A recent article spoke about the prospect of a second NHL team locating in Toronto.
Two more NHL governors said the league should put a second team in Toronto, although one of them said it should be by relocating an existing franchise rather than expanding.
“I don’t think it can be an expansion team,” a governor said. “We can’t expand because we would be the laughingstock of professional sports.
“We’ve got too many troubled franchises. We’ve got to look at relocating a couple of them. These franchises were troubled long before the economic downturn and next year is going to be worse on them.”
Despite what people may say, Toronto is not a sports town, if it were, then the Raptors, Jays and Argos would be all hot tickets regardless of performance. It is not even a hockey town, otherwise we would see the Marlies and local OHL teams selling out. It is Toronto Maple Leafs town period.
So why then do I think a 2nd NHL team would be successful?
Because, almost an entire generation of Leaf fans in Toronto have been patiently waiting to win another Stanley Cup without much success. Life long Leaf fans are starting to feel that the organization they are loyal to is not doing enough to earn their loyalty and are not serious about contending. The feeling of animosity towards the organization they once loved may grow stronger if the Leafs once again fail to make the playoffs or worse, finish last in their conference.
This could be a ripe environment for a prospective new owner to move in to the Toronto market and help nucleate the anti-Toronto Maple Leafs tribe. Make no mistake, this anti-tribe is hungry for something different. Thus, the model of expensive tickets and low performance that we are seeing now will not be tolerated.