As September nears, so does the 2014-15 hockey season. Training camps will be opening up in three weeks or so, making hockey fans – and those of us scribes who have had a fantastic summer but are ready to get back to the rink – smile with joy.
Training-camp talk, however, is still quiet at the moment. So what hockey chatter is rearing its head again? Yep, expanding-the-league talk.
It’s not the first time this banter has hit the NHL but it seems to be loud right now. Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province wrote today, citing sources, that the NHL putting a team in Las Vegas is a “done deal.” Howard Bloom of Sports Business News tweeted that four teams (in Quebec City, Toronto, Seattle and Vegas), will be added by 2017.
That’s one hell of an expansion for a league that already has 30 teams.
[RELATED: Could there be four new NHL teams by 2017?]
Following those reports was the hang-on-a-minute reply; deputy commissioner Bill Daly told several outlets that there are no plans to expand at the moment. ESPN’s Scott Burnside wrote that there isn’t enough in place in any of those potential landing spots, including Vegas, to consider expansion so soon.
My take: is this trip, be it now or in a few years, really necessary? Yes, NHL is riding high right now, making great money and looking for the next great venture. It’s ripe for expansion. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Is there enough talent out there to fill four more teams? Doesn’t matter how many players you have out there, it will still be diluted if divided up too much. Does it make sense to add a few more teams when some established ones are still struggling financially? Am I the only one who thinks Las Vegas is overrated?
Don’t have to answer that last one.
Listen, I get it; expansion is probably going to happen eventually. The NHL wants to bring its products to more markets; and if markets can get the ownership, facilities and the cash to make it work, then you’ll see more teams in the future. Again, that doesn’t make it a great idea.
Just not believing that bigger is always better.