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Old 11-14-2005, 05:10 PM  
Saulbadguy Saulbadguy is offline
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Demonpenz and tk13's dreams coming true? (Penguins to KC?)

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=2223552

Mention relocation or attendance issues in the NHL and the reflex for many is to rattle off teams in the Sunbelt as ones that are prime candidates to be rolled up and sent somewhere else like an old carpet.

The issue percolated again this week, when officials representing a new downtown arena in Kansas City, a group that includes Los Angeles Kings president Tim Leiweke, reiterated their desire to have an NHL team as their anchor tenant.

Specifically, Anschutz Entertainment Group would like to have Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins come to Kansas City when their new building opens in fall 2007. The Penguins play in the NHL's oldest building, the Mellon Arena, and the team has been embroiled in a lengthy battle with city and state officials over funding for a new arena that will be crucial to the team's future in Pittsburgh.

If the Penguins don't have a new arena in the offing when their lease ends at the end of the 2006-07 season, they'll be gone. Where they might end up will make for hours of debate -- another American, non-hockey market like Kansas City or a return to a hockey hotbed like Winnipeg, which has a new arena. But the topic leads to a broader discussion of franchise health and which teams can be expected to make it in the new NHL and which should start packing up.

Critics quickly toss out Atlanta, Nashville and Carolina as teams that ought to get the heave-ho. Yet early into this season, those teams have regularly outdrawn teams in so-called hockey markets like Chicago, Long Island, New Jersey and Buffalo.

The Islanders have been angling for a new arena to replace what many consider the worst rink on the circuit, the Nassau Veterans' Memorial Coliseum. And the Devils' new arena in Newark has been the subject of vigorous debate in New York state. But if the Islanders organization can't get its arena business in order, is that group any more deserving of a team than the Carolina Hurricanes'?

The Isles, winners of four straight Cups from 1980 to 1983, have averaged 12,948 through their first eight home games. They have one sellout and couldn't manage to sell out against the crosstown rival Rangers.

The Devils, winners of three Stanley Cups since 1995, have failed to sell out a single home game.

In Buffalo, the Sabres are averaging 15,711 through nine home games and boast two sellouts (against Montreal and Toronto), along with an embarrassing announced crowd of 8,552 against Washington.

And then there's Original Six member Chicago, which has one sellout and three home dates with fewer than 13,000 in attendance.

In three Southern markets, history has shown attendance jumps with the start of the holiday season and the end of the college football and NFL seasons. Through eight home games, the Hurricanes are averaging 14,934 with one sellout and the Thrashers have averaged 14,025 with one sellout. The Predators are averaging 14,261 with two sellouts through nine.

If we assume that "real" hockey towns would have embraced the new NHL instantly, as has been the case in Philadelphia, Detroit and all of the Canadian markets, then maybe we've misjudged the standing of the game in markets like Long Island, New Jersey and Buffalo. Or perhaps we've unfairly besmirched hockey fans in places like Carolina, Atlanta and Nashville.

-- Scott Burnside
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Old 11-14-2005, 05:24 PM   #2
Calcountry Calcountry is offline
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Hockey besmirched itself.
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Old 11-14-2005, 05:54 PM   #3
Sully Sully is online now
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This would make me wet myself..
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Old 11-14-2005, 05:55 PM   #4
ChiefsCountry ChiefsCountry is offline
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It would be ironic if we got New Jersey, considering they were the Colorado Rockies and before that the Kansas City Scouts.
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Old 11-14-2005, 05:58 PM   #5
siberian khatru siberian khatru is offline
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Quote:
Critics quickly toss out Atlanta, Nashville and Carolina as teams that ought to get the heave-ho. Yet early into this season, those teams have regularly outdrawn teams in so-called hockey markets like Chicago, Long Island, New Jersey and Buffalo.
Wow.

I was a big NHL fan from 1980 thru the mid-1990s. But IMO the game has deteriorated, and of course the labor situation just sunk it even more.
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Old 11-14-2005, 06:23 PM   #6
SoCalBronco SoCalBronco is offline
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This would break my heart as a Penguins fan. Hopefully they can get that slot license but it seems like that wont happen.
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Old 11-14-2005, 06:33 PM   #7
Cochise Cochise is offline
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I'd like to have any hockey team here.
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Old 11-14-2005, 06:34 PM   #8
JBucc JBucc is offline
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Awesome KC gets a hockey team! Too bad I live in AR and don't give a shit about hockey
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