Friday, June 19, 2009

Adam Proteau of The Hockey News: Coyotes Will Land In KC

From The Hockey News columnist Adam Proteau: If Relocating Coyotes Is In The Cards, Look To Kansas City

Proteau predicts that the Coyotes will continue to
hemorrhage money in Arizona for a few more years and move to KC. Bizarrely, Proteau calls KC “about as good as it gets” for an NHL market. Even those of us dying to see NHL hockey in KC realize there are plenty of reasonable doubts about how the NHL would fare here. But Proteau may be correct that AEG’s ties to the league and KC playing by league rules and wishes puts us first in line for a team.

Proteau gets some interesting quotes from an anonymous member of the NHL board of governors:
“You see the connections (Kansas City) has to the (NHL board of) governors – Anschutz, (AEG president and CEO Tim) Leiweke – and it’s hard not to see them influencing the process in K.C.’s favor. I think the Balsillie debacle has proven that if (the league is) bringing other teams or more teams back to Canada - and a bunch of other U.S.-based franchises don’t fall apart in the meanwhile - the NHL is going to demand huge expansion fees for anyone interested.

“Not so in Kansas City, though. There’s your classic market that the league would lower expectations for in order to keep team locations close to Gary’s overall blueprint for the product. And any league business venture that helps an existing board member’s interests is going to be looked at and embraced before any other.”

3 comments:

Damage_96 said...

This is something that both the NHL and Kansas City have a hard time understanding. The NHL needs KC way more that KC needs the NHL. The TV audience isn't going to be a factor for national ratings, but skipping KC is a huge gap in mainstream America -- not to mention a chance to secure a non-NBA market. No matter what Gary says about not competing with the NBA, he's flat wrong. Check out the local TV ratings for non-NBA U.S. NHL teams. And think about the best mid-market hockey cities -- Buffalo, Pittsburg, St. Louis.

People in KC worry about an NHL team failing in here. It's Gary and the NHL that should be worried about that. Failing in a non-NBA city means the business model is broken.

Aaron said...

Interesting stuff, Damage. I think the reason many of us concern ourselves with how a team would fare here is because it's directly related to whether or not we'll get a team. If the league and an owner project success, that obviously helps our chances. So it's interesting to consider all the points that the league might be looking at. When you hear someone worry about a team failing here, perhaps they're really worrying about us not ever getting the chance.

I'm not sure I agree that the NHL needs KC more than KC needs the NHL. I think there are safer markets for the NHL, such as Hamilton or Winnipeg. But Bettman has that track record of trying to grow the league in non-traditional areas.

Damage_96 said...

Winnipeg should absolutely have a team. Obviously, Hamilton would work as well, but I do think it's valid to question whether or not that is in the Maple Leafs' best interest. My take is that it should happen and would be good for the league long term.

I'm the one person in the world that still believes the NHL should grow aggressively. KC, Seattle, Houston and Vegas. I can make a decent case for bringing back Hartford and Quebec City. Contraction theorists hold on to their dilution of talent platform.
I disagree 100%. There is all the reason in the world to reduce the size of the average NHL player and increase the speed. Boggles the mind really, with all of the hockey players in Canada, the U.S. and the world and people claim that they're aren't 660 that are "worthy" to watch in the NHL.