August 1, 2013

Why does the NHL want to expand?

by Dan Bilicki In: Ice Hockey

Just when you thought the NHL couldn’t make another idiotic move in the middle of the summer – you know, its off-season – here comes word that the worst commissioner in sports, Gary Bettman is looking to expand the league.

Hey Gary, didn’t you just have a half-season because of a lockout that was mainly because you said the league was losing money? Now you’re trying to place another team out there instead of moving one of the financially unfeasible clubs? Makes sense to me!

Bettman has said that he would want a potential club in Seattle to start playing in the 2014-15 season. Yes, that’s the season after this coming one.

Does the league not realize that teams like Phoenix – err, Arizona – Dallas, Florida, Tampa Bay and Carolina aren’t exactly doing so hot? These are all clubs that could make a lot of money by moving to places that hockey teams could thrive in. Ticket sales and local interest in those areas aren’t growing, they are waning as the years go by.

If Bettman wants to grow the game that he supposedly loves, he has to know when to cut his losses.

For the record, I think that Seattle would be a good place for an ice hockey team. There’s an arena there to tide over a team until a new facility is built. There are also a number of wealthy potential owners thanks to thriving local businesses like Starbucks and Microsoft. I wouldn’t put Seattle ahead of a place like Quebec City or even Hamilton for a team, but it’s definitely up there.

So while I’m for a potential NHL team in Seattle – and I hope they would wear a Sonics-style green and yellow get-up – an expansion team is just idiotic.

Nobody ever wants a league with an uneven amount of teams. It causes logistic problems with divisions and schedules as well. It’s not as bad as a football league having nine teams – because that would be the dumbest idea ever – but it’s always kind of cool to have every team playing on the same day. It’s always smarter to expand by two teams, like baseball has always done.

Can’t Gary Bettman get anything right? How does this guy even have a job still?

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