There has been some talk about a possible NHL expansion in a couple years and Gary Bettman finally opened up to talk about the possibility. In fact, why wouldn’t Bettman expand in Canada? Clearly Canadians are passionate about the sport and can definitely support a few more NHL teams. The financial future of the NHL is in Canada rather then the USA and the new multi-billion dollar television deal with Rogers definitely supports that. The new broadcasting deal along with the arena-in-progress adds to the strong belief that Quebec is in line for NHL expansion team within the near future. However because of concerns about attracting big sponsors that American cities can offer, Seattle seems like a likely destination for an expansion team as well. Seattle has also been linked to an ownership group that includes former NHL star Jeremy Roenick. It’s believed, however, that if the NHL grows by two teams, the pair will include markets on both sides of the border.
Personally, while I don’t think Seattle would be a bad choice, I believe Canada deserves a chance at getting as many teams as possible. Canada is hockey’s most popular sport by far and the fans deserve more NHL teams. Just look at the success of the Winnipeg Jets compared to other recently added teams. There’s no reason to think that Quebec or another Toronto team could thrive just as the Jets have. Jets owner Mark Chipman has even said he has “no doubt” that Quebec could mirror his team’s success. Ultimately, Quebec City promises to provide a financially strong business plan, mirroring the Winnipeg Jets and will likely get a team within the near future. However it is unclear if any other Canadian cities will call an NHL team home. What do you think? Do you think the NHL should avoid expanding into USA and add more Canadian teams?