Great article in the NY Times this week about how the Canadian NHL teams are doing better financially than their U.S. counterparts with the narrowing of the exchange rate between the Canadian and U.S. Dollar since 2002.
In fact, some of the most valuable franchises are those in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, which is to be expected. We're talking large global metropolises with plenty of hockey loving fans.
Of course you get into the article and the good news is tempered by the idiotic thoughts of Gary Bettman who talks of expansion. While putting franchises in Quebec City, Winnipeg and another Southern Ontario is a great idea, the league needs to contract, and give up this dream of spreading to the sun belt.
The NHL should go something like this:
Detroit Red Wings
New York Rangers
Toronto Maple Leafs
Minnesota Wild (formerly North Stars)
St Louis Blues
Toronto (2nd Team)
Columbus Blue Jackets (pains me to keep this franchise but it does make some sense.)
Dallas Stars (We hang on to this Red State team by virtue of their Stanley Cup championship)
San Jose Sharks
Kansas City (NY Islanders should move there. Sorry NY fans but three hockey teams in one area is too many.)
Carolina (move their asses back to Hartford)
Lose Nashville, Atlanta, Tampa Bay (deserve to find new home because 2003-04 Stanley Cap Champions), Miami, Anaheim (I guess they stay too with their Stanley Cup. Damn this is tough) and Phoenix. If the old folks down in Florida want to see some hockey, let's send them the Charleston Chiefs.
Do this and then you'd have something to work with. Of course this will never happen because all the money the owners paid out (and were paid) for these expansion teams and six less teams is 120 + less professional hockey players.