What teams should be where depends on what the "there" is. Are you talking about a league with several guys making a few mill a year playing in buildings with lots of luxury boxes and 17,000 seat arenas? Or teams in cities who are crazy for hockey, but can only sell 10-12,000 tickets a night, but salaries are smaller.
Given that hockey has not taken off in the US, this is what I see as the ideal, 24-team NHL.
Eastern Conference Buffalo Boston Hamilton Halifax Montreal New York New Jersey Pittsburgh Philadelphia Quebec Ottawa Toronto
Western Conference Calgary Chicago Dallas Denver Detroit Edmonton Los Angeles Minnesota Saskatoon St. Louis Vancouver Winnipeg
No better or worse than what they have now I suppose.
(edited by Grimis on 8.9.04 1656) You know, if John Kerry weren't so darn electable, the Democrats would be panicking right now. Oh wait, he isn't and they are. - James Taranto
Its not so much that some of these non traditional hockey markets are bad. San Jose does well, for example. It's that they shot themselves in the foot with poor expansion practices.
They did a better job with the last round of teams but the expansion teams are still picking from 3rd and 4th line guys at best to build their teams around. So a new city in a new market gets a shit team.
Phil Esposito talks in his autobiography about starting the Lightning and how the teams could protect all but about 2 or 3 guys. So he and Ottawa got stuck with atrocious lineups. The people wanted to see hockey but people get tired of a loser. Not only that, they're seeing a bunch of mediocre players.
The NBA did the same thing here in Vancouver. The city was rabid for the Grizzlies and supported them in the early years but how much support can you give when there is no light at the end of the tunnel?
Insensitive Funny Comment of the Week: "You don't buy prostitutes ... They're human beings! You rent them!" Artie Lange