Texas with two NHL teams? It’s a possibility.
According to The Athletic’s Katie Strang, citing sources, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta met within the past few weeks to discuss the idea of a franchise in Houston.
In the report, Fertitta seems 100 percent on board, but Bettman made clear that there would be no relocation of any current NHL squads. When pushed on if Houston would be a possible location should the league expand to 32 teams, the commissioner was vague.
?If Houston were to express an interest in having an NHL franchise, under the right circumstances, it’s something we might want to consider,? Bettman said to Strang.
It’s little surprise he is so careful with his words, especially given the slew of rumors of possible franchise relocation sites that seem to incessantly swirl around the NHL.
In any event, Fertitta was far more candid when speaking about the matter to Houston Business Journal in October.
“Do I want to see Toyota Center filled up 300 nights a year? Definitely,” Fertitta said to HBJ reporter Jack Witthaus. “I would put an NHL team here tomorrow (but it has to make sense).”
It would not be the first time hockey is played in Houston. Most recently, the Houston Aeros competed in the American Hockey League for 19 years before moving to Des Moines, Iowa. In most of that time, they played at the Toyota Center, where the Rockets currently play.