NHL Expanding by four teams?!? Maybe, apparently.

Steve Dangle
August 27 2014 08:17AM

I knew something was up when we recorded a new podcast last night and there was no major NHL news to report. Usually when that happens something goes kablooey the second we upload it. Low and behold, apparently the NHL is close to expanding by four teams, including another one in Toronto, by 2017.

This is one of the main tweets that has sent everyone into a tizzy:

Now I had no idea who Howard Bloom was before this tweet. I gave him a quick follow, as I'm sure hundreds of others did last night and this morning. It's a nice little boost for his follower count whether it's true or not, but to be wrong about this sort of thing or to make this sort of thing up would be credibility suicide. I'll reserve judgement for now. In the meantime, if you know of this guy's work please leave a comment in the comment section.

Whether this report is true or not it brings up some key expansion questions.

Can the NHL's talent pool support 34 teams? Twitter reaction seems to suggest that many already think 30 teams is too many and the talent pool is already shallow enough. Adding four teams and almost 100 players (20 per roster plus extras and injuries) to that mix won't help matters. If you added 90 players and spread them among the 30 current NHL clubs then each team could ice a fifth line. Goons rejoice!

Will there be an expansion draft? If yes, then which players will teams protect? Which pla- oh screw it I'm not gonna beat around the bush: ARE YA GONNA CLAIM DAVID CLARKSON OR NOT?!?

Is this even realistic? Will each of these cities even have an NHL-capable arena by 2017? Where does the one in Toronto even go? Does it go in Markham? Do they double up with the Leafs somehow and use the Air Canada Centre? James Mirtle had a pretty good idea: 

While entertaining and probably a decent solution for Toronto's traffic problem, Mirtle's idea probably isn't entirely legal.

When Rogers signed it's brand new media deal with the NHL for 50 bajillion dollars* many asked if Rogers would be able to make its money back. News like this makes me wonder if they didn't already know Canadian expansion was already in the works.

This move would put an NHL team in each Canadian city with a population over 500,000 people with the exception of Hamilton. I mean, Brampton and Mississauga too, but you guys are basically Toronto so you don't count. I'm sorry. I'm sure you understand. Can we still be friends?

Personally, I'm glad this story broke. I don't even care if it's true! We're at that awkward stage in the NHL's summer calendar when it's too early to really talk about camp but there's really nothing else going on. At very least, this should keep us occupied for a couple weeks.

* Not an actual number

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Steve Dangle has a YouTube channel with over 3 million views and is the co-host of the Steve Dangle Podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud. Steve has also worked for CBC, the NHL Network, Leafs TV, Nike, the KHL, and most of all, the Toronto Zoo. stevedangle.com
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#101 Quicksilver ballet
August 27 2014, 11:41PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

OK. This DEFINITELY is not the real Serious Gord.

Could whoever is hacking into the site PLEASE put a couple million in my chequing account? That will make my balance $2,000,117.

Thanks in advance.

For a 40.000.00 "administration fee" I could make this a reality.

HSBC # is 74390-99. I await your deposit to get this venture started.

After you receive these funds. You may not access the 2 million until 48 hrs after the deposit is made.

Go Oilers Go!

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#102 Ari Gold
August 28 2014, 12:24AM
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I'd LOVE it if the new Toronto team won a cup before the Leafs!!

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#103 Kevin M
August 28 2014, 01:00AM
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RKD wrote:

Some people think they should contract to 28 teams, this would even out the playoff disparity. You would have 7 teams in each conference but the problem is that if you still have 16 teams going to the post-season the top 4 teams would make it and possibly means you would have some very weak teams making it and removing the incentive to try hard. If they go to 32 then each conference will have 8 teams, the top 4 would still advance to the playoffs. Florida is in really bad shape, the attendance there has been abysmal. I think Arizona will move after this current lease is up. Seattle has an arena, Quebec city has an arena. Those two should be given a team instead of another team in Markham or Las Vegas.

There are no arenas in any of these cities at the moment. LV has broken ground on an arena and is probably a done deal. Right now about 5 groups are negotiating with the City of Seattle on an arena for an NBA and NHL team. Key Arena will not work. Quebec City is in design phase of an arena. Arizona lease is 5 years. I expect that LV and Seattle will be in place within 3 years, which will balance league. I think Quebec City will get one of Florida teams on a transfer. Toronto will only get a team if either Bell or Rogers go for it big time. It will come but probably not for 5 years.

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#104 Kevin M
August 28 2014, 01:09AM
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What is this talk about Toronto getting a second NHL team, when did they get a first team? If it comes it should be on the west side, so that Hamilton can say it is its team.

Seriously I disagree with some of the assumptions in your article. Can the league handle another 100 players, no problem. There are at least a couple of 100 players in Europe who could be enticed to play here and they are as talented as the Leafs or other Eastern clubs. If there is a problem it will be that this might exacerbate the gap between East and West. Fortunately for Seattle which is in the Pacific division, it could get close to the playoffs quickly since it will be in the same division as Calgary and Edmonton, whose current management teams pretty well guarantee finishing no worse than 6th in the group. Although Burke will probably go to Vegas as its great hero and that will help Calgary and will guarantee the Midwest Division a patsy (albeit one with lots of truculence). What will be interesting will be the playoff formats. And whether they might go to three divisions in each conference. Two groups of 5 and 1 of six. based on geography.

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#105 The Soup Fascist
August 28 2014, 06:38AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

For a 40.000.00 "administration fee" I could make this a reality.

HSBC # is 74390-99. I await your deposit to get this venture started.

After you receive these funds. You may not access the 2 million until 48 hrs after the deposit is made.

Go Oilers Go!

See, and among your various aliases I never realized you were - in actuality - a Nigerian prince. Money is on the way !

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#106 TheresAlwaysNextYear
August 28 2014, 07:38AM
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2 expansion teams would make more sense. the west needs 2 more teams anyway. seattle to the pacific and vegas to the central! or relocate the panthers to seattle, problem solved. each conference will have even amount of teams again.

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#107 TMLFAN89
August 28 2014, 10:16AM
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Seattle and Vegas really? Hamilton deserves a NHL team more IMO.

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#108 theterminathan
August 28 2014, 11:07AM
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More Jobs, More Hockey, 4th liners become coveted 3rd liners, love it.

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#109 Maurey
August 28 2014, 01:14PM
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I think it should be Seattle should get Arizona's team and Quebec should get Florida's team and Milwaukee and Hamilton should get the 2 new teams to bring the NHL to 32.

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