If the NHL Believed in Winnipeg, They’d Already Have a Team

March 18th, 2010 by Steve Thompson Leave a reply »
Since the end of the Jim Balsillie-Hamilton episode, the story of Canada's quest to get another NHL team/NHL franchise relocation has entered a new phase.

Far from being anti-Canadian/anti-small market, Commissioner Gary Bettman has been urging those NHL cities who were "wronged" in the 1990s when they lost their teams to build new arenas and find investors so that they can be readmitted to the league.

A report last year stating that nearly one-third of the NHL's revenues was coming from the great white north has changed the NHL's attitude to Canadian and northern United States expansion.

Accordingly, last year Bettman met with the mayors of "lost franchises"—Hartford and Quebec—about bringing back the Whalers and Nordiques.

In both cities there has been some public ground swell in favor of reclaiming their teams.

In Hartford, the mayor told Bettman he wanted to get the Whalers back within five years and was willing to consider building an NHL-size arena as part of a downtown revitalization project.

But shortly after he was arrested on bribery charges.  Talk died away.

In Quebec, th ...

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