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NHL Chatter: Expansion on the Horizon?

January 31st, 2013 at 4:51 PM
By Frank Vajcner

A popular topic around the NHL lately has been expanding the league to 32 teams. There have been rumors of the league awarding franchises to Seattle, Kansas City, Quebec City, Las Vegas, and/or a suburb of Toronto.

Right now, it sounds like Quebec City and Markham, Ontario (a northern suburb of Toronto) are the leading candidates for expansion, as CBC's Elliotte Friedman writes.

The Markham City Council recently approved funding for a 20,000 seat NHL arena to be built in the city. No time has been set for when construction will begin on the arena.

Quebec City was the former home of the Quebec City Nordiques until they moved to Colorado in 1995, and became the Avalanche. An expansion team could move into the Quebec Coliseum, the old home of the Nordiques.

Toronto would join New York City as the only cities with multiple NHL teams, though the New York Islanders will likely become the Brooklyn Islanders when they move to Brooklyn in 2015. 

Some will wonder how this will effect future realignment of the league. If two teams are added to the Eastern Conference, who gets subtracted? The first answer would be the Winnipeg Jets, obviously, but as for a second team to move to the Western Conference, the next most likely candidates would be either the Buffalo Sabres or Pittsburgh Penguins. But then again, the NHL could have other ideas for realignment (i.e. four eight team conferences).

The latter option would be better for the Detroit Red Wings as they would not have to make as many west coast trips. They would also likely get a home-and-home with all 24 other teams.

This is all in the early stages, so fans shouldn't get to excited just yet.



Tags: Detroit, Detroit Red Wings, Hockey, NHL

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