It's in the news again, causing more speculation and dreaming. Once again the city is rumoured to be on the lookout for an NHL franchise.
With all of the recent craziness surrounding the recent situation with the Ticats and the Pan Am Stadium, it seems apropos that word would come that the city’s NHL subcommittee has had an informal meeting with the CEO of the Edmonton Oilers Pat LaForge. While the meeting was only a social gathering and not an official meeting, it warrants thought as to whether or not this is a prelude to another NHL bid.
LaForge's consortium, Katz group, wants to lock up NHL rights to Copps Coliseum for the next four years and will pay the city $1 million of the municipality does not land an NHL franchise. The city is currently negotiating this deal.
Does the City of Hamilton really want, or need, to go down this road again?
Hamilton is already home to a premiere professional hockey franchise in the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League. The team, who play out of Copps Coliseum in the downtown, have called the city home for fifteen years and have already won a Calder Cup, the national championship trophy in the league.
Can the city support both an AHL and an NHL team? I don't think so.
The Bulldogs are wholly under exposed as it is in the city. While all of the games can be heard on local radio station 820 CHAM, virtually none of the games are televised with the exception of four being shown on CBC this year.
The Hamilton Bulldogs are the #1 team in their division. Does anyone aside from die hard fans know that?
What our city needs is to do is create a greater awareness about the professional hockey club we already have before we start chasing another dream.