More NHL teams might be possible
MONTREAL—The Conference Board of Canada says the country could support as many as three more National Hockey League franchises within the next two decades.
The board suggests that in addition to the seven existing NHL teams, Quebec City and Hamilton, Ont., appear to meet minimum requirements for a franchise in the near future.
But potential franchises in these smaller markets would require dedicated owners and would likely face tough times in the event of economic shockwaves such as a falling Canadian dollar.
The organization said today a third franchise could also emerge in the Greater Toronto area by 2035, but that the price of appeasing the hometown Maple Leafs would be steep.
The board is predicting that franchises in Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa will continue to be viable markets in 20 years but that the Atlantic provinces and Saskatchewan will not have the population or corporate presence to support NHL teams.