In December, the NHL Board of Governors will vote on whether or not Seattle, Washington will be home to the league’s 32nd team.
With a Seattle expansion and the NHL expanding into Las Vegas a few years back, you can see that the league is looking to grow and grow. I doubt that Seattle will be the last expansion team. Gary Bettman is looking to grow the league and make more revenue. The only way to do is to expand and there are a lot of markets across North America that would be a solid fit for an NHL team. In this post, I will look at a city that might be a good fit for expansion.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
If I were in Gary Bettman’s shoes, I would explore adding a team in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Halifax is a city that hasn’t been brought up in rumors, but it should be. The city is home to the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). Plus, there are elite NHLers from the Province of Nova Scotia including Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins, Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche.
Per Wikipedia.com, Nova Scotia has approximately 960,000 residents. While the population might be small in comparison to Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Ottawa and Calgary, the NHL could still generate a decent amount of revenue in Nova Scotia. Plus, they wouldn’t have to build a brand new arena. Instead, they could potentially renovate the Scotiabank Centre, which is the home of Mooseheads. The building was opened in 1978 and can currently seat 10,595. At this moment in time, the Scotiabank Centre would be very small, but with a renovation they couldn’t potential add another 5,000 seats. If they added another 5,000 seats, they would have around the same capacity as the Bell MTS Place (home of the Winnipeg Jets) and the Barclays Center (home of the New York Islanders).
Or the Provincial Government of Nova Scotia and Halifax’s City Hall could work conjunction with the potential owners of the Halifax expansion team on building a brand new arena in Halifax to be the home of the squad. Unfortunately, in that scenario, the costs would be much higher. They are better off looking at a potential renovation of Scotiabank Centre.
In terms of other owners and the NHL Board of Governors, I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t sign off on an expansion into Halifax. The nearest NHL teams to Halifax are the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens. Both cities are a 10 plus hour drive from downtown Halifax, so neither the Bruins or the Habs owner can truly make an argument that an expansion team in Halifax would hurt their teams that much.
Perhaps, there will be an NHL team in Halifax one day. At this point, it’s just a dream, but who knows what is in store.
research from wikipedia.com