Trending Topics is a column that looks at the week in hockey, occasionally according to Twitter. If you're only going to comment to say how stupid Twitter is, why not just go have a good cry for the slow, sad death of your dear internet instead?
Earlier this week there was considerable hullabaloo about the potential for a new arena being built in Markham, Ontario, with the idea behind such a project obviously being that it could be used to lure an NHL franchise.
And, unlike whatever is being planned in Quebec City, it seems that most involved with the potential second rink in the Greater Toronto Area aren't setting their sights on prying some struggling franchise from a dying Southern market; but rather on the prospect of getting an expansion team in the next three or four years.
Paul Kelly, who used to run the NHLPA, said as much, noting that the "most likely" places where those teams would be located were Toronto or thereabouts, and Quebec City.
Much furor followed because of that whole Canadian masturbatory fantasy about luring Our Game back to its motherland. Make It Seven, Eight, Nine and all that. And indeed, expansion seems really very inevitable, despite the NHL's insistence that no such plan is in place (all the spin from the lockout showed just how much you can trust a word anyone at league office says about anything at any time -- that is, not at all).
The NHL appears to be dead set on realignment so that there are 30 teams playing in four conferences, which obviously makes very little mathematical sense, so bumping the number of teams up to 32 is a pretty handy way to sort all that out in relatively short order. It also makes a lot of sense to have those teams be located in markets that are known to support hockey rather than travailing into, say, Seattle or Kansas City, where the ability to maintain a fanbase beyond any initial curiosity residents might have is a lot less certain.
But two things in this plan appear to be pretty stupid, or at least shortsighted.Read More »from Expansion seems like a very bad idea, unless you’re the NHL (Trending Topics)