The GTA has long been considered one of the best places to put another NHL team, but how would that affect the Toronto Maple Leafs? Would they allow it? Would they even have a say
The GTA has long been considered one of the best places to put another NHL team, but how would that affect the Toronto Maple Leafs? Would they allow it? Would they even have a say if someone was willing to pay the price for encroaching on their territory?
Toronto Maple Leafs fans may not have to worry about losing Auston Matthews to his home team, the Arizona Coyotes, when his contract expires. This is because the club may not have a home in Arizona any longer. If the team moved, where would they go?
The GTA is among the top picks, according to what the Toronto Maple Leafs may think.
But the NHL might not want to risk alienating its most important team and so the idea of putting another team in the GTA might never happen.
Toronto Maple Leafs and expansion
On Thursday, the town of Glendale posted a Twitter thread explaining that the relationship between them and the Coyotes is coming to an end. They clarified that there will only be one more season played at Gila River Arena before the team’s lease expires. It is an agreement that the city has announced that it will not renew.
According to the post, things look grim for the future of hockey at Glendale.
In response to Glendale’s announcement, Coyote President and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez release a press release. He fixed the situation.
“We are disappointed with the unilateral decision taken today by the City of Glendale to end negotiations on a multi-year lease extension agreement. We hope they reconsider a decision that would primarily hurt small businesses and hard workers at Glendale. We remain open to resuming good faith negotiations with the City.
“Most importantly, the Coyotes are one hundred percent committed to finding a long term arena solution here in Arizona, and nothing will shake our resolve to do what’s right for our organization, the residents across the valley. and, most importantly, our fans. . “
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman caught on the radio to discuss the future of hockey at the Gila River Arena. He believes that something will work out and that the Coyotes will stay in Arizona for many more years. Bettman feels like it was all a bargaining ploy on the town’s part.
If Bettman and Gutierrez are wrong, it would open the door to a relocation. This brings us to trying to figure out where the franchise can land. When the NHL was considering expansion, one of the locations seriously considered was Quebec City. At the time, President and CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau of Quebecor Inc. led the charge to try to acquire an NHL team.
Quebec City is not the only place to have its eyes on the NHL. When Jim Balsillie was CEO of Research in Motion, he almost became a franchise owner. In fact, he tried three different times. The nearest Balsillie came in 2007 when he had a deal in place with Craig Leipold, owner of the Nashville Predators. The businessmen had put together a letter of agreement that would transfer ownership from the Preds to Balsillie for $ 220 million. Balsillie started selling tickets in Hamilton, Ont., Showing the world he was going to move the team. It is believed that Leipold withdrew from the deal because it meant Nashville would lose the club.
With residency issues in Arizona, Balsillie may be returning to try and buy an NHL franchise for the fourth time. If he does, it would actually be his second attempt at possessing the Coyotes. In 2009, Balsillie attempted to buy the team for $ 212.5 million after the NHL club filed for bankruptcy. His candidacy ended up being rejected by an Arizona judge, again due to the attempt to move the team to Ontario.
There is no doubt the province would be a great home for an NHL second team. The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) could support another club, as was proven when Balsillie pre-sold season tickets to Copps Coliseum in Hamilton.
There has been a lot of debate over the years about the possible locations for an NHL arena. Prior to the construction of the multi-pad arena in Downsview Park in downtown Toronto, it was believed that this land would be perfect for the city’s second NHL arena. Markham was another popular spot. The truth is, the GTA is so hungry for action in the NHL that it would attract fans no matter where the arena is. With Toronto Maple Leafs tickets hard to come by for most normal people, an expansion team would likely have no problem selling themselves.
One obstacle to the arrival of another team in the GTA is that the location would be need to be outside within a radius of 50 miles. The attempt to bring the Predators to Hamilton proved that the new club would have to pay NHL teams within 50 miles a substantial compensation fee to be able to function. That could mean a one-off payout to the Toronto Maple Leafs or the Buffalo Sabers.
Let’s not get too far ahead of moving a team to the GTA. The NHL, Bettman and the Coyotes will no doubt do whatever they can to keep the team in Arizona. However, the dream of having more NHL hockey in the province is beautiful.
Keep an eye out for what’s going on at Glendale. Chances are, this will be an ongoing story for a while.