The NHL just resolved a lockout in which the league claimed financial hardship. Despite many teams losing money, CBC Sports is reporting that the league appears set to expand from 30 to 32 teams (via Puck Daddy).The former head of the players’ union says he had directly discussed expansion with the NHL. He believes that the league will add teams in Quebec City and Toronto “in the next two or three years.”
This report comes on the heals of the NHL’s announcement that they will realign into four conferences. Even though as many as 18 teams were losing money prior to the lockout, the addition of two teams would allow the league to have balanced conferences of eight teams each.
Another reason for the expansion would be the quick-fix infusion of revenue through the sales of the new franchises. The Maple Leafs were valued at $1.0 billion, and 20 teams were valued at at least $200 million in Forbes.com’s most recent NHL franchise valuations.
Quebec City was home to the NHL’s Nordiques franchise until they became the Colorado Avalanche following the 1994-95 season. Toronto is already the home to the NHL’s Maple Leafs.
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