In recent days there have been rumors circulating that the NHL is considering expanding the league to include a second team in Toronto. Now, the Maple Leafs (and by the way, great point by Morgen the other day, why aren’t they the Maple Leaves?) have been in Toronto since 1917 and are an original club in the National Hockey League. No problem with adding a second team to an historic city (see the New York Jets, LA Clippers or New York Mets) but doesn’t it seem like there are some cities more deserving of having a team than giving Toronto a second one? Namely:
– Quebec lost the Nordiques after twenty-three years when they became the Colorado Avalanche in 1995.
– Winnipeg lost the Jets after twenty-four years when they became the Phoenix Coyotes in 1996.
– Hartford lost the Whalers after after twenty-five years when they became the Carolina Hurricanes in 1997.
Each of those three cities deserve to have a team returned to them, with Hartford leading that list, in my opinion. Thankfully Minneapolis was returned a team in the form of the expansion Wild in 2000 after having lost the North Stars to Dallas in 1993 after twenty-six years.
The other point worth noting is that the NHL probably isn’t really in an expanding situation anyway. Check out Trey’s (lengthy) breakdown of how the league could use contraction and relegation to make the game better.