TSN Rewind: Last time NHL expanded to Canada
With the announcement that the NHL will add Seattle as its 32nd team for the 2021-22 season, it's worth taking a look back at the league's expansion history.
The NHL first expanded in 1967 with the addition of the Oakland Seals, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues, Los Angeles Kings and Minnesota North Stars. The Seals later became the Cleveland Barons before merging with the North Stars to become the modern-day Dallas Stars in 1993-94.
In the years after the original expansion, five Canadian teams were added, but two would eventually move to American markets. The Vancouver Canucks were the first to join in 1970-71. The Atlanta Flames moved to Calgary in 1980-81. The Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets and Quebec Nordiques arrived in 1979 from the WHA. The Nordiques became the Colorado Avalanche in 1995, while the first incarnation of the Jets moved to Phoenix in 1996 and are now known as the Arizona Coyotes. The Ottawa Senators joined in 1992-93.
Of the 25 post-1967 expansion teams to join the league (excluding Seattle and recently inaugurated Vegas), 16 of those teams are in their original cities. Atlanta had the Flames before they left for Calgary but would later add the Thrashers. The Thrashers were unsuccessful in Atlanta, which led to Winnipeg getting the second version of the Jets in 2011-12.
On the ice, 13 of these teams, including any current editions, have won the Stanley Cup. Vegas was a success right off the bat as they were the third team in NHL history to go to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural year.
When it comes to expansion fees, the original group in 1967 paid $2 million to join the NHL. For Seattle, they set the expansion fee at an all-time high at $650 million, $150 million more than Vegas in 2017-18.
NHL Expansion History
|1st Season||Franchise||Expansion Fee|
|1967-68||Oakland Seals||$2 million|
|Philadelphia Flyers||$2 million|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||$2 million|
|St. Louis Blues||$2 million|
|Los Angeles Kings||$2 million|
|Minnesota North Stars||$2 million|
|1970-71||Vancouver Canucks||$6 million|
|Buffalo Sabres||$6 million|
|1972-73||Atlanta Flames||$6 million|
|New York Islanders||$6 million|
|1974-75||Kansas City Scouts||$6 million|
|Washington Capitals||$6 million|
|1979-80||Edmonton Oilers||$7.5 million|
|(WHA)||Hartford Whalers||$7.5 million|
|Winnipeg Jets||$7.5 million|
|Quebec Nordiques||$7.5 million|
|1991-92||San Jose Sharks||$45 million|
|1992-93||Ottawa Senators||$45 million|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||$45 million|
|1993-94||Florida Panthers||$50 million|
|Anaheim Ducks||$50 million|
|1998-99||Nashville Predators||$80 million|
|1999-00||Atlanta Thrashers||$80 million|
|2000-01||Columbus Blue Jackets||$80 million|
|Minnesota Wild||$80 million|
|2017-18||Vegas Golden Knights||$500 million|