With all the talk about what the fate of the Coyotes will be after today's hearing and the likely appeals on any decisions, I decided to put my two cents in on the argument.
With or without Jim Balsillie, the NHL will not be successful with a team in Hamilton, Ontario. This is not an attack on the dedicated hockey fans of Canada. In my honest opinion the league should add two new teams and both should be located in Canada. The problem is entirely with the location of the team.
While Hamilton itself may prove to be a great hockey market, there are greater things to consider for the NHL if it were to relocate any of its teams. The first thing to consider is the area in which Hamilton is located. Sitting to the west of Lake Ontario, Hamilton is roughly halfway between Toronto and Buffalo. Both cities currently have NHL franchises that would likely lose some of their fan base if another team is added to the region.
The other issue I have with the location is that Ontario does not need another professional hockey team. Basillie continues to attempt to point to an “underserved market” in talking about moving the Phoenix Coyotes to Hamilton, but what about Hamilton makes it underserved? As already mentioned, Hamilton is about halfway between Toronto and Buffalo. Toronto and Hamilton both have American Hockey League teams.
And in case the availability of professional teams isn’t enough, Hamilton is surrounded by Ontario Hockey League franchises. The OHL is one of the premier junior leagues and, though it isn’t the NHL, many of its top players will eventually play in the NHL.
Now, Phoenix may or may not be the right place for a team either. There isn’t much ice in Arizona. But I don’t see the need to put a third NHL team in Ontario when there are other markets that don’t have teams. Why Hamilton when there is not a single NHL team in the entire province of Newfoundland? Manitoba hasn’t had a team since the departure of the Winnipeg Jets, and Gary Bettman has left the door open for a possible return in his latest statements. Saskatchewan is without a pro franchise too.
To be clear, I am not saying these are ideal markets because I honestly don’t know. What I am saying is that Jim Balsillie is using pointless arguments in his attempts to run and end-around on the league. There are other markets in Canada that are far more underserved than Hamilton that won’t be in direct competition with other existing franchises.
I have nothing against Canada and I agree with Eklund's comments that there should be two more teams up north at least. But I cannot support one of those teams being in the Ontario province. This appears to be a great hockey market, but at what cost to other nearby franchises? How will the Montreal Canadians and their AHL affiliate in Hamilton be affected? How will the OHL be affected? These are all questions that need to be answered with serious studies that will take at least one or two years.
A CFL team failed there, why would an NHL team (that requires a whole lot more revenue) fare any differently?
Wow this blog, just like Sharks_12 = FAIL
A CFL team has never failed in Hamilton. A team failed in Ottawa but the cfl team in hamilton has been terrible for awhile now but the fans still support them. I'm sure they could handle a NHL team.
And there isn't a team in Newfoundland because no one there has any money. They all move to Alberta to work and then move back when they have made enough for their families. They could never support a CFL team let alone a NHL team.
As an American who's lived and worked in Canada and been through Hamilton many times, I think it, along with Winnipeg, would be good NHL markets. The number of AHL/OHL teams in the area doesn't matter and never has. And there would be an amazing, automatic rivalry between Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo.
Ron Joyce doesn't even believe that a team will work in Hamilton. He doesn't think Hamilton can bring in enough ticket and box sales because of the lack of corporate businesses in Hamilton. I tend to put more credence in the opinion of the guy who tried to bring a team to Hamilton once before rather than emotional fans who've never looked into the economics of the region.
great blog I am not sure the Leafs and Sabres want a team in Hamilton but I would love to see it.
I want more teams in canada but hamilton might just be a little too close to toronto and buffalo....i want to see qubec winnpeg and another in canada idk where.....get rid of florida phx hotlanta aniheim and move the canes back to hartford... my spelling sucks
I'm not sure on the market, but the Copps Coliseum is a LONG way from being an NHL arena. Does Basillie, or Hamilton, or Ontario have the millions and millions of dollars needed to get that venue up to NHL standards?
in the end you need to move a team out of a market that is losing money.
My bad, I forgot it was Ottawa that folded not Hamilton.
gah!! I hate hockeybuzz!!
why won't it post!?!
You want to give a team to the bloody Newfies???? LOL Excellent blog, lot of great points, well done.
At the end of the day I agree that if the Phoenix market is failing then the team needs to move, but again there are economics and politics involved that the fans don't always consider.
Three NHL teams will be directly affected: Toronto, Buffalo and Montreal (Hamilton is their AHL affiliate). All three would lose some money from merchandise sales, and that's where owners make money. They don't make it from ticket sales and concession markups. That's why the losing teams are always bankrupt.
If Phoenix moves, the others are going to follow... Bad news for the NHL in Nashville, Dallas, Tampa..There are American markets that are capable of supporting a franchise... Milwaukee, Seattle, Maine, Cleveland, Baltimore, Kansas City, Portland.In Canada I say Quebec City to deflect some of the hardcore Quebecois media types attention away from the Habs.
the canes are not gonna move back to hartford to play at a shopping mall when they are absolutely beloved by where they play now.