The recent problems in Nashville have brought up the whole relocation mess again, and there's a recurring theme that I keep hearing:
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"City A doesn't deserve an NHL team. If anyone deserves a team it's City B"
I mean, we aren't talking about any Human Rights issues here. Nor are we talking about the basic needs of a 21st century civilization. American and Canadian cities truly deserve things like running water, electricity, health care facilities, and either a Subway or Tim Horton's on every street corner.
But how, exactly, has a city proven that they deserve a team? Winnipeg and Quebec had teams before. Does that qualify? But they also had teams leave -- does that mean that they don't deserve a team?
How does a city prove it doesn't deserve a team? Sure, Nashville may not be drawing well -- but tell the folks who have had season tickets since Andrew Brunette scored the first Preds goal that their devotion was all for naught. Don't they deserve better? Is it their fault the corporate fat-cats won't bring their commitment "to another level"? (Yes, my next blog will indeed be about overused hockey cliches...)
Heck, even the self-proclaimed HockeyTown couldn't sell out playoff games. By some people's logic, shouldn't it be time to pack the octopi into the moving vans? How does this sound... "Starting in goal for the Saskatoon Red Wings......"
It's all so confusing....
The fact is that who gets teams and who doesn't doesn't depend on what side of various imaginary lines your city is located. It doesn't depend on where Gary Bettman had trouble getting a cab at the airport and forever holds a grudge against said city. It depends on where the NHL Board of Governors thinks a team can survive and flourish (spelled P-R-O-F-I-T). Sometimes they're correct (Denver -- who had and lost a team before -- and Dallas), and sometimes they're not (and we can all figure out this list). Unless The Amazing Kreskin suddenly needs work, mistakes are bound to happen.
I don't know the whole process, but I'd bet it's tad more involved than picking a city on a map....
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