Like I'm Telling You?
Result: huge losses and falling television ratings. After canceling the 2004-05 season, the owners entered the next year armed with control of player salaries, and the league's best players can supposedly more fully showcase their talents, thanks to new rules designed to remove player interference and speed up the game.
In an effort to build its fan base, the National Hockey League made a big push in the 1990s to expand beyond its traditional roots in Canada and the northern U.S. to cities in the deep South. Was this successful?
Although existing owners divvied up $570 million in expansion fees, the game plan failed. As the league grew from 21 teams to 30, heightened demand for players pushed up costs while TV ratings were embarrassingly low.
Who has suffered the most? Canadian hockey fans and fans of big market U.S. teams all in this effort to force feed the NHL to places where it fails. Mr. Bettman will tell you it is about "growing the game". Would it not be a better plan to put a spotlight on places where it succeeds and have a strong league? Instead of force feeding it to places that could care less?
Who does the onus of the labor disputes and a season lost to a lock-out fall upon?
Sure, something had to give with the owners losing so much money but a good commissioner would have never let it come to that and it was after Bettman's arrival and subsequent alterations that the league got in such shambles in the first place.
Also, you better take a better look at your population numbers for the Toronto area. It can also not be compared to NY because go around the streets of NY and ask 1,000 people who Sidney Crosby is- now do the same in Toronto and you will see a HUGE difference in the 2 cities. The Toronto area IS WITHOUT doubt a hockey HOTBED.
As for Vegas, we don't need to rehash that, we have been down that road a million times before-agree to disagree. I will say that Vegas would do ten times better than a PHX or NASHVILLE.