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NHL expansion process: Quebec wants in

Auteur: Dose
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NHL expansion process: Quebec wants in
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

It’s not surprising that the NHL might one day decide to expand its ranks.

After all, in recent years, recent expansions in Vegas and Seattle have worked well, and it’s conceivable that the recipe could be applied again.

After all, there are still markets to conquer for the NHL, and there’s money to be made.

Consider that the Golden Knights paid $500 million in expansion fees, the Kraken paid $650 million to get in… and the Senators have just been sold for $950 million. So, an NHL franchise is worth more and more.

And it’s going to keep going up.

Would you believe that today, it takes at least a billion dollars (in U.S. currency, of course) to buy a franchise? It’s a possibility.

Because there’s room in the league and it would generate revenue, we can expect to see at least two franchises, in the medium term, land in Gary Bettman’s NHL. And in fact, several cities could have a club one day.

To this list, we could add Markham, which could welcome the Senators in the event of a move (who knows if the project on LeBreton Flats will work?) and… Arizona. If the club were to move, an expansion process could help the state win back an NHL club.

But logically, it’s Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Houston and Quebec City that are in a good position to have a club via an expansion process in the next few years. There are two clubs in the West and two in the East, by the way.

Of course, the Quebec City bid will always be the talk of the town. We know that the people of the National Capital would be excellent fans, but Gary Bettman feels that Quebec City is too small a market for the NHL.

But the fact remains that, according to Kevin Dubé in two different articles(here and here), Quebec City’s interest in an executive expansion process is there for all to see.

According to the journalist’s sources, the NHL has been talking about expansion for a year now. What’s more, Gary Bettman would like the initiative to come from the markets themselves.

Salt Lake City has already done so.

Even if Quebecor is still interested in a team in Quebec City, current prices mean that the company would not necessarily invest without allies.

We also note that we learned this information in a paper published in the Journal de Québec, which belongs to Québecor.

But all’s well. In the end, we know that the Nordiques would surely have to fight Atlanta for an NHL franchise in the East in what could become a bidding war. And I imagine that Bettman has Atlanta more in his heart than Quebec City (which he doesn’t want back in the NHL).

And it’s not as if he believes in his chances. #10%

So we can expect the small Quebec City market, located in a Canada whose dollar isn’t as strong as that of its neighbors to the south, to be ignored by the NHL.

Until proven otherwise, that’s what we’ll think, anyway.

Note that Houston (sixth) and Atlanta (seventh) are in the top-10 TV markets in the United States. We know how important this is to Gary Bettman, who keeps the Coyotes on life support (among other things) for this very reason.

I’d be very surprised if those cities didn’t get a club… and Salt Lake City didn’t get the Coyotes. To be seen, in any case.

In a row

– Celebrating the Maple Leafs’ most “recent” conquest isn’t easy, since the guys who played in 1967 aren’t all in top form in 2024.

– News that has everyone talking.

– Nick Suzuki is happy to be in Toronto at the All-Star Game. [JdeM]

– With good reason.

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