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Expansion to Vegas Apparently "Done Deal"


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#21 thefiestygoat

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 12:15 AM

I've been following this from afar but kept going back and forth on whether or not I thought it would happen. I don't mind Las Vegas joining the league but I wish it was the Coyotes relocating there and Seattle and Quebec given expansion teams.


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#22 mikemarc1

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 12:26 AM

Sports Business News is now reporting 4 team expansion in 2017.

 

Seattle, Las Vegas, Toronto, and Quebec City.

 

Unless its 2 teams relocating..i hate this idea. Adding Seattle and Las Vegas I don't mind..it will balance out the division. Another team in Toronto and another shot at Quebec...seems overkill to me.

 

Hope its just a rumor.


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#23 thefiestygoat

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 01:07 AM

I'm also not a fan of adding 4 expansion teams, I just don't think there is enough quality to go around. I'd be fine with 2 expansion and 2 relocations.

 

Not sure how much stock to put into this but from Howard Bloom of Sports Business News:

"NHL expansion – four teams added by 2017, Quebec City, Toronto, Seattle, and Las Vegas $1.4b in expansion fees"

 

That's a lot of money and money will always win out. Still not sure how feasible a 34 team league is though.


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#24 PuckDon't Lie

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 01:37 AM

Big gamble by the NHL here.


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#25 BlueSkirt

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 05:01 AM

I'm skeptical about expansion, and I think 34 teams is impossible !


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#26 Daniel

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 06:50 AM

I'm also not a fan of adding 4 expansion teams, I just don't think there is enough quality to go around. I'd be fine with 2 expansion and 2 relocations.

Not sure how much stock to put into this but from Howard Bloom of Sports Business News:
"NHL expansion – four teams added by 2017, Quebec City, Toronto, Seattle, and Las Vegas $1.4b in expansion fees"

That's a lot of money and money will always win out. Still not sure how feasible a 34 team league is though.


It's a bit of a paradox, but even though NHL revenue pales in comparison to the NFL, MLB and NBA, it's in a unique position where it can have 32 -34 teams, obviously because the NHL can have so many viable teams in Canada. So I don't have a huge problem with 4 extra teams except that it would throw the conference balance out of wack again.


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Edited by Daniel, 27 August 2014 - 08:49 AM.

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#27 Devils731

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 07:42 AM

It seems like most of these reports come from reporters I haven't heard from before.  I'll wait for the big guys to report it before I believe it.

 

On the speculation side, I still don't know why I'd ever give permission to a new Toronto team if I was the Maple Leafs.  There would be new revenue generated but a lot of Leafs revenue would be cannibalized, I would think.  I'm sure the league and the Leafs are doing their homework and trying to come up with whatever percentage that would be.

 

I'm not sure Vegas is a great choice either, but maybe it's a worthwhile gamble(OMG! Vegas puns! Imagine the headlines) for the league and would be a splash worth making.

 

On my not really informed level, it seems like Seattle would have a chance to make a really good hockey city.


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#28 SterioDesign

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 07:53 AM

Awesome if the Nordiques comes back. Way closer for me to go watch hockey. Well it's still 7 hours away but still closer than anywhere else


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#29 '7'

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 08:09 AM

I'm also not a fan of adding 4 expansion teams, I just don't think there is enough quality to go around. I'd be fine with 2 expansion and 2 relocations.

 

Not sure how much stock to put into this but from Howard Bloom of Sports Business News:

"NHL expansion – four teams added by 2017, Quebec City, Toronto, Seattle, and Las Vegas $1.4b in expansion fees"

 

That's a lot of money and money will always win out. Still not sure how feasible a 34 team league is though.

 

there isn't, especially with so much talent returning to staying in European leagues.

 

the league doesn't care though. It will gladly sh!t all over its own product to rake in the expansion fees.

 

Another Toronto team would be a blow to the Sabres as well who are playing in a dying city whose population declines by 10% every 10 years. You have Florida and Phoenix who both need to be moved or contracted. I'm not super bullish on the Stars or Predators future either


Edited by '7', 27 August 2014 - 08:16 AM.

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#30 Daniel

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 08:43 AM

there isn't, especially with so much talent returning to staying in European leagues.

 

the league doesn't care though. It will gladly sh!t all over its own product to rake in the expansion fees.

 

Another Toronto team would be a blow to the Sabres as well who are playing in a dying city whose population declines by 10% every 10 years. You have Florida and Phoenix who both need to be moved or contracted. I'm not super bullish on the Stars or Predators future either

 

It's possible that the population decline they talk about for Buffalo is a little misleading.  While I don't know one way or another, there's a good chance that the numbers show that it's due primarily to people moving out of Buffalo to surrounding cities and that it won't really effect the total number of fans.  Sort of like how Newark or Detroit had huge population declines, but those people basically moved about the distance of a 20 to 30 minute drive away.  I also don't think adding another team in Toronto will affect the Sabres all that much.  It's a tougher proposition for Americans to root for a Canadian team, especially an expansion team, over a local American one, and vice versa.  The Sabres have a very passionate fan base that will fill the place regularly so long as the team isn't terrible.  If they win the lottery or even get the second pick overall this year, they'll look to be a very good team in the next couple of years.  I mean if the Isles really crap the bed this year, Buffalo might end up being a dynasty.   If anything, you might see a few Canadians becoming Buffalo fans if Buffalo wins the Connor McDavid sweepstakes.   While you see a lot of empty seats at Bills games, that's more the product of a crappy stadium, very cold weather and a team that's been bad for the past 15 years.

 

I don't see Dallas going anywhere despite the bad attendance they've had recently.  Texas is too big a market even if it isn't really a hockey city.  Plus more people are actually playing the sport there, so in the long run I think they'll be okay.   While it might get a little dicey in Nashville, they have a nice following especially when the team is good. 

 

As to whether it would dilute the product too much by overexpansion, I think a good way to think about it is whether the league would be dreading a particular team in a particular market winning the Cup.  The Devils were almost there, but they won enough, and are in a big enough market that the league could live with it.  There would definitely be issues with Phoenix and perhaps Florida, especially if the Dolphins somehow become good again, and if, hypothetically, LeBron stayed in Miami.  Vegas could go either way.  If they end up being among the league elite on the ice, it might create a national buzz, but there very well could be too few locals that would care all that much.  Maybe that's something Bettman has in mind. 

 

If I had to guess, I would say that we're only going to see two expansion teams in the near future and the league is going to take a wait and see attitude with Phoenix and perhaps Florida.  The voters in Glendale are getting even more fed up with the taxpayer subsidies for the Coyotes, and I think the club and/or the city has an out after four years or something like that.  The owners in Florida have made noises about moving as well if fan interest remains stagnant.

 

I also don't see Europe as that much of an issue.  While they might snag a high profile player here or there, more often than not, players make more money in North America than in the SEL or KHL.  90-95 percent of the time, players go back to Europe because they can't hack it in the NHL.  If a two team expansion happened this past summer, you'd very likely have guys like Tedenby and Urbom remaining in North America, as well as a few players, like Bobby Sanguinetti coming back.


Edited by Daniel, 27 August 2014 - 09:51 AM.

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#31 SterioDesign

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 09:06 AM

fvck. Just realized that Quebec and Toronto will obviously be in the atlantic division. And that Tampa will join ours.... godamnit.


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#32 LOTCB

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 09:44 AM

It's possible that the population decline they talk about for Buffalo is a little misleading.  While I don't know one way or another, there's a good chance that the numbers show that it's due primarily to people moving out of Buffalo to surrounding cities and that it won't really effect the total number of fans.  Sort of like how Newark or Detroit had huge population declines, but those people basically moved about the distance of a 20 to 30 minute drive away.  I also don't think adding another team in Toronto will affect the Sabres all that much.  It's a tougher proposition for Americans to root for a Canadian team, especially an expansion team, over a local American one, and vice versa.  The Sabres have a very passionate fan base that will fill the place regularly so long as the team isn't terrible.  If they win the lottery or even get the second pick overall this year, they'll look to be a very good team in the next couple of years.  I mean if the Isles really crap the bed this year, Buffalo might end up being a dynasty.   If anything, you might see a few Canadians becoming Buffalo fans if Buffalo wins the Connor McDavid sweepstakes.   While you see a lot of empty seats at Bills games, that's more the product of a crappy stadium, very cold weather and a team that's been bad for the past 15 years.

 

 

Buffalo has and is a very strong hockey city: If you look at ratings for any NHL Playoff game, Stanley Cup, no matter what teams are involved, the Western NY area is consistently towards the top. They love hockey there. And I do agree, another team in Toronto should not terribly hurt the Sabres..they might lose some season ticket holders but that shouldn't be impossible to replace.  Toronto could use a NHL team (do the Leafs count?!)  :P

 

Yes, the exodus from Buffalo and surrounding areas is pronounced over the last several decades, but there are signs of that changing for the better. 

 

About the Sabres winning the lottery: Don't worry, Gary will ensure that does NOT happen.

 

Buffalo is on a great path: Already rich in young talent, and a ton of picks to follow (hopefully two Top 10 picks in 2015 in a stacked draft) I have never been this excited to be a Sabres fan.

 

As for a team in Vegas? Blah...selfishly, living 4 hrs by car from Vegas, it would be fun to have another place to see a NHL team. Just not sure how that would work there.

 

Seattle and Quebec to me make the most sense by a mile.


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#33 LOTCB

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 09:48 AM

there isn't, especially with so much talent returning to staying in European leagues.

 

the league doesn't care though. It will gladly sh!t all over its own product to rake in the expansion fees.

 

Another Toronto team would be a blow to the Sabres as well who are playing in a dying city whose population declines by 10% every 10 years. You have Florida and Phoenix who both need to be moved or contracted. I'm not super bullish on the Stars or Predators future either

 

 

I agree to a point on Nashville...but I see the Stars becoming a power in the West in the not too distant future...but Stars fans appear to be a little bandwagonish but maybe Im wrong.

 

Toronto has 12 Million people in its metro, they can easily support two teams. Buffalo is almost 1.5 hrs from there. Should be ok.


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Tim Murray (Buffalo Sabres GM) Quotes:  'It's Easy To Spend Money' "I’ve said at the start that if you don’t want to be here we’ll make it happen'

“We’re more competitive. We’ve got a lot of character now. We have leadership now. That’s important to me when you’re adding young players every year"

 

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#34 Satans Hockey

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 09:54 AM

I agree to a point on Nashville...but I see the Stars becoming a power in the West in the not too distant future...but Stars fans appear to be a little bandwagonish but maybe Im wrong.

Toronto has 12 Million people in its metro, they can easily support two teams. Buffalo is almost 1.5 hrs from there. Should be ok.

The problem is there is going to be too many teams if they somehow expand to 34, there would defintely be more divisional games because there's no way they are adding more games to the schedule.

Florida is a lost cause, I know the team has stunk the majority of their time there but Florida as a whole is an awful major league sports state.

I would just move Florida to Vegas and move Phoenix to Seattle and move Nashville to the Atlantic division so that there are 15 teams in each conference again and call it a day.

Then down the line if other teams like Dallas or Nashville struggle then maybe move one of them to Portland. I know Quebec City wants a team but I hate that city and their annoying fans so I hope they don't get a team.

Edited by Satans Hockey, 27 August 2014 - 09:57 AM.

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#35 NewarkDevil5

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 09:55 AM

I agree to a point on Nashville...but I see the Stars becoming a power in the West in the not too distant future...but Stars fans appear to be a little bandwagonish but maybe Im wrong.

 

Toronto has 12 Million people in its metro, they can easily support two teams. Buffalo is almost 1.5 hrs from there. Should be ok.

 

Dallas fans have always been rather bandwagonish except for the Cowboys. People love a winner though so while the Stars were winning they were popular.


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#36 Triumph

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 09:55 AM

I don't think a Las Vegas franchise is viable - I mean, it's viable in the same way that Phoenix is viable.  The league will collect the expansion fees, then pay out revenue sharing in exchange for the salary cap and floor being slightly lower.  I do think the NHL has enough talent for expansion, especially if those teams can lure back some of the guys who have gone overseas, although some reports are that there are fewer youths playing in Canada, which may ultimately impact the talent level.  I don't have many worries about the countries who are already hockey countries continuing to produce players, though, and there are some like Switzerland and Germany who could produce more in the coming years.


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#37 LOTCB

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 10:01 AM

The problem is there is going to be too many teams if they somehow expand to 34, there would defintely be more divisional games because there's no way they are adding more games to the schedule.

Florida is a lost cause, I know the team has stunk the majority of their time there but Florida as a whole is an awful major league sports state.

I would just move Florida to Vegas and move Phoenix to Seattle and move Nashville to the Atlantic division so that there are 15 teams in each conference again and call it a day.

Then down the line if other teams like Dallas or Nashville struggle then maybe move one of them to Portland. I know Quebec City wants a team but I hate that city and their annoying fans so I hope they don't get a team.

 

 

I do understand what you mean about moving franchises etc...I guess I've become sensitive to that topic given my favorite NFL team the Buffalo Bills is for sale and the thought of them moving would crush me as a sports fan so I can't want that to happen...feels like bad karma. 

 

LOL @ annoying fans...I'd say the Quebec as a province fits that pretty well haha

 

About having too many teams: I thought that when San Jose and Tampa Bay were added to the league...at first it might seem like too much but after awhile we get used to it and the talent pool will expand.


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Tim Murray (Buffalo Sabres GM) Quotes:  'It's Easy To Spend Money' "I’ve said at the start that if you don’t want to be here we’ll make it happen'

“We’re more competitive. We’ve got a lot of character now. We have leadership now. That’s important to me when you’re adding young players every year"

 

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#38 LOTCB

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 10:06 AM

I don't think a Las Vegas franchise is viable - I mean, it's viable in the same way that Phoenix is viable.  The league will collect the expansion fees, then pay out revenue sharing in exchange for the salary cap and floor being slightly lower.  I do think the NHL has enough talent for expansion, especially if those teams can lure back some of the guys who have gone overseas, although some reports are that there are fewer youths playing in Canada, which may ultimately impact the talent level.  I don't have many worries about the countries who are already hockey countries continuing to produce players, though, and there are some like Switzerland and Germany who could produce more in the coming years.

 

 

Phoenix to me can still work: They needed a better locale and just a winning consistent product to get started: Population pool in the Phoenix area is much bigger then Vegas. Consider this too about Vegas: TONS of service jobs with the casinos etc..lots of oddball hours people work there. Locals won't flock to the NHL area there...the outsiders out of town will and I am sure that is exactly what the NHL is banking on. A MAJOR risk, considering when you drive on the outskirts of Vegas you still see unfinished construction projects etc...Vegas took a major blow in 2008 and is nowhere near fully recovered.


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Tim Murray (Buffalo Sabres GM) Quotes:  'It's Easy To Spend Money' "I’ve said at the start that if you don’t want to be here we’ll make it happen'

“We’re more competitive. We’ve got a lot of character now. We have leadership now. That’s important to me when you’re adding young players every year"

 

Truly, The Anti-Regier


#39 Satans Hockey

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 10:09 AM

I do understand what you mean about moving franchises etc...I guess I've become sensitive to that topic given my favorite NFL team the Buffalo Bills is for sale and the thought of them moving would crush me as a sports fan so I can't want that to happen...feels like bad karma.

LOL @ annoying fans...I'd say the Quebec as a province fits that pretty well haha

About having too many teams: I thought that when San Jose and Tampa Bay were added to the league...at first it might seem like too much but after awhile we get used to it and the talent pool will expand.


The major difference is though people actually go to Bills games, even when they stink, plus they have a long history. Florida, Phoenix, Nashville and Dallas all have relatively short history with Dallas being the only one with any major success.

I'm not worried about the talent pool, 32 teams could easily work I just think 34 would be absurd. The NFL doesn't even have 34 teams.

All I want is balanced conferences. It was absolute bullsh!t that 8 out of 16 teams make it in the east and 8 out of 14 make it in the West.
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#40 Satans Hockey

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 10:17 AM

Phoenix to me can still work: They needed a better locale and just a winning consistent product to get started: Population pool in the Phoenix and rea is much bigger then Vegas. Consider this too about Vegas: TONS of service jobs with the casinos etc..lots of oddball hours people work there. Locals won't flock to the NHL area there...the outsiders out of town will and I am sure that is exactly what the NHL is banking on. A MAJOR risk, considering when you drive on the outskirts of Vegas you still see unfinished construction projects etc...Vegas took a major blow in 2008 and is nowhere near fully recovered.


It's a shame that arena where Phoenix use to play wasn't built for hockey from the start. I think in a proper arena downtown Phoenix they wouldn't have had as many issues but none of that matters anymore.

It's going to be interesting to see how the Islanders do in Brooklyn from an arena perspective because Phoenix originally had all the same arena issues as well. Clearly the Islanders have a bigger fan base but obstructed seats are still going to be a huge issue
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