Good Morning Toronto Maple Leafs fans!
It’s been such a long time since the Leafs played a game I can hardly remember how it works. The puck goes into the....basket right? Ah we’ll figure it out. So, whats been going on....well the Leafs called up Nikita Soshnikov to avoid a contract clause that would allow him to leave the Marlies and go back to the KHL. Auston Matthews finally hit the ice after being away for three games. Have you been reading my By the Numbers series? Have you been voting all wrong, because many people have been but that’s ok it doesn’t bother me.
The big news right now came out late yesterday, but apparently the owner of the NBA’s Houston Rockets has met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman about bringing an NHL team to Houston. It’s an interesting idea, and it’s always been my go to city for relocating a sad Canadian franchise (Oilers, Jets*, Senators take your pick) because it would make the Don Cherry loving, flag waving, Gretzky trade angry Canadians so mad to see a team move to Houston.
Houston already has an arena, so watch out Seattle. They also hosted the Houston Aeros of the WHA (1972-1978) and then the AHL (1994-2008) to some good success. The second Aeros left town after they couldn’t get a new lease with the Toyota Centre. However with the owner of the arena owning the NHL team that wouldn’t be a issue.
Houston is the fifth largest metro area in the United States. It’s a giant TV market, it’s average income is $6,000 higher than the national average at $62,000 (about $78,500CDN). It has eyes, it has people, it has money.
The question now is, would it be expansion or relocation? The Western Conference has one less team than the East, and the Central Division is one team short than all the rest, which hey that’s where Dallas is! It’s the perfect place to expand without needing to re-align the league.
But what about Seattle? Well, they’re pretty off the ball about this whole arena thing and I mean the NHL could re-locate a team there if necessary...the Coyotes are always on he relocation market and they wouldn’t have to change divisions either!
Houston could work. Or, at least give lots of ‘hockey traditionalists’ more to complain about.
Here are you morning links.
Gus Kastros looks into the word ‘Compete’ at MLHS.
Former Coyotes owner and Arizona hockey advocate George Gosbee has died. - FFH
The Golden Knights have resorted to butting a WHL goalie in net. - KOI
Houston Rockets owner is making enquirers about an NHL team. - LWOS
Phil Kessel - of the Maple Leafs payroll - is having a very good year. - PB
The Senators ‘NHL 100 Classic’ jerseys are in and...meh - SSS
Enjoy your day everyone!