Thursday, July 19, 2007

Why I won't shed a tear for the Nashville Predators...

I just read Mr. Eklund's opinion about Nashville. It's a very nice account and bid for support, but I feel sometimes I feel there is a time to let go. If the fans don't show up this year, then I blieve it is probably time.

I'm not cold, just hardened. In Quebec, we lost the Nordiques and then the Expos. Bad things happen to good franchises, so to speak. Of all the nonsense of trying to force hockey on people in states that are closer to the tropics than the snow, Nashville isn't the worst (that would be Hartford to Carolina in my opinion, less passion for hockey and yes, less fans at the games), but Nashville is the second yougest NHL citizen, has been given a ten-year chance and still haven't been able to take to the game as hoped (a la Colorado this time around). I think they should be relocated to a Canadian city to be honest, now that Canada seems to be able to compete.

For perspective, Nashville is the 35th city ever to be associated with the NHL. City, not franchise – many cities have had 2 at one time (New York, Montreal), or franchises at different points in time (Pittsburgh, Ottawa). (Source: Rauzulu's Street)

1. Montreal
1. Ottawa
1. Quebec
1. Toronto

5. Boston

6. Hamilton

7. Pittsburgh
7. New York
7. Chicago
7. Detroit

11. Philadelphia

12. St. Louis

13. Minneapolis St. Paul (Minnesota)
13. LA
13. Oakland/San Francisco (California)

16. Buffalo
16. Vancouver

18. Atlanta

19. Kansas City
19. Washington

21. Cleveland
21. Denver (Colorado)

23. Hartford
23. Edmonton
23. Winnipeg

26. Calgary

27. Newark (New Jersey)

28. San Jose

29. Tampa

30. Anaheim
30. Miami (Florida)
30. Dallas

33. Phoenix

34. Raleigh-Durham (Carolina)

35. Nashville

36. Columbus


Looking at it slightly differently, you can see their historical claim is weak:

Northeast Div

Montreal (1917-)
Toronto (1917-)
Ottawa (1917-32, 1933-35, 1992-)
Boston (1924-)
Buffalo (1971-)

Atlantic Div

New York (1926)
Pittsburgh (1926-32, 1967-)
Philadelphia (1932, 1967-)
New York 2 (1972)
New Jersey (1982)

Southeast Div
Atlanta (1972-1980,1999-)
Washington (1974-)
Tampa (1992-)
Florida (1993-)
Carolina (1997-)

Central Div

Detroit (1926-)
Chicago (1926-)
St. Louis (1935, 1967-)
Nashville (1999-)
Columbus (2000-)

Northwest

Minnesota (1967-1993, 2000-)
Vancouver (1971-)
Colorado (1976-1982, 1996-)
Edmonton (1979-)
Calgary (1982-)

Pacific Div

Los Angeles (1967-)
San Jose (1991-)
Anaheim (1993-)
Dallas (1993-)
Phoenix (1996-)

A city like Hamilton, Quebec or Winnipeg, who have made the NHL work in the past and whose teams all left in different circumstances, deserve a chance. Even Kansas City who had a team before may deserve a second chance. If the current owner of Nashville wants out and no one person is leading a bid, it probaably doesn't look like a good business proposition. Rescue bids like the current one can work (Edmonton), but they can also go very wrong (Expos). I like Tennessee and would probably like Nashville, but if they don't turn out to the games this year, then theu should take their medicine.

Just my thoughts.

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