Breaking Down the Pros and Cons of the NHL’s Inevitable Expansion

August 27th, 2014 by Jonathan Willis Leave a reply »

It’s August, which means that anything approaching real news in the NHL is going to dominate the media landscape. When the story is something as explosive as a massive new wave of expansion teams, as reported by's Howard Bloom, the attention of the hockey world is assured:

The argument for and against expansion is long and complicated, with some clear benefits, some equally clear drawbacks and some outcomes that can fall in one category or the other depending on an individual’s vantage point.

What is not—and cannot be—disputed is that at some point in the not too distant future, it is going to happen.

We don’t say that because of this most recent report, which, for what it's worth, deputy commissioner Bill Daly has denied to French-language TVA Sports (h/t CBC Sports), or any other. We say it because it’s an economic slam dunk. NHL teams can command outrageous sums in exchange for their willingness to grant a new franchise; if Bloom’s dollar figures are correct, it’s a sum exceeding $300 million per team. That’s money that gets carved ...

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