Rodney Farva wrote:third team in a 2-team market. i would think their tv and marketing revenues must be pretty low for that kind of market. probably best to relocate, but the question is where. i'd assume best options would be in no particular order some mix of seattle, portland, cleveland, hartford or milwaukee, none of which are all that enticing (no offense to you fine connecticut folk).
Seattle's going to get a team I think, but I doubt it will be the Islanders. The NHL won't give it to them until there's a firm commitment for a new stadium. If that team was an expansion team, it would give them their dream of a "balanced" 32-team conference with 16 teams in the eastern time zone and 16 teams in the central/mountain/pacific time zones. I think that winds up biasing the NHL towards an eastern time zone city here, though putting a team from central time in the east is much more palatable to them than putting a team from the eastern time zone in the west (see: Red Wings, Detroit). Quebec has that super fancy shmancy new building ready to go so you can't count them out.
Of course there are lots of variables. The Coyotes' new stadium deal fell through, so maybe they more to the Pacific Northwest. The Hurricanes are also in play. I think Hartford would have a reasonable chance at a new team if they put shovels in the ground today for a new stadium. Having said that I don't blame them for not building a new arena on the hope and hope alone of finding it a tenant. I know the city and state believe the XL Center would be NHL-ready with $250 million of upgrades, but I don't see why you put that kind of money into a building to make it maybe the 30th/31st/32nd best arena in the league.