It is the topic of some of the most heated debates in Canadian sport: Why shouldn’t there be another NHL franchise in Canada? In a joint venture between TSN and The Globe and Mail, the investigative series WHY NOT CANADA? makes definite conclusions regarding the possibility of the addition of an NHL franchise in a Canadian market.
Led by journalist Dave Naylor of The Globe and Mail, the WHY NOT CANADA? series analyses new wide-ranging and in-depth socio-economic data that clearly illustrates the viability of an NHL franchise expanding or relocating in the Winnipeg, Hamilton, the Greater Toronto Area and Quebec City markets.
The multiplatform investigation includes a in a six-part series on SPORTSCENTRE beginning Monday, accompanied by daily features in The Globe and Mail and online at globeandmail.com. And welcome to TSN.ca's dedicated WHY NOT CANADA? page - updated each day with written features, video and in-depth statistical breakdowns for Winnipeg, Hamilton, the Greater Toronto Area and Quebec City.
As part of the WHY NOT CANADA? series Naylor has spent months examining the case for an NHL franchise in four Canadian markets looking at as many angles as possible. Naylor turns to a host of leading economists, market research specialists, potential owners, competition lawyers and fans for input. Other important factors taken into consideration for each market include existing arenas, corporate presence, regional interest in hockey and demographics. Based on Naylor’s research, a formula was developed based on quantitative facts that assigns a grade based on the realistic viability of an NHL franchise in each of the four Canadian markets in question.
And as part of the series, Naylor sits down with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman for his opinion and reactions to the research regarding each of the potential Canadian NHL markets considered.
NHL Comparisons: Attendance, revenue, seating capacity, and a possible Quebec team budget
The Introduction (Monday)
It started with a conversation one day at TSN. "Where else could you put an NHL team in Canada?" the question was posed. "Everyone has an opinion on it. But what about coming up with a series of stories that spell out the facts?"
And thus was born the mandate for 'Why Not Canada?', a six-part series on the viability of additional NHL teams in Canada.
Full Story | Video
Why Not Winnipeg? (Tuesday)
The Jets played their last game in Winnipeg in April of 1996, done in by the winds of change in the NHL. New American cities were coming on board and salaries were skyrocketing.
And the small Canadian market with the arena from a bygone era simply couldn't keep up. A slumping Canadian dollar was the final straw and the Jets packed up and headed to Phoenix.
Full Story | Video | Stats and Scorecard for Winnipeg
Why Not Hamilton? (Wednesday)
The NHL balked at billionaire Jim Balsillie's plan to move the team to Hamilton a couple of years ago. The money was refunded. The party fizzled.
It wasn't supposed to be this way when the city built Copps Coliseum in 1985 and played host to the 1987 Canada Cup - and one of Canada's greatest ever hockey moments.
Full Story | Video |Stats and Scorecard for Hamilton
Why Not Toronto? (Thursday)
Having the NHL's largest Canadian market all to themselves has been very good for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
But would the league's most profitable franchise be hurt if another NHL team set up shop nearby? The fact is, some of the richest franchises in North America around share markets with other teams in the same sport.
Full Story | Video | Stats and Scorecard for Toronto
Why Not Quebec City? (Friday)
There was a time when the Nordiques dared to challenge Montreal for the hearts of hockey-mad Quebecers. Then reality kicked in.
Rising player salaries and a weak Canadian dollar, combined with being the smallest market in the NHL, were too much for the Nordiques to overcome. And like the Winnipeg Jets, they played in an aging building.
Full Story | Video | Stats and Scorecard for Quebec City
The Final Summary (Saturday)
It's the most widely debated sports topic in Canada - the possible addition of more NHL teams in the country.
After TSN brings you the stories of four possible markets - Winnipeg, Hamilton, the Greater Toronto Area and Quebec City - their hopes and their challenges to attract NHL teams, we'll look at how likely this is to happen.
Full Story | Video | NHL Comparisons |