NHL

4 Canadian cities ready for NHL expansion

With the NHL looking to expand, what other Canadian cities fit the bill? (Photo: Getty Images)
4 Canadian cities ready for NHL expansion
Jonathan Clink
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“The six Canadian franchises do so well, they pack the buildings, get great TV, great revenue streams. If you put another team up there, be it in Nova Scotia or Hamilton, it would be more of the same.” -former NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly.

The idea of bringing more NHL teams to Canada is a common topic, especially with a few struggling teams in developing markets. Regardless of relocation, hockey is a growing sport, and the NHL continues to rapidly increase its revenues in US markets. But with just seven of the 30 NHL teams located in Canada, is it time to expand north of the US? Take a look at some of the most likely Canadian cities to get the next NHL franchise.

Quebec City

Local Population: 746,000

Regional Population: 1.3 million

Corporate Head Offices: 21

After-Tax Household Income: $42,469

Arenas: Videotron Centre: Opened 2015, 18,259 capacity

Number one on this list is, of course, Quebec City. The Montreal-based communications company, Quebecor, was one of the two groups to submit a bid for expansion, along with a potential Las Vegas team. Quebecor hopes to build an expansion team in Quebec City, where they already own the operating rights to the newly built arena, the Videotron Centre. The Videotron Centre is opening this year and will seat over 18,000 spectators. Like Quebec, Las Vegas is opening their new venue that will seat 17,500 for hockey games. With two capable ownership groups submitting NHL expansion bids, who possess state of the art venues, it is a sure thing that Quebec City will play host to an NHL franchise.

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  • John Galt

    While an NHL team would probably sell out and have great fan support in any of these cities, it is always going to be an uphill battle to get an expansion team in Canada. The fact is that the tv market is fairly saturated in Canada. Most of the people who would be watching these new teams are already watching and both the NHL and the broadcasters know this. That is why the expansion push has been to new markets in the US over the past few decades. You might not like it but there isn’t much more money to be made for the league by expanding to Canada outside of a one-time expansion fee.

  • aamern79

    Halifax would be a great idea, except they need to build an arena that holds at least 16,000 to support and sustain it. If Hamilton doesn’t work out due to territorial issues by Toronto and Buffalo then the Kitchener-Waterloo area would also be a good idea considering it’s far enough away from either team.

  • Steve Schaffer

    A team in Regina and Hamilton would be great. That would mean Winnipeg would no longer be on the top of players no trade list. As a Canadian it would be awesome to see teams in all these cities.

  • christoph

    DROP that Toronto team. One enough for a city who does NOT love hockey. Steve. players WANT play in Winnipeg in front of the BEST NHL fans

    • JeTPaCC

      I was born in Winnipeg but Chevy has a hard time signing free agents to play there. They seem to enjoy playing in the warm southern weather more than in Canadian cities more often than not (their wives don’t like the cold.)

  • aamern79

    Regina would be nice, but they need an NHL arena in order to bring a team there. If it’s going to either Saskatoon or Regina, it’d be Saskatoon, because they already have an NHL ready arena. I know what you’re thinking. 15,000+ is too small right? Well, the MTS Centre holds that much and there seems to be no issue. Barclays Center in Brooklyn, I believe for hockey it’s only 14,000 for hockey. I can see Quebec City and Saskatoon getting teams in Canada because neither team would have territorial issues like Hamilton, Toronto (Markham) would.

  • aamern79

    Regina would be nice, but they need an NHL arena in order to bring a team there. If it’s going to either Saskatoon or Regina, it’d be Saskatoon, because they already have an NHL ready arena. I know what you’re thinking. 15,000+ is too small right? Well, the MTS Centre holds that much and there seems to be no issue. Barclays Center in Brooklyn, I believe for hockey it’s only 14,000 for hockey. I can see Quebec City and Saskatoon getting teams in Canada because neither team would have territorial issues like Hamilton, Toronto (Markham) would.

NHL
Jonathan Clink
@JonathanClink

Jonathan Clink is an avid hockey player who has played competitively. He is pursuing a bachelor's degree while working several jobs, including hockey officiating and directing recreational hockey leagues.

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