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https://theathletic.com/156862/2017/11/15/sources-nhl-rockets-owner-meet-talk-nhls-viability-houston/

After @IPv6Freely pointed out the lack of NHL talk (correctly so mind you), figured the should get a little response ha. Will be interesting to see if anything comes of this. We've heard of Seattle, WA and Quebec City, QC over the years so who knows...

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Howdy,

I'd like to see an expansion team in Quebec.  I have no particular justification, I just think it would be cool.

Mark

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47 minutes ago, chippa13 said:

Houston is the 8th largest market in the US. It makes sense to at least explore the idea of putting a team there.

I agree. And with Houston becoming more of transient city, chances are you'll have more people who'd attend a game of hockey.

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1 hour ago, marka said:

Howdy,

I'd like to see an expansion team in Quebec.  I have no particular justification, I just think it would be cool.

Mark

As much as many would like Quebec City, I don't see it as option 1 in the NHL's grand scheme. The NHL is looking for growth and engaging new fans and a new "non-traditional" market gives that to the league more than returning to Quebec.

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Howdy,

59 minutes ago, chippa13 said:

As much as many would like Quebec City, I don't see it as option 1 in the NHL's grand scheme. The NHL is looking for growth and engaging new fans and a new "non-traditional" market gives that to the league more than returning to Quebec.

C'mon man.  Its Canada.  They don't have a lot else.

:-)


Mark

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If they move Panthers from Miami to Houston, that will be an instant boost in attendance. I am pretty sure they can get an arenaful in Houston. I would not want though another expansion team.   

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1 hour ago, Kgbeast said:

If they move Panthers from Miami to Houston, that will be an instant boost in attendance. I am pretty sure they can get an arenaful in Houston. I would not want though another expansion team.   

I would definitely support this. 

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Houston is a growing city. It is much different now from when I used to work there in the early 2000's. I definitely think they could support an NHL team. However, I don't think expansion is the answer. I agree with the posters above, move a current [failing] team into that city.

I'd suggest Arizona, but it still dumbfounds me how that organization can't get their act together. Phoenix is a large city with plenty of transplants from up north who are hockey fans. They need to add some flashy stars (a la McDavid, Kane, Crosby, etc.) and a do-over on their brand.

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26 minutes ago, FlyChicaga said:

Houston is a growing city. It is much different now from when I used to work there in the early 2000's. I definitely think they could support an NHL team. However, I don't think expansion is the answer. I agree with the posters above, move a current [failing] team into that city.

I'd suggest Arizona, but it still dumbfounds me how that organization can't get their act together. Phoenix is a large city with plenty of transplants from up north who are hockey fans. They need to add some flashy stars (a la McDavid, Kane, Crosby, etc.) and a do-over on their brand.

If the team was in Phoenix it would probably be doing a bit better at least.

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The weird thing with the Panthers is that although they aren't downtown Miami or Ft. Lauderdale, the arena is very easy to get to. If they could just string some strong seasons together and keep a recognizable core then I think they could thrive.

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On 11/19/2017 at 4:35 PM, IPv6Freely said:

If the team was in Phoenix it would probably be doing a bit better at least.

Agree, that's what I was getting at, just wasn't clear with my post.

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I'm certainly biased given that I live in Houston but if Dallas can support a team than I can't imagine Houston not being able to do the same, if not better, because of its size and diversity.  Would it be as big as Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, etc?  Probably not but if Columbus, OH can support a team at a fraction of Houston's population than... well... you get my point.  Houston also seems to be becoming more of a "sports" city given the recent success and popularity of it's existing pro teams (Astros, Rockets, Texans). 

I moved to Houston from Chicago a little over 6 years ago and was shocked to find several different ice rinks (I play hockey at 4 of them) with good hockey programs for all ages and skill levels.  

Cheers! :)    

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It seems like Houston will eventually get a team, and it would make sense to consider it after the Seattle expansion (assuming that goes according to plan, barring essentially an act of god). It appears that part of the thinking from Bettman and the Board is to foster regional rivalries, so a Houston/Dallas rivalry would make sense....because right now Dallas seems a bit orphaned. 

The real question with a Houston team is whether they're going to keep this trend of adding one city at a time, or if they'll want to bring in new teams in pairs. The Board seems to be really concerned with geographical alignment and getting more teams in the West, and eventually I'd imagine they'll want to bump Nashville into the Eastern Conference (also for a rivalry pairing with Carolina)....but to accomplish that in a clean manner you need two more teams out West. I'd like to see the Nordiques come back to Quebec City, see Hartford get the Whalers back, and there's talk of a team out of Hamilton/London....but if this pattern of thinking with expansion in current times continues, unfortunately it doesn't bode well for cities east of the Mississippi to get new franchises anytime soon.

The larger the league gets, the more weighted the concerns will be for sound and regional divisional alignment. Obviously there's many factors to consider with expansion, including the watering down effect with the talent pool (maybe someone has a better read on that?) and scheduling. It seems that once the league starts to consider more than 32 teams, they're going to be faced with the decision of rotating playing the divisions in the other conference due to travel concerns and obviously the finite number of games. So if your the Vancouver Canuks, you won't see the 8 or 9 teams in the Metropolitan one year (home and away -- guessing they'd pair inter conference play), and then you won't see the Atlantic division the following year. In a way that would be a blessing in disguise because it emphasizes divisional and conference match-ups and opens up a plethora of new opportunities. If I'm a Seattle fan, I want to beat up on Vancouver 5-6 times per year opposed to the current 4....because, well, it's more fun to wage war with a cross-border rival! :)

So that said, I'd be shocked if Houston didn't get a team within the next decade. I'd expect the timeline to be closer to 5 years. Anyone want to throw a shape at this?

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I'd be surprised if the league went past the original 32. One of the goals of the current playoff format is to keep as many teams as relevant as it can for as long as possible. 

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7 hours ago, chippa13 said:

I'd be surprised if the league went past the original 32. One of the goals of the current playoff format is to keep as many teams as relevant as it can for as long as possible. 

With 32 teams, 16 of them are making the playoffs if I'm understanding your point. As I understand it, that presents the highest playoff "opportunity" out of the four major sports, I know it definitely is over the NFL and MLB formats, I haven't followed pro hoop the last couple decades. Stability of franchises also factors in, which I didn't really consider earlier, as we could be running into situations where teams like AZ relocate to places like Houston if things go south in the current locations. I can't recall where I read this, it may have been another forum or an article, but someone pointed out that the NHL does blanket two countries, opposed to a 32 team NFL that's in US-only markets....when I read that, it was one of those forehead-slapping "duh" moments, one of those obvious things that hides in plain sight. So if we get really crazy and speculate an NHL of 40 teams with the addition of two of those being Canada-based (let's say Quebec and Hamilton or Saskatchewan), the league is still inhabiting only 32 US markets in that scenario. I'm guessing at that point we may be looking at 8 5-team divisions to further regionalize, and possibly a retooling of the playoff format, but I'm getting a bit above my understanding of the viability of that as maybe maintaining the larger divisions makes more sense due to tradition, maintaining certain rivalries, etc. I don't think an NHL of 36 or even 40 teams is out of the realm of possibility, especially if the sport keeps tapping into new fan bases....and some of that speculation is certainly driven in part by the Commish and the Board, who seem to be on their decision-making A-game as the sport is riding a wave of increased fan interest (for all I know that's a dangerous statement and there's Bettman haters out there). But I can plead ignorance, as I'm one of those new fans. I'm quickly understanding it's a different fan experience from baseball, which I've been attending regularly since the late 70s. So some hockey nuances are definitely lost on me, as I'm learning....but as a newer fan, this I know -- the product the NHL puts on the rink is by far superior to football and hoops in terms of thrill and intensity. I won't try comparisons to baseball, as they're just way too different. But my observation is that hockey seems to be riding a crest, and teams beyond 32 seem possible and viable if we consider how they blanket markets in two countries.

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