More Rumors Of Arizona Coyotes Relocation Are Getting Old
In an article by David Rogers of Yardbarker.com yet more rumors of the Arizona Coyotes’ relocation and this time moving to — let’s see… oh yeah, now it’s Las Vegas. Mr. Rogers was quoting a report from TSN.ca which stated:
One NHL owner said the most likely outcome over the next few years will see the team move. Rumored landing spots are Seattle, Portland, Quebec City, Southern Ontario and Las Vegas.
But Seattle does not have an arena, and there’s little appetite among the local population to pay for a new rink. “This can’t work with private money,” the NHL team owner said. “The team acquisition cost and arena finance bill would combine to be over $800 million. It doesn’t work in Seattle with those numbers.”
The NHL team owner said Portland faces similar hurdles because billionaire Paul Allen, who owns the NBA’s Trailblazers and controls the arena there, “doesn’t care about hockey.”
As for Quebec City or Southern Ontario? “Nope. Both of those cities make the balanced conference problem worse,” said the NHL team owner, who declined to speak publicly for fear of being fined by the league. “I think it leaves us with Las Vegas as our best alternative. I could see them moving the Coyotes there when the new arena is done.”
Enough is enough…Now, I’m not sure about you, but I have heard enough talk (mostly rumors) of this city losing their NHL team. I’ve been here since they started playing here in 1995. The drama, frustrations, and financial disasters that fans have had to swallow has been endless and exhausting — to say the least. You might say the NHL has done everything except the splits (as Michael Stone appears to be doing in the main feature image for this post) to keep the Coyotes in Arizona.
Does NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman have a vested interest in keeping the franchise in Arizona? You bet. It is a large TV market, and their TV ratings have improved. Youth hockey is really booming, and next year’s number one pick in the draft may very well be home grown product Auston Matthews of Arizona.
Would I like to see Seattle, Portland or Las Vegas get an expansion team? Certainly. Southern Ontario and Quebec City are also worthy destinations. But, (and this is a big but..) the last time I checked the Western Conference has 14 teams, and the Eastern Conference has 16 teams. It does not make any sense to add any more Eastern Conference teams at this time. Making the conferences the same size should be a priority to allow the schedule maker(s) to regain their sanity, plus allowing important rivalries to take place.
Instead of relocation, how about a Vegas/Phoenix rivalry?
I am in favor of Las Vegas getting a NHL expansion team because I think it would create this awesome rivalry between the two cities. I also think this would help to increase the fan support for NHL hockey in the southwest.
Back in the day, Phoenix had a Pacific Hockey League team (’77-’79) after the WHA Roadrunner team folded. Tucson also had a team as well as five teams in California, and a team in Spokane. The Tucson team, known as the Rustlers (love that name…) hated the Phoenix Roadrunners team. I went to some of the games, and there were so many fights that a typical game took like four hours to complete in regulation time! I mean there were goalie fights, and the delays caused by breaking up fights were insane.
So, if the NHL relocates… say Arizona and Florida, one in each conference, it will accomplish nothing for alignment, and will merely delay any expansion plans. Why would the league expand if they can’t support the teams it presently has?
I’m totally pumped to see a team in Las Vegas if it happens. It would be similar to the rivalry we now experience with the L.A, Kings, whom I’m sure wouldn’t mind the rivalry with Vegas either. See, it’s a win-win situation!