I would rather see the team go North. I wouldnt mind seeing a team in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire area. The yotes have always called me for some reason. They are on my top 5 teams in the NHL. Not really sure why though.
Vermont is definitely out. Not enough people in Burlington or anywhere else in the state to support a team.
The only logical place I can think to put a team in New Hampshire is Manchester, and they're close enough to Boston that the Bruins would block it. Manchester does a good enough job of supporting UNH hockey and the AHL's Monarchs (Kings affiliate), but I don't know if there's enough people there to sustain a NHL franchise, even considering that you'd draw from all over NH, southern Maine, and probably northern Massachusetts. Besides, the Verizon Wireless Arena seats just under 10,000 for hockey and I don't know how expandable it is. It's also too young to be replaced; it opened 10 years ago yesterday (according to Wikipedia).
Maine is also out. Portland's probably the best place to put a team (as they host the AHL's Pirates), and, well, forget about it. They're very resistant to change in Maine, especially if their tax money pays for said change; in the election last week the voters of Cumberland County finally approved bonds for renovation of their aging arena (built in the late '70s, holds about 6700 for hockey), and even that was a surprise. The only way you'd get an arena suitable for the NHL is if someone came in and funded the entire project themselves. Also, Portland might be far enough away from Boston that the Bruins wouldn't object (but don't count on it), but the population is too small for a team anyway.
If you were going to put a second team in New England with the Bruins' approval, I would go with (in order):
- either Boston itself or Worcester
All pending new or upgraded arenas, of course.