Monday, July 09, 2007

No Love For Canada

It's a crying shame.
Although TSN (Canada’s version of ESPN) reported the six Canadian teams generate one-third of the 30-team NHL’s revenue, it is looking more like Kansas City has a better shot at obtaining the next NHL franchise than, say, Hamilton, Winnipeg or Quebec.

Canada’s hopes of adding another team weren’t helped when billionaire Jim Balsillie pursued Nashville and quickly began a season-ticket drive in Hamilton, where more than 14,000 season tickets were ordered. The NHL, however, wasn’t at all pleased that Balsillie didn’t show more of a willingness to keep the team in Nashville.

Balsillie now appears to be on the outside looking in with his bid, even though he reportedly made a larger offer for Nashville than William "Boots" Del Biaggio III, who has a contract to operate an NHL team at Sprint Center in Kansas City.

On the other hand, Mirtle is convinced a place like Hamilton would better serve the NHL than Kansas City.

"They could put a second team in Toronto and another one in Hamilton (less than an hour away) and they’d still sell out," Mirtle said. "In Toronto and southern Ontario, the market is underserved. There’s eight to nine million fans. People are dying to get into Maple Leafs games, and the Leafs aren’t that good of a team."

(my emphasis)
Hey, I got love for Canada. Big time love. It's the Home of Hockey AND it's the last civilized place on earth. What's not to love?

It makes no sense to not put at least one franchise back in the Holy Land of Hockey. No sense. Southern Ontario is the most logical but Winnipeg and Quebec should have teams in the NHL too.

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