Franchise Down: A Fan’s View of NHL Markets
Ever since the Winnipeg Jets, Quebec Nordiques and Hartford Whalers moved in the 1990s, there have been contingents of fans in each city waiting, hoping, that an NHL team would return to a local arena.
The financial woes of any team over the last decade has brought out legions of fans wanting for the NHL to bring their team back, and Minnesota regaining a team after the North Stars left only gave fans in those cities more hope. The Phoenix Coyotes troubles has fans in Winnipeg begging for a second chance. Fans of the Nords recently took a bus trip to a New York Islanders game to show the NHL the market in Quebec City is still alive.
The debate about which city could support an NHL team again is only rivaled by the debate about which team should be relocated. We've setup a series of polls asking fans which of the current NHL teams that are in the bottom 10 of attendance can succeed.
It's a simple yes or no vote, and the reasoning is left up to you. Team management, arena situation - whether it's old or simply in the wrong location, economics of the market, television deals, or whatever else you see as the big reasons why a team may, or may not succeed in their current location.
- Anaheim Ducks
- Atlanta Thrashers
- Carolina Hurricanes
- Colorado Avalanche
- Columbus Blue Jackets
- Dallas Stars
- Florida Panthers
- New Jersey Devils
- New York Islanders
- Phoenix Coyotes
We chose attendance numbers because it's a very simple metric and an easy starting point for the polls. Outside of the Tampa Bay Lightning, #18 in average attendance, but #23 in capacity, all of these teams were bottom 10 in both categories, with the Ducks being bumped to #20 in capacity with the Bolts drop. An interesting note is always about the Islanders: they play at Nassau Coliseum, which has a very small capacity compared to other NHL arenas. Selling out every game would only put them at #19 on the average attendance list, but that's obviously not a talking point this season.
|24||New Jersey Devils||14434||81.9|
|27||Columbus Blue Jackets||12570||69.3|
|29||New York Islanders||10770||66.1|