Pucks of a Feather’s Look At NHL Expansion and Relocation
Since the Board of Governors approved the realignment plan, the next debate revolves around relocation and expansion. As of right now, the likeliest candidate for relocation is the Phoenix Coyotes. Lack of success, last year not withstanding, as well as ownership issues make the ‘Yotes prime for relocation. With the Sacramento Kings of the NBA potentially bound for Seattle, this is the logical choice for the Phoenix franchise to move (especially with the approved realignment plan and plans for a dual-sport arena).
As far expansion sites, logical selections (staying within the new realignment) would include a team in Saskatoon, SK and either Kansas City, MO or Milwaukee, WI.
The options for the Kansas City franchise could pay tribute to the NHL roots of the years gone by with the adoption of the Scouts name. The issue with this, though, would be the name is linked to the New Jersey Devils. In order to let fans know what sport the team is associated with, the Blades would be a good choice. A good geographical reference choice would be Tornado.
Saskatoon has been trying to get an NHL team since the 1982-83 season when the St. Louis Blues were in trouble of relocating. The Coyotes were also rumored to relocate there too (or at least split time) in 2009-10. As far as names for the franchise, the route taken could be similar to one that was proposed when the Winnipeg Jets relocated from Atlanta. This option would incorporate the name of the junior hockey team’s name (Blades). A historically based option would be Pioneers highlighting Saskatoon’s importance for those settling the Western Canadian prairies and making their way to the Pacific Coast. The Caribous could be a good animal based name.
The ‘Yotes relocation would be a bit easier. The leading candidate would be to assume the identity of the first American Stanley Cup Championship team: the Metropolitans (à la Ottawa with the Senators). Nature based team names could include Steelheads, King Salmon, and Evergreens. With the King Salmon name, the colors could go right along with their arena mates.
For the Wisconsin team, names can go from the state rock (Granites) to an homage to the state’s oldest pro team (Tundra). I personally like the Tundra idea (mainly due to my loyalties to the only publicly owned team in the Big 4). The Granites could have a scheme similar to the Wisconsin Badgers, while the Tundra (for obvious reasons) would be similar to the Green Bay Packers.
The chart below shows how the division will line up.
What this would mean for the Ducks is more time in the Pacific Time Zone.
Tags: Atlanta Thrashers Kansas City Milwaukee New Jersey Devils NHL Expansion NHL Realignment NHL Relocation Ottawa Senators Phoenix Coyotes Sacramento Kings Saskatoon Seattle St. Louis Blues Winnipeg Jets Wisconsin