Good morning Toronto Maple Leafs fans, as good as a pointless round two of the NHL Playoffs can be anyway.
I didn't think I'd have to go back to this topic so soon, or at all, but listen dummies, the Niagara IceDogs may have been sold but they aren't moving.
Niagara IceDogs sold to owner of Brantford hockey teams, pending OHL approval | Globalnews.ca
First off, while no official announcement has been made about the team not moving, no one has said they are. This is speculation based on the new owner having a Jr. A team in Brantford - the Brantford 99ers - and nothing else.
If you look at things logically, there's no good reason to move the team out of St. Catharines. First off, they have a lease with the city. Those things tend to be expensive to break.
New owners of the IceDogs would need city approval to move out of Niagara
Speaking of a lease, the IceDogs currently play in a brand new, 5,000 seat arena in an amazing downtown location. If they moved, they would face a huge downgrade. Unless they moved to Brampton but there's no chance anyone puts a team there again.
Brantford's largest arena has a capacity of under 3,000 and was built in 1967. If they moved there they would essentially be leaving to go play in the Jack Gatecliff Arena again.
That capacity would be much less than the IceDogs average attendance. Since moving to the Meridian Centre in 2014 the average attendance has been top five in OHL attendance and have averaged 4,004 per game or 76% capacity with some seasons averaging over 5,000 people per game - practically a sell out every night.
With that diehard of a market, you also get huge returns on concessions, advertising, and merchandise.
I'm not defending the team but the market can't be beat in the OHL. I'd only put London, Kitchener, and Windsor ahead as a better place to put a junior hockey franchise.
With a rumoured $20 million price tag, I wouldn't mess with what works.
Now, some news.
The second half of round two of the NHL Playoffs began last night.
First up the Carolina Hurricanes won a tight overtime contest 2-1 against the New York Rangers.
Canes fight back, take Game 1 on OT winner from Cole
Then we had a knock down drag out blowout when the Edmonton Oilers lost 6-9 to the Calgary Flames. Nice!
Flames And Oilers Combine For 15 Goals, Calgary Wins Game 1, 9-6
Enjoy your day everyone!