Skip to content

Report: NHL pushing for Seattle expansion for 2014-15 season

Jul 31, 2013, 12:51 AM EDT

Getty Images

The rumors about the NHL moving to Seattle are about to be reignited.

Mitch Levy, a sports-talk radio host in Seattle, shared a rumor saying NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is pushing the Board of Governors to make an expansion team available to Seattle. Levy says it would cost $275 million to start the team and that the new team would begin playing in the 2014-15 season.

The same issues that came up when the rumors over the Phoenix Coyotes relocating to Seattle are in play here. There would have to be local ownership and the proposed arena in downtown Seattle would need to be built. The latter part would require some political paperwork to be adjusted to make it happen.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly recently spoke about the Pacific Northwest getting “serious consideration” for expansion or relocation so perhaps this is where Levy’s rumors are stemming from. Daly did not wish to comment on this latest development when contacted by PHT.

With Seattle expansion rumors about one city comes speculation about who else would join them as an expansion partner.

If only a team was added to Seattle, that would leave the league with an odd number of teams (31) and for balance sake there’d have to be a second. Quebec City, Toronto, Portland, Kansas City, and Las Vegas make up the group of usual suspects there.

141 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. bruins18 - Jul 31, 2013 at 1:08 AM

    It wouldn’t really make the league not balanced… There’s already more teams in the eastern conference than the west

    • ravenscaps48 - Jul 31, 2013 at 9:33 AM

      The Seattle Sharknados!!!

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 31, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      Absolutely. And the next team should probably be Portland (I’m looking at metro size and historic fan support). Balances the league, and to balance the dicision, Calgary or Edmonton goes to the central. Seattle would particularly and Portland to some extent would also benefit from eachother’s fans attending when their teams play division games. Vancouver fans would also provide a bost when they play Seattle.

      And in the interim, would it really matter if there were 31 teams for a brief period? We’ve had other major league sports with variations in division size.

      I know the Quebec and Toronto fans would have an issue with this, and the bottom line is locating franchises would heighten the conference imbalance. The bottom line is that both the USA and Canada have more of their population in the eastern time zone. Detroit especially and Columbus had big issues with playing most of their away games against teams in other time zones, along with the huge travel.

      Expanding anywhere into the provinces of Ottowa or Quebec would essentially force DET and CBJ back west. Sorry, that’s the reality of population in North America.

      • desertfan - Jul 31, 2013 at 12:53 PM

        Both Portland and Seattle would be great moves but one of them would probably be a relocation of the yotes.

        I’ve witnessed 14,000 in Portland for WHL games!!!

        Ideal would be Port, Sea, Abby as the Nucks farm and then VCR.

      • dbara43 - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:10 PM

        Expansion to SEA and PDX makes the most sense, with PHX sorry (ARI) being pushed into the Central with Colorado joining Dallas as somewhat regional rivals.

        CLB and FLA would then makes sense as relocated teams in the East, landing in QBC and say Kansas City.

        West would be: EDM, CAL, VCR, SEA, PDX, SJS, LAX, AHN

        Central would be: ARI, COL, DAL, STL, CHI, KC, MIN, WPG

        DET would go to the East.


      • spochiefsfan - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:21 PM

        Seattle would be great. Like desertfan said, I’ve seen 12,000 in Spokane for WHL games. The Inland Northwest is just fiending for a NHL team!

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 31, 2013 at 7:22 PM

        Calgary and Edmonton will never be put in different divisions, it would be like Pittsburgh and Philly being split, or Boston and Montreal, it just won’t happen. If they were to move either to the central, they’d likely end up having to move both and then sending Colorado back to the pacific, but Calgary and Edmonton are a package deal.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 31, 2013 at 11:42 AM

      Quebec and Toronto (other side of the metro area) would be great candidates – when the NHL realizes that some of their southern franchises are not going to succeed in areas where folks don’t grow up ice skating and playing hockey.

    • imleftcoast - Jul 31, 2013 at 2:20 PM

      If the NHL wants it to succeed, it needs to be a competitive franchise from day 1. A terrible team playing in Key arena for 3 years has a limited chance of succeeding.

  2. rushledger - Jul 31, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    Seattle and Quebec lets do it! 32 teams, there’s player depth to do this in my opinion. Plus we all know Quebec would be a return to a strong market as Winnipeg was. Seattle would have a border rivalry with Vancouver which could be good for both teams almost right away.

    • desertfan - Jul 31, 2013 at 5:52 AM

      Dont need a radical QC team- govt is so questionable!!!

    • jpelle82 - Jul 31, 2013 at 9:00 AM

      i would bet vegas before quebec. this whole thing helps explain why the nhl took out another 200 million in credit and realigned the conferences with room for expansion in the west.

  3. girouxed - Jul 31, 2013 at 1:18 AM

    Do an article of reasons why and why not expansion.

  4. bigx21 - Jul 31, 2013 at 1:31 AM

    Seattle for hockey?? Do they even have ice there? Bring it to Quebec where real Canadian fans would love to see Habs vs Nordiques rivalry, just like old days!!

    • bettwoman - Jul 31, 2013 at 1:45 AM

      That’s what they said about Texas. And look at what all they’ve been doing lately. Jim nill left Detroit and stole all the scouts. Team usa assistant coach will be there new head coach. And they are raising up the top American born players number to the rafters this year.

      • mattryannolan - Jul 31, 2013 at 1:54 AM

        This post is so spot on! Also, they have a Stanley Cup. Not bad if you ask me!

      • clefty1 - Jul 31, 2013 at 9:18 AM

        Last I checked Nill took a couple of scouts, Mark Howe is still with the Wings and so is Andersson.

      • puffdragon420 - Jul 31, 2013 at 12:39 PM

        NORTH Stars never should have left Minnesota! As for Seattle, I would love to go there for some playoff hockey around 4/20 😀

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - Jul 31, 2013 at 2:08 AM

      Seattle Thunderbirds have been in existence for over 40 years as part of the WHL.
      So ya they have ice and a hockey culture. Do you even own a map?

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 31, 2013 at 4:57 AM

      I think both should happen. Seattle and Quebec. Send Columbus back to the west to even the conferences out 16 teams each.

      • desertfan - Jul 31, 2013 at 5:53 AM

        Forget the commies in QC!!!

    • sunk500 - Jul 31, 2013 at 9:27 AM

      Washington has 4 WHL teams and average 20k in attendance. Western part of the states is mild and rainy but eastern part has 4 distinct seasons. And “Habs vs Nordiques rivalry” lol, the nords sucked. Always had yearly draft pics but couldn’t keep any players because of the city and rude french Canadians.

      • hosewater2 - Jul 31, 2013 at 11:32 AM

        Average 20k attendance? Are you combining all four teams, 2 of which (Tri-Cities and Spokane) are remote from Seattle? This information is freely available on hockeydb, there’s no reason for the misinformation.

        Portland Winterhawks average about 50% more attendance than Seattle does, Portland has a building and maybe an owner. Better spot IMO.

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - Jul 31, 2013 at 12:05 PM

        You were onto something until you made the stupid comment about rude french canadians.
        Montreal and especially QC are awesome and the french are very friendly.

        I’ll take those two cities over Toronto and Hamilton for friendliness any day of the week.

        You should TRY visiting the places you talk about, before ever opening your mouth about them.

      • sunk500 - Jul 31, 2013 at 12:50 PM

        Porland Winterhawks are located in Portland. Seattle Thunderbirds are not in Seattle but Kent and with the horrible traffic in Seattle it’s like a 1-3h drive.

        Portland would also have to battle an established NBA franchise for tickets while Seattle would have an entire 4mil marker available with more sponsorship.

        As far as French Canadian goes – please. Everyone knows french Canadians are the absolute worst there is. I never meet a french canadian I liked and it’s a reason they have a horrible reputation across the U.S. Nothing is going to change this.

        The Nords left for a reason: A small market that couldn’t support it’s team and no players wanted to be in.

      • 127taringa - Jul 31, 2013 at 1:24 PM

        French Canadians are the worst? I guess you haven’t been to Vancouver then.

      • dbara43 - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:15 PM

        All I know is Vancouver has the best strip clubs on the West Coast, and that’s saying something, even if they did tear down the Cecile.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 31, 2013 at 7:28 PM

        The problem with this (aside from 2 of those WHL teams not being near Seattle) is that the fans the WHL and NHL market to are completely different. The NHL price point will be a lot higher than what fans pay for the WHL (especially while they’re playing in the undersized Key Arena) so saying there’s 20,000 hockey fans going to games in the state of Washington might be true but how many are willing to go to games at a higher price point?

        Not saying Seattle won’t be a great location, or that they won’t attract fans but just saying A=B isn’t true.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 31, 2013 at 11:49 AM

      Quebec is a great option – for relocating one of the weak SE USA teams. The league is currently imbalanced with a disproportunate # of teams in the eastern TZ. Quebec or another team in the Toronto metro area would ADD to the imbalance.

      I live in the Central US, so don’t have a “home city” bias. The most rational places for the league to expand to are frankly Seattle and Portland – the only two areas west of ETZ that have enough population to support a team (I’me excluding absurd southern locations such as Houston, where they weak parkas, hats and gloves when the temperature gets into the 40’s. They’d probably have to have a stadium with heated seats;)

  5. blkeskimo1785 - Jul 31, 2013 at 1:48 AM

    One vote for Sacramento!!! They should be getting a new arena soon…ha!

  6. mrpinkca - Jul 31, 2013 at 1:50 AM

    Poor Quebec…

    • desertfan - Jul 31, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      I agree -they have to put up with the French population- most of whom cannot answer the question -how are you???

  7. jdhein22 - Jul 31, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    I second Sacramento. Bring back the Seals!

  8. blomfeld - Jul 31, 2013 at 2:07 AM


    As an ardent, sexy and values-driven supporter of the Stanley Cup Champion LA Kings, I for one ‘hope and pray’ that the Emerald City comes to receive ‘that’ which it truly deserves … a gleaming ‘brand new’ NHL team ! These ‘decent & sophisticated’ people who’ve brought us among other things the likes of Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks and Nordstrom, deserve nothing less than the chance to say … “hey world, remember 1917 ? … well don’t look now, but we’re back baby!”




    Seattle won the 1917 championship by defeating the National Hockey Association’s Montreal Canadiens three games to one by a combined score of 19 to 3. Fourteen of Seattle’s goals were scored by Bernie Morris (including six in game four alone). Games one and three were played under PCHA rules (ie: seven players per side, no forward passing in the neutral zone and no substitution for penalized players). Games two and four were played under NHA rules (ie: six players per side, no forward passing or substitutions allowed).

  9. govtminion - Jul 31, 2013 at 2:09 AM

    I guess I’d be more in favor if we didn’t already have so much trouble keeping the teams they already have running. Between the Phoenix mess, New Jersey, the Atlanta move only a couple of years behind us, and the still-tough financial situations for teams like Dallas and Columbus, I’m not sure adding two more teams helps much.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 31, 2013 at 11:53 AM

      Quebec and Markham would be candidates for moving another EASTERN failing team to. Gotta think time zones. NHL has embraced it after years of DET and CBJ griping.

      • mmmpierogi - Jul 31, 2013 at 8:34 PM

        When did Markham get thrown into the mix as a legitimate potential location for an NHL team? I asked about this at another recently, but in following hockey at various levels of involvement for roughly twenty years, I’d thought I’d heard of most major and mid-sized metro areas in Canada through the NHL, QMJHL, etc. at least passingly. I’ve also been to Toronto a handful of times and don’t recall anyone talking about Markham. I thought the idea a few years back was to relocate PHX to Hamilton — no recollection of Markham ever being discussed.

  10. thailer35 - Jul 31, 2013 at 2:15 AM

    You know, I came to this article thinking, “The one thing missing here is a rant from someone who is slows losing their mind.”
    Thank you Blomfeld for taking care of that for us.

    • blomfeld - Aug 1, 2013 at 12:25 AM

      Back off trailer … seriously !

  11. blackhawks2010 - Jul 31, 2013 at 2:23 AM

    Seattle would be a phenomenal NHL market! Great fan base that has money to spend on sports.

    This would be a great match!

  12. bigx21 - Jul 31, 2013 at 2:37 AM

    Seattle has a WHL team? What’s WHL? Worst Hockey League? Quebec is known as hockey the biggest sport. Seattle? Baseball, football and oh no more NBA haha!!

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 31, 2013 at 5:09 AM

      Do you know what the QMJHL is? The WHL is the Western Canadian equivalent. There’s 4 teams in Washington State. 1 more in Oregon. Hockey has been big there for a long time.

      Heck, Seattle has won a Stanley Cup more recently than Vancouver has.

      • kaptaanamerica - Jul 31, 2013 at 9:20 AM

        Who’s trolling now douche bag.

      • dueman - Jul 31, 2013 at 2:39 PM

        Look it up Captain Troll – The Seattle Metropolitans beat the Montreal Canadiens to win the Stanley Cup in 1917.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 31, 2013 at 5:16 PM

        Giving information is trolling? Says the guy who’s just name calling? What are you 11 yrs old? Grow up.

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - Jul 31, 2013 at 12:07 PM

      Doesn’t get much more stupid than this.

      “Durrrr whats the CHL?”

    • spochiefsfan - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:31 PM

      bigx21 Doesn’t watch hockey. It’s ok guys.

  13. seattlesportscentral - Jul 31, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    A hockey team in Seattle would be so great. Most of you have no idea how supportive of pro sports Seattle fans really are. The Sounders are relatively new and they have an attendance that no other NLS team can match. I think the NHL would be stupid to not end up putting a team there. Plus they could name them the Metropolitans, the team that won the first Stanley Cup in American history. Plus check this out…

    • davwat81 - Jul 31, 2013 at 8:12 AM

      You don’t mention Mariners having a lot of troubles having half their seats filled? On purpose?

      Apart from that, I agree with you, Seattle is a sports-crazy city, but I think bringing Sonics back is more of a priority for Seattle.

      • jpelle82 - Jul 31, 2013 at 10:55 AM

        well baseball is baseball, pittsburgh is another good example of that. penguins and steelers have sold out while the pirates just got a new stadium and can barely fill it up on a weekend. (best record in baseball by the way!) i would think seattle would get a lot more support for hockey than basketball given their demographics and market.

    • jpelle82 - Jul 31, 2013 at 11:31 AM

      i totally agree. not to mention one of hockey’s greats played for seattle when they won in 1917…Lester Patrick. there’s good history there, well worth a serious expansion bid.

    • bprockmeister - Aug 4, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      They’d probably have to use a different name, considering how the NHL just renamed one of their divisions the Metropolitan Division (don’t ask why, just accept it). As for Seattle getting a team, I think it would be a good idea. At least they’d be putting a team in a city that already has a hockey fan base and a population that could support a franchise. If they can get the arena built and all the paperwork in order, why not?

      As for Quebec, be patient. Your time will come. I’d rather see them put a team in QC than in Markham anyway. Ontario already has a pair of teams.

  14. noozehound - Jul 31, 2013 at 4:07 AM

    if Quebec is such a hockey town, why do you STILL not have a team?

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 31, 2013 at 5:11 AM

      You could say the same thing about Seattle.

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - Jul 31, 2013 at 12:13 PM

      Because the NHL allowed a weak Canadian dollar to completely destroy small Canadian markets.
      Because ownership and Gary were more interested in jumping to Denver.
      Because politicians ignored the cries to help Marcell Aubut and the fans to help the get through the period.

    • desertfan - Jul 31, 2013 at 1:00 PM

      Because they are a separate country and speak only French- and have you ever tried to get there.
      In the middle of nowhere.

      Lets look at Moscow before QC!!!

      • dueman - Jul 31, 2013 at 2:44 PM

        Wow, You must have got beat up by a French girl or something eh? You should ease up on your prejudiced out look on things at bit there!

  15. bullwinkle88 - Jul 31, 2013 at 4:31 AM

    Seattle would be a terrible idea!

    These people are NOT hockey fans and neither is their prospective owner. They are just trying to find a tenant to take up the dates their NBA hopeful team will not use. Even if the NHL comes first, the NBA franchise will still have first rights to the arena. That has already been determined.

    Plus the NBC Stanley Cup telecasts were blacked out in the Seattle area.

    So much for moving an NHL team there. If they had to go to the northwest, I’d rather they selected Portland.

    • sunk500 - Jul 31, 2013 at 9:29 AM

      “Plus the NBC Stanley Cup telecasts were blacked out in the Seattle area.”

      No it wasnt.

    • spochiefsfan - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:34 PM

      It was blacked out? I must have cable-summoning super powers!!!

  16. desertfan - Jul 31, 2013 at 5:58 AM

    QC will never work- only commie state in NA.

    • davwat81 - Jul 31, 2013 at 7:54 AM

      How do you call a whole league where 29 teams paid for 4 years for the survival of the 30th team (Phoenix Coyotes)?

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 31, 2013 at 10:46 PM

        Or a league that has national tv deals divided equally amongst teams, a league wide licensing agreement for merchandise, a salary cap, revenue sharing etc.

        I’m thinking he doesn’t actually understand what communism is…

    • nj666 - Jul 31, 2013 at 11:48 AM

      sheriff joe?

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 31, 2013 at 10:44 PM

      Quebec would be very socialist (lots of government red tape, high taxes and $7 a day day care thanks to the government) that’s not communist which would require them to own the means of production and collectivize property etc.

      And for the record Cuba is the only truly communist part of North America.

  17. goalieguy37 - Jul 31, 2013 at 7:53 AM

    the support Portland OR has shown the Winterhawks shows me there is strong potential in stump town…

    • davwat81 - Jul 31, 2013 at 8:02 AM

      For the 2012-2013 season:

      Average attendance for Portland Seattle and Quebec City

      Portland: 6,687
      Seattle: 4.036
      Quebec City: 11,345

      • davwat81 - Jul 31, 2013 at 8:16 AM

        Those are attendances for minor hockey Portland Winterhawks, Seattle Thunderbirds and Quebec Remparts

      • sunk500 - Jul 31, 2013 at 9:15 AM

        If you look at just attendance then lets have a realistic look. The “Seattle Thunderbirds” is located in Kent, which is 20 miles south of the city, and faces the same issuse the Coyotes does – its to far away. Now, to think only people in the City of Seattle would attend is ludacris. Canucks have a monopoly on the PNW. The State of Washington averages 20,000 fans across 4 teams and I believe that’s more than the whole providence of Quebec draws so we’re on the same playfield.

        Spokane Chiefs: 6368
        Everett Silvertips: 5062
        Tri-City Americans: 4492
        Seattle Thunderbirds: 4036

      • teemubergkamp - Jul 31, 2013 at 11:52 AM


        Umm, I don’t think counting the whole state and comparing to one team makes an even playing field.

        If you want to count Everett, Spokane, and Tri-City then you have to count all the other junior teams in the province of Quebec.


        Quebec City: 11,345
        Rimouski: 3807
        Sherbrooke: 3186
        Shawinigan: 3111
        Chicoutimi: 2965
        Blainville-Boisbriand: 2928
        Gatineau: 2733
        Victoriaville: 2605
        Baie Comeau: 2463
        Drummondville: 2373
        Rouyn – Noranda: 2104
        Val D’or: 1804

        In any case, I think both Seattle and Quebec deserve teams.

      • hosewater2 - Jul 31, 2013 at 11:55 AM

        sunk why are you counting Tri-Cities and Spokane, those are remote from Seattle and not part of the local market. Western states are big, so defining the drawing area for a Seattle team as the entire state is horribly misleading.

      • teemubergkamp - Jul 31, 2013 at 12:02 PM


        You probably have a point that people from Everett would go to Seattle to see the NHL. Spokane and Kennewick – not so much.

        As for the Quebec teams, Victoriaville, Drummondville and Shawinigan are within a 90 minute drive of Quebec City.

      • sunk500 - Jul 31, 2013 at 12:43 PM

        I live In Spokane and Spokane and Tri-city are definitely city’s that support and love our hockey teams. If you seriously think fans from all over the state are go over and watch some NHL games in Seattle then you are dead wrong. I would even go further and say that fans will flock from Oregon, Idaho and Montana as well.

        Look at the map for the NFL and look at the monopoly Seahawks has on the top left corner of the entire country. This is the same Monopoly Canucks are currently experiencing.

        Now, look at the sell-outs for both Canucks and Seahawks and the ticket prices – they’re both numbers that tops respective league.

        What I’m getting at is that Seattle is an untapped market and critics (mostly across the north boarder) crying about adding Seattle to the mix and rather have teams in Saskatoon needs to wake up and realize this potential.

      • spochiefsfan - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:38 PM

        I live in Spokane and would commute for AT LEAST

      • spochiefsfan - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:39 PM

        I live in Spokane and would commute for AT LEAST a dozen games every season. I know I’m not the only one.

      • sunk500 - Jul 31, 2013 at 4:59 PM

        If you seriously think fans from all over the state arent go over and watch some NHL games in Seattle then you are dead wrong.


        @ spochiefsfan – I’m in Spokane as well and I would go over a dozen time as well. We should carpool and save some gas and mileage on our cars 😉

  18. pone27 - Jul 31, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    Love the idea of Seattle having a team.

    Hate the idea of adding teams to the league.

    From a financial standpoint, the NHL, while generating solid revenue in past years, still has a long way to go before they are financially stable. The NHL is in no position to gamble on trying to add teams to try to earn revenue. It can completely back fire.

    Again, I’ll say I would love to see Seattle have a team, even Quebec (though I do despise the city) I would love to see as well. It would be great to bring that traditional team back. But financially, I don’t like it.

    • davwat81 - Jul 31, 2013 at 8:43 AM

      You “despise” Quebec City? Why?

      • desertfan - Jul 31, 2013 at 1:11 PM

        They hate Americans but they hate Canadians even more.

        I am not exaggerating when I say that most of them do not speak English- more people in China, Russia and India speak English than in QC area???

      • dueman - Jul 31, 2013 at 2:55 PM

        Give it a rest desertfan – Almost everybody in Quebec can speak English. Some may choose not to, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t. It’s called culture, and to a lot of Quebecer’s, their culture is very important to them. You should try not being so ignorant.

    • davwat81 - Jul 31, 2013 at 8:46 AM

      You “despise” Quebec City? Why? And what is your “financial” argument? All Canadian made money and a majority of US franchises lost money last season. That would be logical to have one more Canadian team to create more money for revenue-sharing (another communist thing, isn’t it desertfan?)

      • pone27 - Jul 31, 2013 at 11:43 AM

        Lol, I base my opinion on Quebec City for having to visit there plenty of times for work. They are not fond of Americans, sorry to speak the truth.

        My “financial” argument was clearly stated in black in white in my post.

        Your rebuttle to my argument is basically telling me that having a team in QC would save the league financially. QC can generate revenue, for QC. Do they it will bring in Vancouver, Chicago, NY revenue? Try again. The NHL needs more teams that make that type of revenue, not small city revenue.

      • davwat81 - Jul 31, 2013 at 12:32 PM

        You can’t make a generality of a few people. Same as saying all Americans are fat. And I didn’t write that it will SAVE the league, but create more revenue for REVENUE-SHARING, which most US teams depend on.

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - Aug 1, 2013 at 11:36 AM

        The world is not fond of most American’s, AMERICAN’s are not fond of most American’s. Why should QC be any different?

  19. tmoore4075 - Jul 31, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    Quebec makes the most sense for the 32nd team. The money they could bring in in expansion fees and the revenue a team there would bring in as well would be a total win. The problem with going one in the West and one in the East is how do you balance the conferences? Hard to tell Detroit or Columbus they have to move back. Something would need to happen though because with 32 teams you can have 4 divisions of 8 and have divisional playoffs and none of the wild card stuff.

    • desertfan - Jul 31, 2013 at 1:15 PM

      Revenue from Ticket sales is a small component of the big picture of League Revenues.

      Advertisers, TV etc. need to be factored in.

      How many companies will want to promote to a city so heavily involved in the continual movement to separate from Canada and form its own country??

      • tmoore4075 - Jul 31, 2013 at 2:11 PM

        A lot of companies in Quebec will want to and I’m guessing a lot Canadian companies will too. An 8th team in Canada is a big thing. New Canadian TV deal is coming up too so another team there adds something.

        The league actually is a very gate driven business compared to the other major team sports in North America. They’ll sell out and their tickets prices will be higher than other mid-level markets in the US, so it’ll be decent money added to the pot and that added money (along with a new TV deal in Canada which will be more lucrative) will help drive up the salary cap which the big markets will LOVE. That and the reported $300-500mil a team in Quebec could fetch the NHL. The NHL Board of Governors will salivate over that.

  20. jhmiddleton81 - Jul 31, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    The one thing that people don’t realize about the argument between Quebec City and Seattle is that I think everyone agrees that if Quebec City gets a team, they will sell out every game with some of the more expensive tickets in the league, but the major reason why I personally like Seattle better is because of it’s untapped potential and its ability to one day be a top 10 US NHL market. There are 4 million people in Seattle! Compared to a shade under a million in Quebec City. I mean my passion and job is working in sports finance for the New York Rangers and sheer size matters based on revenues from local and national TV deals, I mean hopefully QC gets in the league before the canadian TV contract is restructured so they can get a lot of cash, but a city like Seattle if they perform the best they can (Stanley Cup Finals) that could wake a giant, your real money is in corporate suites and based on the type of companies in Seattle, I imagine they would easily be able to sell them all, as well as Quebec City and although I do agree that Quebec CIty would be an amazing hockey market, I believe Seattle has priority because it has what looks like the makings for an incredible hockey market, one that with star players and success could make them equivalent to a Pittsburgh type hockey market

    • kaptaanamerica - Jul 31, 2013 at 9:26 AM

      Seattle makes sense from a road trip perspective as well, since a lot of Canucks would drive there to catch a game considering how expensive Canucks tickets currently are…

      • hosewater2 - Jul 31, 2013 at 12:00 PM

        Phoenix makes sense as a road trip too, dirt cheap tickets!

      • davwat81 - Jul 31, 2013 at 12:36 PM

        Seattle-Vancouver rivalry? It worked so well in the 90’s with Grizzlies and Sonics in the NBA, didn’t it?

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 31, 2013 at 5:26 PM

        Speaking of travelling for cheaper tickets. There’s actually a deal you can get in Toronto to charter a flight for 20+ people to go to a Leafs game vs Florida or Tampa. It’s disturbingly cheaper than the price of the same tickets at the ACC.

    • pone27 - Jul 31, 2013 at 6:34 PM

      My post was basically the tl;dr version of this but somehow received more thumbs down.

      Thank you for being more in-depth.

  21. kaptaanamerica - Jul 31, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    Fyi, i used Canucks to mean Canadians and then to mean the team…

  22. sablo - Jul 31, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    Personally I think that Seattle could be a good market for NHL team but still Portland would be even better option as they have ready facilities for it. I think that expansion will happen, otherwise there wouldn’t be uneven numbers on conferences. Who knows maybe both would be fit for the Western Conference.

    About relocating some teams I think that Coyotes should have been moved from Glendale to some new location. It has been a huge mistake from the start to bring NHL to the desert. I think the best options for them could be Kansas City (even thought it didn’t work out before) or Milwaukee as they have already traditional AHL-team. If Coyotes would relocate to one of these cities it would stay in west.

    Somebody might be wondering why I didn’t bring up Quebec City? Well because they should get the Florida Panthers up there as Panthers is in the east. Florida is clearly one of the worst teams in the whole 2000’s and even though there is a little bit of light in their future Florida doesn’t need two teams, Tampa is much better team so Panthers should move up north.

    Columbus Blue Jackets should leave Columbus also. They haven’t had any success at all throughout their history. Even though Kekäläinen might lead the team to right direction, they’d be better off elsewhere. Good options for that would be Hamilton or Toronto where ice-hockey is respected much more.

    New York Islanders is one team which could relocate as well but I really wouldn’t like to move them because of their glorious history and well now they are getting a new arena, so I think they stay in New York anyways. Also they are heading the right direction lately.

    I really hope that NHL would have enough sense to relocate more teams to Canada where you would get definitely more interested people than for example in Florida or Columbus. Pacific Northwest would be very good option for expansion as they’d have great rivalry with Canucks for example.

    • kaptaanamerica - Jul 31, 2013 at 11:43 AM

      No team that has won a cup is moving as per Gary and Bill. The Panthers ownership has a deal with the city to keep the team there and the city allows the ownership to make money on developing the surrounding real estate. So the Panthers are NOT going anywhere.

      Portland and Seattle should have teams eventually.then either the oilers or flames can go play in the other division. I don’t particularly care for either team.

    • kaptaanamerica - Jul 31, 2013 at 11:49 AM

      Forgot to mention, Ohio needs a team and Columbus has committed ownership.people support teams that win, and Columbus was selling out in its early years bit management squandered the goodwill of the people.with better management the on ice product will improve and bring out sports fans.

    • bigtull - Aug 3, 2013 at 9:27 PM

      I thought the Isles were moving to Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center when their Nassau Colosseum deal expires.

  23. sunk500 - Jul 31, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    Expansion makes perfect sense with the realignment for the same season. As a Seattleite I would love for this top happen and I know I’m not alone. No doubt our city and our sportsfans would be able to support this team and make it thrive. NHL Desperately needs more team in the West and the PNW is an untapped market. People from Oregon, Idaho, Montana would flock here.

    • hosewater2 - Jul 31, 2013 at 11:59 AM

      Seattle can’t even field a competitive baseball team due to financial limitations/commitment of ownership.

      • sunk500 - Jul 31, 2013 at 1:02 PM

        LOL. Baseball attendance does not translate into NHL attendance. Any why be so selective? Why not bring up our Sounders and Seahawks who both top the respective league in attendance?

        What is your next argument going to be, WNBA attendance?

      • hosewater2 - Jul 31, 2013 at 2:53 PM

        Sounders and Timbers are well-attended, the economy of soccer is totally different though.

        Seahawks are well attended because they’re doing well, at the moment.

        Don’t know about WNBA attendance.

        Hey, BTW what arena would an NHL team play in? Key? They demolish that yet? And what happened to the whole NBA thing?

      • sunk500 - Jul 31, 2013 at 5:04 PM

        The truth is we support all of our sports teams, even if the mariners suck they still draw well. The only reason our Minor hockey team draws so poor is because its so far south of the city. People literally woudnt be able to get there in time with the horrible traffic we have.

        And yes, they could play in Key Arena for 1-2 years. It’s not Ideal but it can seat 11-14k which is pretty much what the lowest attendance in NHL is right now.

    • pensfan1 - Jul 31, 2013 at 12:01 PM

      I don’t know about flock here seats but many would come. I have followed hockey for almost 50 years and my wife is from BC.We live in Everett, WA, go to hockey all over Washington and BC so Seattle is part of our stomping ground and Canada is in our circle of regular travel. The Southern Mainland of BC has a huge presence in Seattle on a daily basis. Talk to them and they support the NHL in Seattle. There would be numbers coming in for games and not just Canuck games. As they regularly come in for shopping and business, hockey could become regular entertainment if the price is right and seats are available.

      And to follow up on the earlier post of Seattle and the Stanley Cup: Seattle did win the Stanley Cup when it was a club trophy before there was an NHL. The Vancouver (Millionaires) also did but it was two years before Seattle so technically Seattle did win it more recently than Vancouver but those teams have no ties to current hockey in either town other than by association. Prince George (Cougars) on the other hand does have the same franchise that won the Cup after Seattle did in the same era as they are the same franchise that moved from Victoria (Cougars) to Prince George.

  24. beergold - Jul 31, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    No point putting another “expansion” calibre team in Toronto!

  25. bigolbig - Jul 31, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    The NHL needs to contract, not expand.

    • tmoore4075 - Jul 31, 2013 at 11:38 AM

      Most people would agree with you but there’s money in expansion….a lot. Plus the PA would fight contraction like crazy. That’s lost jobs for them. Not gonna happen no matter how much it makes sense talent-wise around the league.

      • bigolbig - Jul 31, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        SJS, WSH, NSH, MIN, CAR, STL, BUF, ANA, FLA, TBL, NYI, CBJ, PHX all lost money last year. At least half of those teams could go

      • tmoore4075 - Jul 31, 2013 at 2:22 PM

        I’m sure NBC would be all about losing some pretty big markets there. There will be teams that lose money. It’s part of the business. Not everyone is going to make money unless you get a tv deal like the NFL and that ain’t happening.

        San Jose draws well. Washington draws well and gets people to tune in on TV. Nashville small market but does well for a non-traditional market considering their disadvantages. Same can be said for Carolina and Buffalo. NYI is getting a new arena which will help. The only ones that are REALLY bad among those PHX and FLA. TBL while struggling have a decent fan base. Most of those teams also have strong owners and many are strong markets. You can’t base disbanding a team just because they lose money. Also there is one team you didn’t mention that was being reported as going to lose money this past season…the Chicago Blackhawks.

        If you were to take away half of those teams that’s a minimum 161 jobs lost. I’m sure Don Fehr would be all about that.

        Losing money isn’t a reason I think a few teams less would be nice, it’s talent. A few less teams gets you more talent spread out. But it’s not gonna happen.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 31, 2013 at 2:38 PM

        You can’t talk about tams losing money last year, as they did not have the games to cover their fixed costs (coaches, GM & Staff, PR folks…).

        Looking at who lost money the last 2 or 3 FULL seasons would make sense.

  26. broadstreetbully23 - Jul 31, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Anything besides Quebec or Vegas partnered with Seattle would be a waste. We should just move the panthers to Seattle and not expand though

  27. hosewater2 - Jul 31, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    Look, even as an American is it not completely clear that teams in Quebec City and Hamilton would thrive?

    I just hate to see the NHL continue to push into borderline/maybe markets like Seattle, Columbus, Phoenix, Florida, Vegas, Houston and on and on when clearly there are cities in Canada that are complete no-brainers in terms of fan and corporate support.

    • sunk500 - Jul 31, 2013 at 1:06 PM

      First of all, no doubt Seattle is a solid market from a financial point so your argument is invalid.

      It’s also about growing the game. Putting a team in Seattle grows Junior hockey and hockey across the entire state. What good is putting a team in Hamilton going to do? It would just split revenue from the existing Leafs fans and it would to nothing for the sport.

      In order to make the game grow you have to take some risks, some turns out well and some doesn’t but putting every team North of the boarder and turning it into CHL 2.0 is not going to do anyone any good.

      • hosewater2 - Jul 31, 2013 at 1:42 PM

        Not going to do anyone any good? Fans? Owner? Players? All winners in Hamilton. There is unexploited demand for the product in the Toronto area. I don’t think this is in question, but I don’t live in Toronto so maybe someone who does can help out.

        Again, Seattle ownership resources are limited (look at the Mariners, looking themselves like a franchise that should be contracted), there is no arena in Seattle, there is no NBA team.

      • teemubergkamp - Jul 31, 2013 at 11:08 PM

        There is obviously unexploited demand in Toronto.

        Even when the Leafs are bad, which is often, the nosebleed seats go for $150 from scalpers.

        People probably won’t watch more games on tv, but they will easily sell the arena out at a pretty high ticket price.

        (Actually their tv deal might add fans if they play in the West. People could watch the Leafs at 7pm and then turn to watch Toronto2 for a late road game.)

  28. terrier92 - Jul 31, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Quebec deserves team Go Bruins

    • desertfan - Jul 31, 2013 at 1:19 PM

      Is that “deserves a team” or da team?

  29. afrancis55 - Jul 31, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    I know I’ll get many thumbs down for this, but build a team in New Orleans and make one last attempt to popularize hockey in that region.

    • davwat81 - Jul 31, 2013 at 12:40 PM

      No thumbs down but why doing that? Teams in the south are struggling (not to mention Thrashers who had to relocate). Time is not right for trying new markets in Southern states. Oh, and there’s no NHL-sized ice rink in Big Easy.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 31, 2013 at 2:44 PM

        And doing anythihng for any sport in NO is crazy. After Katrina, the right response would be to ABANDON it, not save and rebuild.

        NO is progressively subsiding. I’t sinking more and more below sea level because of the articilal interventions we’ve made in the4 past. Cairo IL is subsiding too, and with the floods a couple years ago, when Cairo, which is a dying small “city” anyway was threatened with flooding, the Army Corps of Engineers cluelessly blasted leveys in Missouri to diver floodwaters, flooding hundreds of thousands of productive farmland, flooding homes there.

        Now we’ll end up spending billions to bail them out again, as they STILL can’t withstand a cat 5.


  30. 127taringa - Jul 31, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    Should have two leagues with so many potential teams. How many is too many for one league?

  31. dannychicago27 - Jul 31, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    I have no problem with putting a team in Seattle. Long term, it makes sense. I think putting a team in Quebec makes a ton of sense.

    But I don’t understand why the priority isn’t to get a second team in the Toronto area. That team would PRINT money from the start, and there would be a bidding war to pay a huge expansion fee.

    Seattle will play in a building with what, 9,000 seats for hockey, for quite a few years? If I ran the NHL, Toronto and Quebec (especially T.O.) would get teams now, and Seattle (as their new building grows closer) would put pressure on struggling markets to step it up, and would ultimately be the next relocation site.

    But what do I know???

    • pensfan1 - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:05 PM

      Any team, NBA, NHL, or anything else that needs to play indoors will have to play in the Key Arena until something newer is built. Hockey game capacity is 15,177 but it is strangely arranged. The arena was built for basketball, not hockey and for that it fits. For hockey the scoreboard is over the blue line, possibly even closer to the goal and not at center ice. Seating only goes around the whole ice surface on the second level and is severely limited over one goal. The lower bowl is horseshoe shaped and stops at about the face off circles at one end. The goalie at that end is under the second level mezzanine.

      Seattle will support hockey but it is clear when they built facilities for sports, hockey was an afterthought. It was OK for WHL and juniors. Much better than the old Mercer Arena but not NHL caliber If the NHL does decide to move or expand a team into town you can bet there will be a new arena footnote attached to the deal.

  32. jonnybfromaz - Jul 31, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    Attendance of minor league hockey teams means nothing. attendance in general means little. its TV ratings etc . and no one in QC is gonna be watching NBC.

    • tmoore4075 - Jul 31, 2013 at 2:30 PM

      The NHL is a pretty gate driven league. So it would be a big bonus to be in Quebec. And yes while they won’t be watching NBC they will be watching CBC, RDS/TSN and Sportsnet. The tv deal for Canada expires after this season I believe. Big money coming in the next year and an 8th team in Canada probably means even more money.

  33. davwat81 - Jul 31, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    Maple Leafs executives can veto a move for a second team in GTA. Vancouver can’t do it to Seattle, and Montreal can’t do it to QC. And the relationship between Graeme Roustan and the City of Markham is not that good at the moment.

  34. chrisk61 - Jul 31, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    with realignment, and 16 (2 x 8) teams in the east only 14 ((2 x 7) teams in the west, the league essentially has 2 “placeholders” for west expansion. the 2nd team, after seattle, will be a western team. or a current eastern team will be repositioned to the west.

  35. garyzx7r - Jul 31, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    come to Cleveland please!

  36. Brad - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    When I first started wtahcing the NHL, there were 21 teams, and the odd number didn’t cause the league to implode. The NBA had 27 at the time, also.

  37. vstar1us - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    Well after reading all the comments and thinking about this for a few short minutes I see why the NHL is to some second or even third rate, now before you flip off at this statement I am a Minnesota Wild Season ticket holder and a fan of the game of Hockey. The reason why the NFL has a big money market is very simple they have only a limited number of games. Last year I thought the Hockey season was the greatest because ever single game counted! To pay any pro player multiple millions of dollars is crazy, Ryan Sutter, Arron Rodgers, LeBron James don’t deserve that kind of money, they really do nothing to better America. Sorry I wavered off course a bit, but the reason teams lose money is very simple over paid players. At the Excel Energy Center a popcorn, soda and peanuts $23.50 I understand the price because it has to help pay the rent. To say put a team in Seattle is a bit strange, they don’t even have a building to pay rent on as for Portland the have a 18,000 seat arena that the only one other sports team to compete against and or compliment with. The NHL could find it self in a great situation it could capture a perfect market in Portland great airport, great metro system and a potential great fan base if it is played right. The NFL will never move to Portland, and it will not attract a MLB team so the only other sport that can compliment it is Basketball.
    No brainer, the NHL would thrive in the Portland Metro Area it would have a great fan base and a city that would work to make a positive impact with the NHL.

    • sunk500 - Jul 31, 2013 at 5:09 PM

      I think we all agree the season is a little bit too long but longer season = more money for owners and players so they will never go back to less games. I twas fun experiencing the lockout season though and the short format was a lot of fun. I consider myself a pretty die hard fan but honestly by the time it comes to the playoffs I’m already sick of hockey and by the time the Stanley cup starts it’s already summer and I’d rather be outside.

  38. pastabelly - Jul 31, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    Although there is a post above that’s pretty mean to French Canadians, the writer makes some good point. Very few people in Quebec City even speak English, making it a tough city to attract players to. It is also a very small market with no large cities even close. The largest nearby city is probably Montreal and they have a team. There is no doubt Quebec would sell out its new arena. It’s just not a great move for the NHL. Kansas City might make more sense as the league would need another team in the West Conference. We can all assume that Detroit will never move back there.

    I see another misinformed post about wanting to move Florida. I suppose an explanation for moving a team that drew 99.7% of capacity and 17,000 fans a game and trending upward. That’s pretty good for a bad hockey team.

  39. mikeevergreen - Jul 31, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    Keep rooting for the Canucks in hockey, Seattle. Seattle is baseball, soccer, football, and the BEST CUP OF COFFEE IN THE WHOLE WIDEWORLD. Leave it at that. That goes for you too, Portland.

  40. proudliberal85392 - Jul 31, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    thailer35: Here come the usual “Move the Coyotes” rants. Let’s hold on to our hats! See you Opening Night vs. the Rangers?

  41. proudliberal85392 - Jul 31, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    Move the Original Six around if you really want to shake things up.

  42. pizzaman77 - Aug 1, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    If anything, this league needs to shrink 2 eastern conference teams. Not add 2 more …which by the way would mean your favorite team would have to give up players to the new expansions..

  43. fahmundamahbalsaq - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:41 AM

    I hope Quebec does get a team. One more reason to hate the French.

  44. petrnovakjr - Aug 1, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Promoting the “NHL to Seattle” idea:

  45. mikeyfan5599 - Aug 1, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    The big question in my opinion is there enough talent to support 2 more teams?

  46. djordjeblagojevic - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    Relocation of Coyotes to Seattle + Portland + Quebec Nordiques!!!

  47. jwalsh217 - Aug 1, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    I’m a huge fan of expanding to the pacific northwest and would love to see a team in seattle, but why isn’t wisconsin ever given any consideration for an NHL team? it’s a great hockey state and they support the University of Wisconsin team very well

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1853)
  2. P. Kane (1609)
  3. M. Richards (1346)
  4. P. Datsyuk (1343)
  5. N. Backstrom (1209)