NHL governors discuss second team in Toronto

Another NHL team in Toronto along side the Maple Leafs?

The Globe and Mail is reporting that the NHL governors have had informal discussions on putting a second team in Toronto.From a purely business standpoint, the idea makes great sense, given that the Greater Toronto Area represents perhaps the largest hockey market in the world.

As one governor told the Globe: “Why shouldn’t we put another team in the best and biggest market in the world?”

At present, only New York and Los Angeles each have 2 NHL teams within their greater metropolitan area.

Interestingly, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment President, Richard Peddie, wasn’t against the idea.

In fact, a second team in Toronto could help the Maple Leafs, since it would mean more revenue via renting the Air Canada Centre.

Another potential concern would be the effect on the Buffalo Sabres.  However, a second team in Toronto is unlikely to hurt Sabre attendance, compared to adding a team in, say, Hamilton which is closer and could attract many fans residing in the Niagara penisula who would otherwise drive to Buffalo for a Sabres game.

In one scenario, billionaire Jim Balsillie of Research in Motion could be awarded an expansion franchise.  Balsillie has aided the financially-strapped Nashville Predators.

But a key question remains: Will a second Toronto team result from re-locating another NHL franchise, or will it involve expansion?

In my view, more than likely, it would have to mean re-locating another existing team with financial woes, since the league already has too many teams as it is.

If so, what teams are candidates to be re-located to Toronto?

Perhaps Nashville, Carolina, Phoenix, Columbus, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Florida?



93 Responses to NHL governors discuss second team in Toronto

  1. HABSSTAR says:

    How much would it just KILL the Leafs if this team were to go on to win a Stanley Cup before them?  LOL!

  2. mojo19 says:

    Minor demotion? Did you actually buy what Pierre McGuire was saying? What's more likely… Antropov got put on the double shifted fourth line with Stajan and Poni, meanwhile the new 'first line' with Blake, Mitchell and Mayers was put together and played limited minutes.


    Blake and Mitchell were doing nothing for Antropov so they were relegated to the fourth line with Mayers, got their ice time reduced and Stajan and Poni were moved up to the top line with Antropov and got double shifted. Which makes more sense? I couldn't understand why McGuire called it a demotion and looked at the line juggling in such an inverted way.

    But you are correct about Antropov being streaky, dating back to his initial 'breakout year' when he posted 45 points, and got some time on a line with Sundin and Mogilny. He would be invisible for 2 or 3 games, then he'd be a star for one game, then invisible for 2 etc.

    And hey! Is it just me or does Grabovski look exactly like Max Afinogenov out there? I think they're identical. It hit me last night when Grab was flying around one shift lost the puck, got it back at centre then wheeled back into his own end to pick up speed and tried to go through everyone. He's a very exciting player to watch.

  3. mojo19 says:

    Ya that would be brutal. You're right, I hope we don't get a 2nd team in Toronto.

  4. nordiques100 says:

    it wasnt like he or pony or stajan earned any promotions. they were passengers in the first. i thought mitchell worked his tail off last night. he does every game it seems. i dont think though he has the talent level to be anything more tahn a 3rd liner. reminds me of darren helm of detroit and we saw how effective he was in the playoffs for them. or someone like a max talbot who is a waterbug out there on the go go go.

    but whatever it was, it worked didnt it? i mean antropov responded. he certainly was floating out there in the first and not cashing in on those huge rebounds. why isnt a 6'6 forward going to the net?

    the message was heard and it worked. i didnt need pierre to tell me that. he got the business and for sure he responded.

    now, he needs to take it further. he has the talent easily to do that. he is also one of their smartest players. but he's also been taught the ways of the previous 2 regimes. he know's all about the god status players get after one good game.

    man if this guy was hungry he'd be like dominant like andreychuk was in his heyday. andy was like an immovable object in front. i think nik can be just taht. he is already a mosnter in the corners……if he feels like battling.

    grabber i think needs glasses. the poor guy cant hit the ocean. he is awesome to watch though. great speed, good playmaker. knows where to go and how to get open, works realyl hard too. but he cant seem to finish.

    hopefully he can find the net soon. the leafs need that line scoring. its hurting hagman and whomever else is on the line that day when grabs is missing good chances. like him though. doesnt take a soft stride at all.

  5. CanadianKangaroo says:

    Whatever…    put a team in Hamilton, Winnipeg, Quebec City, REGINA     or all of the above.    If you put another team in Toronto.. i dont think anyone would cheer for them.  Leafs fans dont cheer for anyone else no matter how much they suck balls on a yearly basis

  6. mojo19 says:

    The new line combo is what worked. Not some kind of motivation tactic. Antropov was never demoted. They just changed the lines up. Antropov isn't lazy like people think, he just looks that way because he's so big, where as a little guy looks like he's working so hard because he's small meanwhile he's not even half as effective. People are fooled by this. Don't know if I articulated that too well…..

  7. doanerfan says:

    According to ask.com, there are 18.6 million people living in Mexico City…not 22 mil

  8. Kramer says:

    The NHL should create an "Arctic Division" by adding teams in Alaska, the Yukon, and Northwest territories.  Also add a team in Siberia too cuz it's really close to Alaska.

    Think about it, it's cold up there anyways so it's easy to make ice and you can have outdoor games too.

  9. jayhabsjay2 says:

    It makes sense to me. Toronto needs a team!!! lol

  10. mojo19 says:

    nice try, that joke was already done in a more clever way…

  11. mojo19 says:

    No it would be too cold for outdoor games up there, plus they have no daylight in the winters so outdoor games would be out. Yellowknife is completely dark for 6 months and for another 3 months its mostly dark, then for 3 summer months its always light.

  12. mojo19 says:

    include surrounding area and tourists

  13. mojo19 says:

    This sucks!!! I took Huet in my expensive hockey pool thinking he'd win some games and he's not even playing. Khabiboulan has been made the starter by Joel Quenneville who keeps going back to him. I was pumped to see a 3-0 Hawks win tonight but frustrated to find out i was the 'Bulin wall who got the SO. RRRRRRRR

    They gotta trade Huet or play him. My hockey pool is counting on this guy winning 30 games this year.

  14. mojo19 says:

    Remember how pumped we were when the Leafs beat the Red Wings opening night? Since then Detroit has gone 4-0-1, Toronto the opposite 0-2-3

  15. Kramer says:

    I guess I didn't think of those things. I was thinking because Sarah Palin goes to hockey games in Alaska, the league can do success there cuz nobody wants to cross a sexy governor and her standing as a VP-ILF can make her a great ambassador for the game.

  16. nordiques100 says:

    more unwilling than lazy. i'd like to see him in the trenches all the time because he'd be impossible to stop without taking a penalty. he has to bear down and use his size every game. he doesnt. too much perimeter play.

    same goes for pony. the softest 6'4 player in the NHL.

  17. repetitivnegativ says:

    good point, didn't mean to overlook Nikita. my bad.

  18. simplyhabby says:

    You must live somehwere close to the 401 near Milton or Guelph I gather?

  19. mojo19 says:

    Players already don't like travelling to Edmonton, they would hate going to Sibeiria, but keep pumping out those idea's Kramer sometimes you get a good one.

  20. mojo19 says:

    I think you need to get laid Kramer

  21. Kramer says:

    That's always happening cuz i got the kavorka.

  22. Kramer says:

    If the Leafs wanna get home ice advantage in the playoffs, they gotta win tonight cuz Boston is gonna fight them hard for that home ice.  Home ice is gonna be key in the conference final.

  23. kamullia says:

    The talk about a second team is not really IN the city of Toronto but within the area that is considered the Maple Leafs present market. It could in theory be in the city itself, but I find doubtful that the Leafs would take on that possible issue and would rather agree to the team being in the area, but not within the city. Regardless, the main point is we are talking about the market, not necessarily the city, as it is implied in all the quotes I have seen on the subject.

    Financial vs. Support. I agree that if this comes to be, more than likely it would have to be through relocation and not expansion. However, what criteria you go by when relocating when you talk Financial or Fan Support. Yes, they are related, but there are quite some quirks here because one does not necessarily mean the team is primed to be moved. The issue is that some owners do not care about losing money and are willing to take the hit, at least for a while, like Chicago has done for quite some time in the past. Therefore, even on paper a financial hit, is not necessarily a candidacy for relocation. On the other hand you have Fan Support. You have franchises like New Jersey, who do not have a big financial hit, but their fan support is absolutely pitiful, and yet I do not see New Jersey’s franchise relocating once again (Rockies). And yet someone would have to relocate, right?

    The perfect would be a franchise with both, financial issues (i.e. Owner not willing to bite the bullet) and support issues (i.e. poor attendance since it’s the #1 source of revenue for almost all teams). But even when you talk attendance, how do you judge that one? Not all buildings have the same capacity, therefore what is a sold out game in one rink, is not necessarily in another. This is why I am more inclined to look at percentage of capacity when we are talking attendance, as in 93% of capacity vs. 60% of capacity. After all, the limit is the number of seats, therefore we should go by how filled up is a building, at least in my views. And when we go to that formula, many people find tons of surprises, like New Jersey being near the bottom of that list year in and year out.

    There is still some unfairness to this, because of apparently gross miscalculation by some franchises when they decided on the optimum capacity for their building. For example, Florida with 19250 capacity who has a hard time ever selling out, will have worse % numbers than a pathetic turn out to see the home NY Islanders whose capacity is of only 16234. In all truth a 15,000 turn out at both buildings will show Florida with worse numbers, but if you ask me it is absolutely pathetic that a franchise like the Islanders would be able to muster only 15,000 regardless of the building’s capacity, but somewhere we have to draw the line in the sand here.

    Bottom line is, let’s be careful when we label a franchise as a candidate to move, like Tampa Bay, who has had neither financial nor fan support issues in a while. As shocking as it can be and as blasphemous to some, the truth is that they have been supported all the way down in steamy Florida and hockey is alive and well in their market (even if not so in Sunrise).

    It is quite early in the season, but presently going by percentage of capacity in attendance, here are the latest numbers for this year’s bottom feeders:

    30. Atlanta 75.2%
    29. Florida 80.7%
    28. Los Angeles 82.0%
    27. New Jersey 82.1%
    26. Columbus 82.7%.

    Last year’s bottom 5 in attendance, listed in the same order, were Boston (30th), Florida, Columbus, New Jersey, and Chicago(26th). And the year prior, they were Chicago, St. Louis, New Jersey, Washington, and NY Islanders. Which brings the point, how long must they have a bad attendance to consider that indicator valid? Chicago and St. Louis for example, are having presently wonderful attendances, and yet New Jersey even with a brand new state of the art building can’t keep away from the bottom no matter what they do year in and year out, Stanley Cup, playoffs and whatnot.

    All I am saying is that if relocation is to be done, let us all be fair and put all franchises under scrutiny, not just the crowd’s popular punching bags of southern franchises. If they can measure up, they will stand on their own without issues, and if not…well, who said Tampa was going to work out and New Jersey be a bust (attendance-wise)? I say, no matter who it is, original 6 or not, Stanley Cups or not, Canadian franchise or not, ALL go under the microscope without a single exception, and then it can be said that there was no bias and no preference and it was done methodically by a reasonable and well thought out system and for the best overall interest of the entire league.

    And if we are not going to do it logically then let’s cut the charade, get a dart and a map of the southern part of the U.S. without false pretensions and let us be done with it, but let’s not lie about it.

  24. potirons says:

    I can't imagine both the Rangers and Islanders playing in the same arena.  The rivalry just wouldn't be the same.

    I can tell you about AC Milan and Internazionale who plays in the same stadiumand the rivalry is pretty strong… given it's not hockey though.

    but wouldn't you just love that the new relocated team wins the Stanley cup and they take up the banner in the ACC at the start of the new season against the Maple Leaf? (I guess you wouldn't like the idea if you're a Maple Leaf fan though! 😀 )

  25. mojo19 says:

    For sure Kramer. Tonight's game could be the difference for the leafs between finishing 4th or 5th in the East. Tonight's game is the most important game of the year.

  26. mojo19 says:

    Wow, New Jersey sucks. They're always in the bottom of the attendance and no one goes to their Stanley Cup parades. Get that team out of Jersey please!

  27. leafy says:

    He was a great player. Did you know Hawerchuk was the youngest player ever to reach 100 points?  His record was broken only recently by Crosby.

    That's why I laugh when I hear people knock great players for not winning the Cup.

    Perhaps the greatest example ever is Marcel Dionne.  One of my favorites while growing up.  I'm not kidding you, he was one of the greatest players who ever lived.  And no Cup.

  28. leafy says:

    Yeah tonight's game is huge. A must win, otherwise it's all over. Haha!

  29. leafy says:

    I still can't believe Detroit lost that game. But since the U.S. beat the Soviets in 1980, anything's possible I suppose.

  30. mojo19 says:

    We caught them opening night napping.

  31. mojo19 says:

    The general concensus is that Dionne is the best to have never won it.

    All time scorers –

    1. Gretzky
    2. Messier
    3. Howe
    4. Dionne
    5. Francis
    6. Yzerman
    7. Lemieux

    He's in pretty good company there!

  32. jayhabsjay2 says:

    I know, mine was pretty lame. Quite like my jokes in real life lol I'll try harder next time.

  33. Rico420 says:

    Yeah remember when Dr. McMullen was going to move the team to Nashville?

    That move would have definately been a lot better.

  34. kamullia says:

    …and yet Nashville draws a better attendance than the Devils for the past how many seasons? I only went back 3 seasons in checking, but I am sure is been going on longer than that. Now how pathetic is that?!

    The only difference here is that the Devils do not have as big loses monetarily, but in fan support Nashville still beats them. That’s a real shame.

    I agree with Mojo, the Devils following sucks. I say put them 1st on the candidates for the next team in the Toronto area and then let’s see if Brodeur and company can’t do better than a half-empty rink (let alone sell out a game) like typically happens in Joisy. And if the true following of the Devils do care, I am sure they can find the 25 houses it will take to relocate to Canada.

  35. Rico420 says:

    5 Days and 5 attempts later I can hope this posts.

    The one issue with retraction of teams is you can be damned sure the PA is going to stand in the way of it happening – 180 player jobs lost in the NHL, plus how do you compensate the owners of the franchises?

    1) Phoenix – How do you tell Wayne Gretzky who's given nearly 30 years of his life to the NHL "Thanks for showing up Wayne but we've decided to either revoke or relocate the Franchise you've thrown some life into"

    2)Carolina – Hey Peter Karmanos – you won a Lester Patrick award – built a Stanley Cup winning team and have a group of loyal player together in the locker room – but better stick to the Plymouth Whalers and keep an eye on your Compu-ware stock? Just think of this as Payback Pete for lying through the side of your mouth to the entire state of Connecticut.

    Tampa Bay – Hey Oren – new Saw movie looks pretty terrible – just like your franchise – oh and Len Barrie we realize that off ice you're a shrewd business man who would sell your own mother for a dollar – but guess what some of those dollars you invested in an NHL franchise HAHA! Just like your career bush league it's gonna be cut short – thanks for coming out.

    Florida – Ok yeah the ownership is terrible, the fan base stinks. It seems like the arena couldn't have a sellout if they had a "free bowl of soup and fifth of Vodka night" for the homeless.

    Atlanta: Spirit of Atlanta LLC – enough said – goodbye Atlanta (again) hello a Canadian city (again)

    I know the arguement of a team in Vegas is that it would be a drawing feature to the Canadians visiting Vegas – how many snowbirds spend a winter in Florida? How many go to Panthers/Lightning games? not sure but based on the fact that the Panthers seem to pull out roughly the same amount of people as the Kingston Frontenacs on any given night should say something about the state of Florida.

    Anyway – I agree a second franchise in the GTA is a great idea – and is something that is about 40 years overdue.

  36. Rico420 says:

    Seems like the K-man nailed this one on the head again – Ms. Palin dropped the puck at a St Louis game just recently..

    The guys in the fedora hats at work again?

  37. AHLoldie says:

    Leafy, I usually let your comments go because i know you don't give much thought to what you say.  This is just about the dumbest thing you've said yet.  You've pinpointed US teams as struggling, when its actually the Canadian teams that are in financial straits.  In the last year, the Canadian dollar has gone from a value of $1.38 to $0.78 against the US dollar.  That's a drop of 48% in one year.  It's true that the worldwide economy is struggling, but the league's teams are still run by their countries currencies.  Right now it would make more sense to move one of the Western Canada franchises to Toronto.  As a fellow Canadian, I hope the US never pulls back all of its subsudies, or the loonie will be down to $0.15.

  38. pensfan29 says:

    It would be weird to see the "Toronto Devils" but probably the best candidate to move to Toronto, however I think that the Florida Panthers need to be the team to go, they really have no tradition and also have a very low attendance.  Besides the future of hockey in florida is Tampa Bay…. Toronto Panthers anyone?  Also the Toronto Thrashers just sounds like a great team name…. plus they would thrash the leafs………..

    GO PENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. mojo19 says:

    Well just to stand up for part of what Leafy was saying… Yes you're right that both economies are struggling right now, that's no secret. He's just saying that the Leafs are certainly not struggling. This team earned something like $400 million (US) according to Forbes magazine last year, which was the most in the league (2nd most was I believe the NYR). So why not move a US team to Toronto since it is the biggest hockey market overall? Its very feasable that Toronto could support a 2nd team and although I don't have the numbers in front of me, I'm pretty sure its not the Western Canadian teams at the bottom but rather, the southern American teams…

  40. KingCanada says:

    If they build another arena i doubt itll be within the city of Toronto, theres just no more room!  I think itll be on the outskirts of Toronto so that fans who live farther can have better access to it. 

    I suggest Milton!!
    -PLENTY of real estate in a growing town
    -Right off the 401
    -within close proximity to several cities like Mississauga, Oakville, Brampton, Guelph, Kitcher/Waterloo, Cambridge, Burlington, Hamilton.
    -It is also close enough for fans in Toronto to access since its just a short drive down the 401.

    I dont see where else they could potentially put it without having to knock down an entire block.

    On a side note…they are building a campus for University of Toronto there which is a nice reward for a growing town.  Im not from Milton but I think it would the ideal spot.

  41. KingCanada says:

    I dont know I liked the idea of a team in Atlanta since its such a large market.  They just arent marketing the team properly and it definatly doesnt help that the team sucks and they loose all of their best players.

    Healtly gone…traded for Hossa….Hossa now gone….Kovalchuk will leave…not very encouraging for the team or its very small fanbase.

    If the team was good I have no doubt they could sell, the Atlanta market is one of the hugest in all of the states in population.

    The Nashville Tennesee team tho i agree is a complete joke, the market is not big enough and these people bleed for their college teams already…good luck stealing those fans.

  42. Radio says:

    God dammit.

    There were only about 5 possible worse replacements for that McCabe banner. BUT YOU HAD TO EFFIN GO AND PICK ONE OF THOSE 5.

    Gaborik? He is not a hockey player. He is an overpaid crash dummy who spends more time denying contract offers from the Wild than he does playing on the ice.

    Actually pick someone who can playa full season and will actually be with the same team the year after next, plz.

  43. mojo19 says:

    why would you pick a player who will "actually be with the same team the year after next"?

    Its a trade rumour site! It's supposed to be someone who is inolved in… you know – Trade Rumours! What a concept…

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