On Monday, a report surfaced, revealing that if the NHL does decide to relocate one of its franchises to Winnipeg, that team would be called the Moose, not the Jets, as the city’s NHL team was once named.
While it’s not certain whether the NHL will return to Winnipeg in the near future, one thing seems to be more likely — the NHL will move at least one of its franchises sooner or later.
Teams like the Phoenix Coyotes and Atlanta Thrashers continue to struggle to draw crowds as they play before less-than-full arenas in nontraditional hockey markets.
The thought of relocation brings speculation as to where a relocated franchise may end up. Usually, a few Canadian cities are mentioned at the forefront of the discussion.
One of those cities is Winnipeg. When the Jets left town for Phoenix in the ’90s, it wasn’t a popular decision for the citizens of Winnipeg. Another displaced NHL city also comes up — Quebec City. Like Winnipeg, Quebec City lost a franchise to the western US in the ’90s, when the Nordiques became the Colorado Avalanche. Among other Canadian relocation candidates are Hamilton (a city currently housing the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs), while bringing another team to Toronto is also a popular idea among some hockey people.
However, the relocation conversation isn’t one primarily exclusive to Canadian cities. Here in America, cities like Houston, Portland, Kansas City and Seattle have all been mentioned as potential possibilities.
When it comes to relocation, it doesn’t sound like a matter of “if,” but a matter of “when.” After that, the question turns to “where?”
(Being that we’re in New England, we’ll leave Hartford out of the race. We already know how badly everyone wants the Whalers back.)
Which city would you like to see the NHL relocate a franchise to? Share your thoughts below.
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