 2013 at 4:35 PM

      They will. Realignment will be done for next year and it’ll probably be with what they proposed back in December of 2011. Four conferences (two of 8 and two of 7) and playoffs within the conferences until the 3rd round. If the NHLPA wouldn’t have blocked this last year it would have already taken place.

  13. jaybird22seven - Jan 30, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    Expand? They have to fold about 4 or 5 teams, never mind expand. What a joke!!!

  14. vstar1us - Jan 30, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    They could dump six teams and maybe cut the season to 61 games and had a better product

    • stakex - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:00 PM

      Fewer games would mean less money for everyone, so thats never going to happen.

      It would also be just as easy to move some struggling teams to better makets. There is no shortage of decent hockey markets that don’t currently have teams.

  15. pantherpro - Jan 30, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    Go Seattle! Sharks will crush grunge team

  16. sjsblitz - Jan 30, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Move Phoenix to Quebec, Panthers to Hartford and just for sh*ts n giggs move Anaheim to Seattle. Everyones happy right?

  17. arejaye57 - Jan 30, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    Hartford should definitely have their Whalers back. They don’t want to be Bruins fans anymore!

    • arejaye57 - Jan 30, 2013 at 5:40 PM

      I should say don’t want to be forced to be Bruins fans anymore

  18. buffalomafia - Jan 30, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    I agree with capsrocva! Re alignment first!

    What happened to cities like Seattle, Quebec, Portland, Kansas City & Brooklyn? I also heard Wisconsin too?

    Bring back hockey in Atlanta with real ownership!

  19. canadabaseball - Jan 30, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    Fuuuuckkk all the southern us teams move them up to the northern us

  20. stakex - Jan 30, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    There is something that we can’t forget… the league still wants a realignment that calls for four conferences instead of two. The problem is that 30 does not divide by four, and there will be an argument of “fairness” if two conferneces have less teams (thus less competition to make the playoffs).

    So if such a realignment is going to happen, it seems almost inevitable that the NHL will either expand to 32 teams, or shrink to 28 teams…. and I can’t see them getting rid of any teams.

  21. tjromanello - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    NHL should contract a few franchises and relocate a few others to Canada and split the NHL into an American and Canadian conference…USA vs Canada for the Stanley Cup EVERY year!!!!

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