NHL May Expand to 34 Teams
Rumors of expansion have surfaced again, but with more drive this time. Sports Illustrated sent ripples through the hockey community with a report that a 2017 expansion was to take place, which would include Las Vegas, Seattle, Quebec, and another a Toronto team. This would leave the NHL at 34 teams, 16 in the West and 18 in the East. The talk of expansion to Seattle and Quebec have been talked about for years, and another Toronto team and Quebec thrown around, but it’s certainly a whirlwind to possible be looking ahead to 4 new teams in the NHL, in it’s first expansion since 2000.
This new expansion, if it happens, would create some sinister rivalries. Seattle and Vancouver would become enemies, along with the obvious Toronto vs Toronto game. Las Vegas could create something with Dallas in the future, if the franchise lasts there. Quebec would be put right back into the swing of things in the East, with the dedicated fans finally getting their team back.
This is how the divisions could possibly look:
Metropolitan: New Jersey, NY Islanders, NY Rangers, Columbus, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Carolina, Washington, Buffalo
Atlantic: Ottawa, Toronto, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec, Detroit, Florida, Tampa Bay, Boston
Central: St. Louis, Chicago, Minnesota, Colorado, Winnipeg, Nashville, Dallas, Las Vegas
Pacific: San Jose, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Arizona, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Seattle
These divisions are in no way confirmed, just my idea. Stripping Buffalo from the Atlantic is a stretch, but they fit in with the Metropolitan teams as well, and having one team from Florida in the Atlantic and one in the Metropolitan doesn’t make sense. There’s no saying how the NHL will go about this.
It certainly will be an exciting time in the NHL for the next 5 years. It’s great to see the sport growing and support for the game stretching even further. Stay tuned for more info on our twitter feed.
Expansion in 2017 has not yet been officially confirmed by the NHL, or TSN.