Shooter McGavin to the NHL Owners:
When the NHL expanded in 2000, bringing the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets into the fold, all ten-year-old me could think was “Why?”. I watched the expansion draft on ESPN, and, when it was over, I looked up and down the newly-formed rosters of both new clubs and thought “These teams suck.” And they did.
It’s been fourteen years since they last expanded over in the NHL, and while it would be great for Obscure Athletes for the NHL to hold another such expansion draft, the problems with expansion could not be more obvious, nor the owners’ desire to expand more transparent.
It costs $250 million in ‘expansion fees’ to join the NHL. Divided up evenly, that’s about sixteen million bucks per team, for doing nothing. I know here in Boston, Jeremy Jacobs could think of all kinds of fun things to do with that kind of money. And out in Phoenix, I’m sure they can use that money to keep the lights on at
Glendale Arena (Jobing.com Arena?) for another few months. But the fact of the matter is, there are far, far too many stupid hockey teams.
The league should think about rescuing some of the teams stranded in desert climates, and look at ACTUAL ways to grow the sport and increase league revenue. These owners are like drug addicts, constantly searching for the next pile of money to fall out of the sky into their unoccupied luxury boxes. This is the attitude which has led to work stoppage after work stoppage, the complete pimping out and subsequent ruination of the winter classic, and a new stupid hockey team every few years since the early 90’s.
Bettman and the owners should put some effort into making their sport one that people in the United States want to watch, before simply expanding inventory. And instead of chasing the easy money that comes from answering the call every time some schmuck comes to them with a publicly funded
fraud arena and a checkbook.