Tuesday, January 23, 2007

breaking up is hard to do.

The relocation follies continue, this time in a league that, if I had started two years ago, probably would have dominated the content of this blog. My hockey obsession kind of died when the strike hit and was then further demolished by the fact that games were only brought national via the lame telecasts on Versus, so I'm not as competent on it as I used to be. (The unbalanced schedule doesn't help -- I'm not particularly interested in watching yet another Kings-Ducks match.)

But this is more about an NHL team having to leave its home city, and it looks like that'll be the case for the Pittsburgh Penguins, as the most popular player on the team in recent memory (still waiting for the verdict on Sidney Crosby long-term) is not particularly happy with the city's plans to keep the team, and continues to look into moving them.

I've long advocated that the NHL should start contracting teams or this would happen. The league expanded too much and too soon, into markets that produce compelling hockey teams but don't really make sense as hockey markets (most of the Deep South teams.) I'm still wondering why cities in the South want hockey teams. Every time relocation discussions come up, it has to do with getting facilities a city really shouldn't have to be in the business of affording -- they've got more important things to fund with taxpayer cash.


Run Up The Score! said...

I'll personally never understand why the NHL expanded as quickly as they did. I could name the American cities that need hockey teams: Philly, New York, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, Denver, Buffalo, and St. Louis. I don't know what the attendance figures are in the other U.S. cities (and I'm certainly not going to fucking look them up), but can a legit case be made for any other cities? Dallas, maybe?

Bring back the Winnepeg Jets, that's what I say.

Signal to Noise said...

They were flush with TV money in the mid-90s and decided to open up the party to any rich man or group who could get an arena to split time. The Dallas Stars you can make a case for, I think; I've never heard of them being in trouble. The Capitals should stay in D.C. California can probably keep its teams. My concern is why they went for the Deep South. Teams there have won titles, but is there any grassroots support for them?