Months after the second lenghty NHL lockout, the league that can't shoot straight has followed that exercise in stupidity with the long overdue realignment plan only to be followed by the incredibly bad, stupid and painfully dumb talk of expansion.
The league stuck in niche-dom wants to get bigger.
The NHL's new realignment plan calls for unbalanced conferences. The East will feature 16 teams while the West will have 14. Oh the humanity! This scenario lends itself to talk of adding two more teams for a pretty two 16-team conference set.
Actually, that is a good idea. The problem is the cities that are most viable for a team are in the east. Quebec City should have its team (didn't it already have one), and Toronto is big enough to be able to support another franchise.
Just because Kansas City has a new arena with no primary tenant is a reason to put a team there. Just because Houston is large market is a reason to even consider it. Seattle is close to Vancouver, but that does not mean there is a hunger for an NHL team. The same goes for Portland. And no league has the stones to consider Las Vegas (it should).
What the NHL does not need is another non-traditional market team, such as South Florida and Phoenix, that thrive provided they make the third round of the playoffs every spring. If they don't, they are in trouble.
The NHL should strengthen its current lineup before expanding into markets that are going to require more assistance to survive.
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