Thursday, April 23, 2009

Toronto x 2??

The idea of Toronto being home to two NHL teams has re-surfaced today. The Globe reporting NHL deputy commish Bill Daly met with a group that would like to see another team come to the T dot O dot recently. That group says they have a package of land near Pearson International Airport that they would use for a new arena. The league confirms today Daly spoke to the group but there is no consideration to bring a second franchise to Toronto whether it be by expansion or relocation. The question I ask is why not??

If New York can have two teams and if L-A can basically have two teams with the Kings and Ducks then why can't Toronto? There is no doubt the support would be there and I don't think a team would have a drastic impact on the day to day operations of the Sabres and Leafs. There is no doubt in my mind it would work. The only question I have is why such a desire to build a new building. Copps Coliseum in Hamilton is more than adequate and really if it appeased Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, why not put the 2nd team at the Air Canada Centre. The NBA's Lakers and Clippers both play at Staples Centre and there is still room to get the Kings in so its not like this hasn't been done before.

Its obvious Gary Bettman has no desire to see the league return to Winnipeg or Quebec City. Places like Halifax and Saskatoon can only dream even though they have buildings that could be turned into NHL calibre arenas. He would rather watch teams flounder in Nashville, Miami, Tampa and of course Phoenix. At some point, Mr. Bettman will no longer be the commissioner of the league. While he has done many things good for the league, his legacy will be one of a failed vision to get this game going in the U-S. Its not too late for Mr. Bettman's legacy to change if he would abandon that vision and get the game back in places where its embraced and not considered an after-thought.

And besides, one can only imagine the uproar if Toronto's 2nd team won the Cup before the Leafs did. Oh that would be humorous.

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