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Portland Trail Blazers chief confirms Paul Allen’s interest in NHL

Aug 1, 2013, 2:16 PM EDT

Paul Allen Getty Images

Before the Phoenix Coyotes struck a deal to keep them in Glendale for at least the next five years, the city of Portland, Oregon, was, according to one report, seriously in the mix to land the financially troubled franchise.

Today, in the Portland Tribune, Trail Blazers President/CEO Chris McGowan confirmed that report, suggesting that billionaire owner Paul Allen (pictured) is intrigued at the thought of adding an NHL team to his pro sports portfolio that already includes an NBA franchise (the Blazers) an NFL team (the Seattle Seahawks), and an MLS club (Seattle Sounders).

McGowan says the Blazers “never made an offer” for the Coyotes, but that an extensive market analysis convinced Allen the NHL in Portland would be a positive move.

“I never got the sense that Paul wasn’t interested in the NHL,” McGowan says. “Paul has always been interested in things that are good for Portland and the arena. It’s our job to bring opportunities to Paul. The NHL is just one of those. Our analysis led us to believe that potentially a team could work here. We were in the mix when it related to Portland as a potential option, but it didn’t work out, so it becomes moot.”

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly has since said that the league is “very intrigued by the Pacific Northwest” and “to the extent expansion comes into the picture or relocation is needed, I’m sure the Pacific Northwest is going to get serious consideration.”

While it’s been Seattle that’s received the most attention so far as Pacific Northwest cities and NHL expansion/relocation are concerned, you have to think the league would love to add an owner with pockets as deep as Allen’s.

According to Forbes, the Microsoft co-founder is No. 53 on the list of billionaires, with an estimated net worth of $15 billion.

Related: NHL reportedly pushing for Seattle expansion for 2014-15 season

  1. jcmeyer10 - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    It doesn’t take a market analysis to know that Portland would love the stuffings out of an NHL team. I reckon (based on the MLS) they would (as well as Seattle) redefine home ice advantage.

  2. ibieiniid - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    with all those Portland hipsters, what’s your guess as to what the team would be called on the off chance one lands IN Portland? Fixed Gears? Messenger Bags? Neck Scarfs? Full Beards? Fedoras? Starbucks? ooh. Starbucks really opens the door for corporate sponsors. it’s settled…

    • jcmeyer10 - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:39 PM

      At your lame attempt of a joke you failed to realized Starbucks would be a lame joke name for a Seattle franchise. The Portland name would be something like the Timbers, which is an ode to the natural beauty found around Portland.

      In any event their support of the Portland Timbers is impressive. The fact that they make tifos is impressive as well.

      A Seattle and Portland team would be an instant rival and the NHL wouldn’t even have to try.

      I live in Boston and but my visit out to those cities left me impressed with their dedication to their sports teams.

      • ibieiniid - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:43 PM

        i have no clue what you’re saying.

    • chicagofansaretheworst - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:42 PM

      You forgot Horned Rimmed Glasses

    • chuchie414 - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:59 PM

      Just keep it simple. The Portlandias.

  3. jcmeyer10 - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    This is what I mean to embed:

    Some content was stripped by our security filters, but it should be possible for one of your Editors to embed the content for you.

    • ibieiniid - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:29 PM

      they really need to add edit/delete buttons.

  4. hosewater2 - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    The fact that there is already an NHL-ready arena is the biggest reason why Seattle has little place in the conversation.

    • dbara43 - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:15 PM

      Except that it’s twice the size of Portland. Portland is only in the conversation because of Seattle.

  5. hockeyflow33 - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    I wish more hockey people owned franchises

  6. joecsports - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    Portland and Seattle will do great. It will balance out Eastern and Western Conferences. NHL would go the way of NFL and have two conferences and eight divisions. Just a few teams would have to shuffle, but they can make it work.

    Eastern Conference- Empire Division- Devils, Islanders, Rangers and Sabres

    • joecsports - Aug 1, 2013 at 5:13 PM

      The four divisions in the East would be- Empire- Sabres, Devils, Rangers and Islanders. North- Canadians, Bruins, Senators and Leafs. Central- Red Wings, Blue Jackets, Penguins and Flyers. Southeast- Capitals, Hurricanes, Panthers and Lightning.

      West would consist of- Midwest- Black Hawks, Blues, Preds, Stars, Prairie- Flames, Jets, Oilers, Wild, Northwest- Canucks, Avs, Portland Lumberjacks (Jacks), Seattle Torpedoes. Pacific- Kings, Ducks, Sharks and Coyotes (can easily move to Las Vegas and stay in division).

      All First Place Teams get byes in first round. Second and Third play best of three to move on to Division Championship.

      Teams would play each team in division six or five times (16 games) and other 12 teams in conference three times (36 games) and other conference twice (32 games) for total of 84.

      • dbara43 - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:21 PM

        Like your divisions, but the team names have to go.

        Seattle would likely come from: Totems (old WHL), Metropolitans, Seawolves, Sockeyes, Chinooks, Steelheads.

        Portland was the Buckaroos in the old WHL, although Lumberjacks works too.

  7. dallasstars9 - Aug 1, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    Live in Portland. Would be super excited to see the NHL come to Portland. I just worry about what would happen to the WinterHawks.

  8. jonkchar - Aug 2, 2013 at 5:02 AM

    tf man. torpedoes? metropolitans!

  9. vstar1us - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    Portland Lasers , lazing the puck right to the net

  10. vstar1us - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Portland Lazer’s

  11. vstar1us - Aug 3, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    Portland Torpedoes, hell they have a Sub down at the OMNI.

    Portland Lighting, maybe the Tampa Bay Lighting will move to PDX.

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