With the NHL’s addition of teams in Vegas and Seattle over the past decade, it’s no secret that the NHL has an interest in expanding its competition within North America. If the league does push towards the expansion of more franchises, there are several obvious options.
These four destinations are where the NHL should expand next
The closest that the city of Houston has come to professional hockey was the Houston Aeros, a long-time AHL team that was relocated to Des Moines, Iowa, a decade ago. Houston is an ideal location for expansion due to its large and growing population, strong economy, and thriving sports culture. The city is already home to several successful professional sports teams, including the Houston Rockets and Houston Texans, and would provide a natural market for a team.
Additionally, Houston has a large number of youth hockey players and a growing interest in the sport. The addition of an NHL team would help further promote the growth of hockey in the southern United States. It would provide fans in Houston with a new and exciting entertainment option.
Atlanta has already had two chances to hold an NHL franchise and lost both of them. However, there are still several reasons why the NHL should consider expanding to Atlanta. Firstly, the city has a large and growing population with a strong interest in sports, making it an attractive market for professional teams.
Secondly, the city already has a well-established hockey culture, with several successful minor league teams and a large number of youth hockey players. Finally, the addition of an NHL team would bring diversity to the league and help further promote the growth of hockey in the southern United States.
Quebec has been clamoring for a professional franchise ever since their team left Quebec City for Denver to become the Colorado Avalanche. The NHL should expand to Quebec City due to the city’s rich hockey history and passionate fan base. Quebec City has a long tradition of supporting hockey, with a deep love for the sport and a strong desire to see a team return to the city.
Additionally, the city has a modern arena that is capable of hosting a team and is located in a region with a large population of hockey fans. The addition of a team in Quebec City would add to the league’s Canadian presence and provide a natural rivalry with the Montreal Canadiens.
Salt Lake City
It’s a little off the board, but with the first three teams filling in the Atlantic, Metro, and Central divisions, a team would be needed in the Pacific. Salt Lake City will fill a logical spot on the map and extend the reach of professional hockey to a region that direly needs another professional franchise.
Additionally, the city has a large number of youth hockey players and a growing interest in the sport. The addition of a hockey team would provide fans in the region with a new and exciting entertainment option and help to further promote the growth of hockey in the western United States.