So I was at Jenkinson's in Point Pleasant Beach tonight and saw an EMO kid drenched in sweat at one of those techno dance video game machines wearing and LA Kings Champions T-shirt. I have yet to explan why I let the loser keep his life.
Nobody was complaining about US southern expansion when Florida was selling out games, reached the SC Finals in their 2nd year, and reached the playoffs multiple times in their first 5-6 years of exhistance. A decade of brutal management has sank that hockey team, however the arena which the team is attached to, is a goldmine and the entire venture turns a profit.
Phoenix went bankrupt because their old owner linked the team to the new arena and the greater real estate holdings in Glendale which all went belly-up when the real estate bubble burst. That's on top of the ownership group reloating the team far away from its fan base in Scottsdale and Tempe versus downtown Phoenix.
Dallas became a great hockey market prior to the last 5 years when their ownership decided to use the Stars (along with the Texas Rangers) as colatteral to buy Liverpool FC along with a bunch of real estate ventures which all went belly-up. Because of this and the lack of recent on-ice success the team's become a PR nightmare in Dallas and buying the team (including 50% of the arena) is more about paying off the debt that's been transfered to the team from those real estate holdings than it is about buying a hockey team.
People always point to "southern expansion" but keenly forget Ottawa, Edmonton, and even Montreal having serious financial issues in the late 90's, Detroit in the late 70's, and Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and the Islanders in the mid-2000's. Like the three I listed above it was all due to brutal (sometimes criminal) ownership and mismanagement not only of the hockey team but also of side business ventures as well.
On-ice success + modern arena + stable ownership = team financial success nomatter where the team is. If you don't have those three for a sustained period you can only get away with it in Toronto or Manhattan where your corporate suits will always buy tickets and write them off.