With all the talk about how the owners of National Hockey League teams are hurting… what if the NHL did the unthinkable? Contracted. Yes, I am going there. Why don’t the less fortunate and teams that are always losing bunch loads of money just fold. Problem solved… right? Not quite.
There are teams that are making alot of money for their owners, and ones that are less fortunate. However, there are teams that have been around for 20 years. The Tampa Bay Lightning are celebrating their 20th Anniversary of being a hockey club… eventhough, their playing years is alittle shy of that due to a full season that was lost 8 years ago. The Florida Panthers are nearing their 20th also.
It’s not easy to just up and say to some teams… it’s over. It would not be easy to say to Florida hockey fans that one (or both) teams are going to fold. The NHL absolutely has the right to say we don’t want to be this big anymore. Will they? I really doubt it.
I do believe, for the better of the game… at some point the NHL will need to address markets that have better potential for revenue growth. The ownership of the Edmonton Oilers (who have already secured a new arena) have decided that Edmonton may not be the best place to keep the team, and have been exploring options. Some have reported Kansas City is interested, and so is Seattle. Seattle is coming off just having a meeting exploring the possibilities of the Oilers relocating there. Afterall, it makes sense as a new arena is available to any team that wants to play there.
My article tomorrow will explore which teams should be cut… or, better yet… should teams just be better and strategically placed to maximize the potential of cities that want teams, and will be able to justify an NHL team playing there for the long term.