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TheWizard

NHL Expansion/relocation

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The problem is even worse when we look at the bottom 4 on the list

27. Buffalo

28. Tampa Bay

29. Ottawa

30. Florida

I just want to point out that Buffalo was in the top four for average road attendance in both 2006 and 2007. Having a high scoring, winning team helps draw in fans.

Bettman can't be too happy with Nashville. They were dead last this past season.

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The problem is even worse when we look at the bottom 4 on the list

27. Buffalo

28. Tampa Bay

29. Ottawa

30. Florida

I just want to point out that Buffalo was in the top four for average road attendance in both 2006 and 2007. Having a high scoring, winning team helps draw in fans.

Bettman can't be too happy with Nashville. They were dead last this past season.

The reason why I didn't use 2006 or 2007 was because it's under the new schedule system. Playing Boston/Montreal/Toronto/Ottawa 16 times in their buildings will boost anyone's average road attendance. And Yes having a competitive team will improve attendance records. The problem is that no team can always be a fast competitive team.

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Hoyle, I understand everything you're saying BUT if all that were true with the road games and the whalers and so on....explain Columbus?

FW I wouldn't say I agree with Bettman's logic, I'm just trying to understand it.

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Hoyle, I understand everything you're saying BUT if all that were true with the road games and the whalers and so on....explain Columbus?

Largest city in Ohio, 15th largest city in the U.S. Who knew? I would have picked Cleveland and Cincinnati as being larger.

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Leipold signed a letter of intent to sell the team to the local ownership group. It's a good thing that arena lease is free, or else these guys would be simply throwing their money away.

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I forgot to list the second reason Hamilton is undesirable for Bettman.

Second Reason: Performance Markers

This came as a shock to me and may be a shock to most of the people on this board who like to use the argument "It takes time for non-traditional markets to grow".

According to the links I listed in my previous post, teams that qualify for revenue sharing, simply have to qualify to receive their pay-outs. However, starting in the 07/08 season, teams that qualify for revenue sharing are now subject to certain performance standards. The two main ones are Attendance and Growth.

1. Each qualified team must reach a certain average attendance figure.

AND

2. Each qualified team must show annual growth larger then the average growth throughout the league. Keep in mind that many large market teams like Tor/NY/MTL work off of "fixed revenue". In other words, they roughly make the same revenue each year (so very little growth or reduction occurs).

If either of these performance markers are not met, the team either receives less revenue they are entitled to by revenue sharing, or even none at all. In other words, the "it takes time" argument really does need to be addressed, because....basically, non-traditional markets do have time restraints to work within.

So where does Hamilton fit in all of this? Ever wonder why Bettman is so determined to keep the NHL schedule the way it has been for the past 2 years (very little inter-conference play and 32 divisional games)? Probably because Bettman is trying to keep less exciting franchises out of regions they just aren't popular in. Teams like the Leafs, Rangers, Wings and Habs will always record high attendance records on the road regardless of how garbage their team is.

For arguments sake let us look at Road attendance figures for 2004 (before the lockout and Bettman's schedule changes).

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/attendance?sort=away_pct&year=2004' target="_blank">http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/attendance?s...t&year=2004[/post]

If you look at the top ten teams in Road Attendance PCT(%) the rankings are as followed....

1. Detroit

2. Montreal

3. Colorado

4. Calgary

5. Vancouver

6. Chicago

7. Anaheim

8. Rangers

9. Toronto

10. New Jersey

I'll admit that there are probably a number of factors that come into play here, but for arguments sake lets generalize. Notice that out of all the teams in bold only Detroit and Toronto were serious contender in the 2004 season. The rest of the teams (Mtl/Chi/NY) all generated high attendance ratings on the road simply by name alone. Now notice that all of the teams not in bold were strong cup contenders that year and all but one are from traditional markets.

The problem is even worse when we look at the bottom 4 on the list

27. Buffalo

28. Tampa Bay

29. Ottawa

30. Florida

Two out of the four teams (Ottawa and Tampa Bay) were cup contenders. Tampa Bay finished first in their conference, yet couldn't draw people out to their road games; however the Lightening were also in a division with very pour attendance records. The same excuse can't be used for Ottawa. Despite being in a division with Montreal/Toronto/Boston (all teams that would boost the Sens road attendance numbers) the team just couldn't draw fans when they went on the road outside their division.

When the NHL relocated to Phoenix, Denver and Carolina....the NHL executives and BoG made very little stink largely because Hartford/Winnipeg/Quebec City had the same problem Ottawa does, if not worse. The demand of non-traditional hockey fans to watch their team play against the Hartford Whalers was almost non-existent....and when the Jets/Nordiques came to town, small market fans would say to themselves "Where the hell is Winnipeg/Quebec City?". So where does Hamilton fit into all of this? Well, it doesn't....it's just like Winnipeg and Quebec City. Supporters of Bettman would probably argue that Hamilton would have a low attendance on the road, which wouldn't benefit struggling markets trying to meet their performance markers to receive revenue sharing.

Does this mean Hamilton should never get a team? That all depends on whether you think Bettman's vision of the NHL's future is promising. There are many who would argue that alternative futures do exist, but they are ignored because of Gary's persistence with his own plan.

Unlike the other major professional sports leagues the NHL was originally supposed to be for smaller markets. Before the Southern Expansion we had teams in markets like Hartford, Quebec City, & Winnipeg (all small market teams). Then when Bettman started the Southern Expansion operating costs and salaries grew rapidly. Then these teams started to move to larger markets like Carolina, Colorado and Phoenix.

Gary Bettman is trying to turn the NHL into a bigger league like the NFL, MLB & NBA. And a lot of fans (especially Buffalo fans) don't like it. It is hard for smaller markets to survive in the NFL, MLB & NBA and now Bettman's making it hard for small market NHL teams to survive.

We are already in danger of losing the Bills because of the proposed labor and revenue-sharing deals (despite the fact that the Bills have one of the highest attendences in the league We have sold out every single game this season despite the fact we haven't made the playoffs in the past decade). And if the Bettman's vision of the NHL comes true and the NHL becomes as big as the NFL, MLB & NBA then we could be in danger of losing the Sabres.

(This might explain why many Buffalo fans hate Carolina)

No offense to Canes fans but I would like to see more hockey teams in traditional markets like Hartford, Quebec, Winnipeg and Hamilton.

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No offense to Canes fans but I would like to see more hockey teams in traditional markets like Hartford, Quebec, Winnipeg and Hamilton.

*checks*

Hartford, Winnipeg, and Hamilton have AHL teams, and I can't imagine there's a lack of hockey in Quebec. Small market areas get small market teams.

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According to business journal magazine, Hartford is the largest market without a pro sports team. Quebec , Winnipeg and Hartford can survive in todays NHL. They deserve nhl teams because they never should have lost them in the first place. FOR THE RECORD...... For all those foaming at the mouth to jump down my back, I didn't bring up the "H" word , someone else did :P .......I'm sorry people I know most of you love your canes but the southern expansion hasn't seem to help the league like it was supposed to

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According to business journal magazine, Hartford is the largest market without a pro sports team. Quebec , Winnipeg and Hartford can survive in todays NHL. They deserve nhl teams because they never should have lost them in the first place. FOR THE RECORD...... For all those foaming at the mouth to jump down my back, I didn't bring up the "H" word , someone else did :P .......I'm sorry people I know most of you love your canes but the southern expansion hasn't seem to help the league like it was supposed to

But it IS here in the south and most are determined to make it successful for the long term. I wish only the best of luck to those cities trying to get a franchise, and Im thankful that the powers that be deemed Raleigh a good destination for an NHL team. I think we're proving them right, even if it isn't at a pace that satisfies those in more traditional markets. Obviously Karmanos is patient here and the organization does a great job making their players and coaches all feel vital to the long term success here. It shows when players want to come here, want stay here and in several cases, want to return here. Are things perfect here? Could attendance be better? Can corporate sponsorship increase? Sure, but in Raleigh everyone working toward the same goal of long term success. Not every market (small or large) can say the same about their organization from the top down.

How can this not be good for the league over time?

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According to business journal magazine, Hartford is the largest market without a pro sports team. Quebec , Winnipeg and Hartford can survive in todays NHL. They deserve nhl teams because they never should have lost them in the first place. FOR THE RECORD...... For all those foaming at the mouth to jump down my back, I didn't bring up the "H" word , someone else did :P .......I'm sorry people I know most of you love your canes but the southern expansion hasn't seem to help the league like it was supposed to

But it IS here in the south and most are determined to make it successful for the long term. I wish only the best of luck to those cities trying to get a franchise, and Im thankful that the powers that be deemed Raleigh a good destination for an NHL team. I think we're proving them right, even if it isn't at a pace that satisfies those in more traditional markets. Obviously Karmanos is patient here and the organization does a great job making their players and coaches all feel vital to the long term success here. It shows when players want to come here, want stay here and in several cases, want to return here. Are things perfect here? Could attendance be better? Can corporate sponsorship increase? Sure, but in Raleigh everyone working toward the same goal of long term success. Not every market (small or large) can say the same about their organization from the top down.

How can this not be good for the league over time?

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No offense to Canes fans but I would like to see more hockey teams in traditional markets like Hartford, Quebec, Winnipeg and Hamilton.

*checks*

Hartford, Winnipeg, and Hamilton have AHL teams, and I can't imagine there's a lack of hockey in Quebec. Small market areas get small market teams.

Huh? But aren't the Hurricanes in a small market?

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According to business journal magazine, Hartford is the largest market without a pro sports team. Quebec , Winnipeg and Hartford can survive in todays NHL. They deserve nhl teams because they never should have lost them in the first place. FOR THE RECORD...... For all those foaming at the mouth to jump down my back, I didn't bring up the "H" word , someone else did :P .......I'm sorry people I know most of you love your canes but the southern expansion hasn't seem to help the league like it was supposed to

Sorry I disagree. Quebec City would struggle. Little corporate base to maintain the revenue needed. No arena in site and even if a team said "we will move here" no hope for an arena.

W'Peg, maybe. I have studied the proposed WInnipege business case for years and it is a crap shoot. They would have to take more revenue sharing than many teams, have a payroll at the minimal, never pay back the investment of buying a team and have the top 4 most expensive tickets in the NHL....in a city famous for frugality. If David Asper wants to dump $350M into Manitoba for the long run and his love of Manatoba, then so be it and (his Dad Izzy was a big Manatoba supporter) than good for him.

For Hartford, build a damn arena and show up to the rink witha stick instead of a promise. Hartford is stuck between Boston and NY which has always been the issue.

Could they work...maybe. But this "lets go back to 1992 before teams in the south joined" is useless banter. The city with the most hope is W'Peg and with the current dealings with Balsillie/Nashville/ownership group in Nashville has almost single-handed put them out of contention. They were hoping to pick up a team at $60M and that is not happening. If they could get a team for $120M or so, Asper may step up as a gift to Manatoba. Good for him if he does it.

Hamilton,,,yes it would be supported but that is up to MLSE (Maple Leaf sports) and not up to Bettman. And is not anti-Canadian or pro-US or Bettman hating anyone. When MLSE gets paid a huge amount, Hamilton will have a team, but not until then. (Buffalo will also get a cut of that)

I read your post and everyone knows where you stand and you are welcomed here, but that constant cry of "these cities are traditional cities and you are not" is BS. These cities did not suppoprt hockey then, did not have the revenue and did not keep up to standards. Just having supposive hockey fans for over 10 years does not make it a NHL hockey market. It takes much more and if those cities have what it takes, they will get a team. Untill then, it is just sour grapes.

Sorry for the rant but I read 10 times more Canadian sites and listen to Canadian sports radio every day and hear the same talking points from people who have never been to Raleigh or Tampa or Atlanta or actually anywhere, yet know all the answers to solve the NHLs problems which only amounts to going back to the 1989 NHL.

Welcome to the 21st Century !!!

Sorry for my ramblings

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According to business journal magazine, Hartford is the largest market without a pro sports team. Quebec , Winnipeg and Hartford can survive in todays NHL. They deserve nhl teams because they never should have lost them in the first place. FOR THE RECORD...... For all those foaming at the mouth to jump down my back, I didn't bring up the "H" word , someone else did :P .......I'm sorry people I know most of you love your canes but the southern expansion hasn't seem to help the league like it was supposed to

Sorry I disagree. Quebec City would struggle. Little corporate base to maintain the revenue needed. No arena in site and even if a team said "we will move here" no hope for an arena.

W'Peg, maybe. I have studied the proposed WInnipege business case for years and it is a crap shoot. They would have to take more revenue sharing than many teams, have a payroll at the minimal, never pay back the investment of buying a team and have the top 4 most expensive tickets in the NHL....in a city famous for frugality. If David Asper wants to dump $350M into Manitoba for the long run and his love of Manatoba, then so be it and (his Dad Izzy was a big Manatoba supporter) than good for him.

For Hartford, build a damn arena and show up to the rink witha stick instead of a promise. Hartford is stuck between Boston and NY which has always been the issue.

Could they work...maybe. But this "lets go back to 1992 before teams in the south joined" is useless banter. The city with the most hope is W'Peg and with the current dealings with Balsillie/Nashville/ownership group in Nashville has almost single-handed put them out of contention. They were hoping to pick up a team at $60M and that is not happening. If they could get a team for $120M or so, Asper may step up as a gift to Manatoba. Good for him if he does it.

Hamilton,,,yes it would be supported but that is up to MLSE (Maple Leaf sports) and not up to Bettman. And is not anti-Canadian or pro-US or Bettman hating anyone. When MLSE gets paid a huge amount, Hamilton will have a team, but not until then. (Buffalo will also get a cut of that)

I read your post and everyone knows where you stand and you are welcomed here, but that constant cry of "these cities are traditional cities and you are not" is BS. These cities did not suppoprt hockey then, did not have the revenue and did not keep up to standards. Just having supposive hockey fans for over 10 years does not make it a NHL hockey market. It takes much more and if those cities have what it takes, they will get a team. Untill then, it is just sour grapes.

Sorry for the rant but I read 10 times more Canadian sites and listen to Canadian sports radio every day and hear the same talking points from people who have never been to Raleigh or Tampa or Atlanta or actually anywhere, yet know all the answers to solve the NHLs problems which only amounts to going back to the 1989 NHL.

Welcome to the 21st Century !!!

Sorry for my ramblings

Wow, I guess you told me but I'm glad I am welcome here...thank you. I'm sorry but there are traditional markets and non-traditional markets. Unless you really believe Nashville is just as much of a hockey hot bed as Montreal. Also, just because a city lost its team doesn't mean it wasn't supported. Quebec always had good crowds. Hartford and Winnipeg had good and not so good crowds at times, just like many teams with records like the whale and the jets had. If you read my posts like you have said then you would also know that I said myself that Hartford isn't ready for another NHL team yet and may never be. If you read my posts you would also know that I'm not "all" anti-south. I understand that Tampa has a very good following as does Carolina but like I have said before , the canes have had great success in a very short period of time. I question what would have been if they continued on the whalers success rate or what will be when the team begins to slide. Atlanta and Nashville have shown me nothing , for teams with very good records the support was not there. Take those same teams with the same records and place them in the cities in question and the support would be a different story. You mention how many canadians haven't been to the southern cities and basically then have no right to say anything. So then , how many games did you go to in Hartford or to see the nordiques play or the jets?

So, no I'm not anti-south....I am anti-Bettman for rushing expansion into this league, for attempting to make this league something it can't be and by attempting so he has ruined the integrity of the game. Also, thank you , for welcoming me to the 21st century but hockey was much better off in the 20th century. You may call my posts "crying" or "banter" but I know its the truth. What I would like to know is how so many can now be against teams in Quebec,Winnipeg or Hartford but then would place a team in Vegas or KC at a drop of a hat. That is why the NHL is in the state it is....a mess. Like I have said before, the NHL has become a joke because of that type of thinking. Bigger nets is not the answer, moving to KC or Vegas is not the answer, versus is not the answer. If I had all the answers I wouldn't be here , so I won't pretend I do like some others but Bettman has brought this game down the wrong road. Change for the sake of change is just stupid, there is something to be said for traditions, something Bettman has no consideration for.

It's time to make every effort to save the teams that are here now but if they can't then place them where hockey is wanted but not in a city where you hope it will catch on or just because they have a shiny new arena. But anyway, I'm just a whiny, complaining, old bitter whaler fan for the past 32 years ....what the hell do I know

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Hamilton,,,yes it would be supported but that is up to MLSE (Maple Leaf sports) and not up to Bettman. And is not anti-Canadian or pro-US or Bettman hating anyone. When MLSE gets paid a huge amount, Hamilton will have a team, but not until then. (Buffalo will also get a cut of that)

I read your post and everyone knows where you stand and you are welcomed here, but that constant cry of "these cities are traditional cities and you are not" is BS. These cities did not support hockey then, did not have the revenue and did not keep up to standards. Just having supposive hockey fans for over 10 years does not make it a NHL hockey market. It takes much more and if those cities have what it takes, they will get a team. Untill then, it is just sour grapes.

I politely suggest you research more on this topic.

I'm not a huge Hartford sympathizer myself, but to attack them the way you did is a little ironic. The Whalers averaged a higher attendance during its final year in Hartford then the first 4 years in Carolina. You could use the "non-traditional market" argument in your defense, but you've asked us to step outside that banter for a moment.....And when we do, simple numbers show that it took half a decade for the Hurricanes to meet par with the success the franchise had in Hartford.

Winnipeg had very good attendance and was always selling close to capacity(except for the last year, because fans were forewarned that the team was leaving at the end of the season). The problem was Bettman demanded a new building built for the Jets and Manitoba/Winnipeg didn't have the funds. Jets fans even rallied together, trying to build up enough donations and sponsorship donations to keep the team. In the end it wasn't enough and the donations were given to charities. The key thing here is to understand why Bettman was demanding a new arena for the Jets. The southern expansion and corporate transition of the NHL was happening so fast, that cost of running a franchise blew up in everyone's face. Coupled by a very weak Canadian dollar and the dilution of top tier talent across a rapidly expanding league, teams like Quebec City and Winnipeg just weren't good locations anymore, no matter how much the fans showed up.

Whether these cities could support a team today is debatable. However in the case of Quebec City, you shouldn't ride them off so easily. When you look at the corporate sector of Quebec City alone, it's very easy to come to the conclusion you have. However, it is very important to understand the uniqueness of Quebec itself. The Province of Quebec is literally a nation within a larger nation (Canada). It is true that the Montreal/Toronto rivalry carries a certain image of English Canada VS French Canada, but in certain respects Montreal is just as much an English Canada team as Toronto is. The old Montreal/Quebec City rivalry carried a certain image of French Purest Quebeqois VS Non-Purest Quebecqois (you could simplify this rivalry as being Separatists VS non-Separatist). It is hard to gauge Quebec Separatism today, but my point is that a team in Quebec City would attract not only corporate sponsorship in Quebec City itself, but across the entire province, excluding most of Montreal. At least that's my opinion. A team in Quebec City would be more then just a hockey team, it would carry a certain Quebec identity with it attracting corporations in a way very unique then most teams in the NHL.

Sorry for the rant but I read 10 times more Canadian sites and listen to Canadian sports radio every day and hear the same talking points from people who have never been to Raleigh or Tampa or Atlanta or actually anywhere, yet know all the answers to solve the NHLs problems which only amounts to going back to the 1989 NHL.

Welcome to the 21st Century !!!

Sorry for my ramblings

People reference the early 90s because that was the healthiest time in NHL's history. You would be correct to say that Bettman is not Anti-Canadian (at least I hope he's not), but he is against anything that stands in opposition to his own plans for the NHL. I keep getting the impression that Bettman wants to go down in history as the man who brought professional hockey to national status, much like David Stern did with the NBA.

Bettman loves to reference Carolina, Tampa Bay, Dallas, and possibly now Anaheim (ironically all teams that have won the cup) as success stories and proof that the NHL is growing in markets that once knew very little of the sport. This is largely because the relocation and expansion of these franchises were all HIS ideas. In other words, the more teams like the Hurricanes grow, the more Bettman looks like a hero and can take credit. Even though Buffalo was not introduced to the league by Bettman, his aggressive seizure of the club and sale to Golisano makes Buffalo just as much a success story by Gary. This may sound like a very juvenile argument, but take a moment to think this through. Bettman speaks very little of the recent "turn around" made by small market Canadian franchises like Calgary and Edmonton. If questioned he may elude to their recent success, and accredit it to "his" new CBA, but he'll never admit that the strength of the Canadian dollar and market has made Canada a very desirable direction for the NHL (unlike in the 90s). You also won't see Bettman give a whole lot of attention to the Minnesota Wild, despite holding the record of strongest attendance for an expansion team in it's freshman year. Here's a team that should be the poster image for all expansion teams to emulate, but very rarely acknowledged at all by the man in charge of growing the league. This shouldn't come as a surprise though. After all, he was the very same man who took the North Stars out of the St Paul/Minneapolis area. Acknowledging the sure fire success of Minnesota would be simultaneously acknowledging his own mistake of removing the team in the first place.

This argument falls on Hamilton as well. MLSE may not approve of a team in Hamilton, but I do believe Bettman is just as much against it. If Hamilton were to receive a team, and become the sure fire success that many GMs, players, and owners seem to agree on......Bettman would never be able to claim it as his own success story. In fact, a successful Hamilton franchise would become the focal point of all arguments against the direction Bettman has been taking the league for the past decade. It would more or less symbolically represent living proof of the Bettman "anti-thesis".

That's my opinion.

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