A topic that never seems to die, no matter the state of the league, is where the next new team could be. Whether it’s by relocation or expansion, it’s always fun to imagine a new franchise in the NHL. Here’s five cities that I think have a chance at being the next in the league.
This is obviously the main one that a lot of people have been suggesting as a new NHL market.
Houston already has teams in the NBA, NFL, MLB, and MLS, and it’s shocking that they don’t have an NHL team in my opinion as well.
Houston has the fourth largest population in the United States, behind just New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The fact that they are much larger than Dallas and don’t have a team in shocking to me.
I think if a Western Conference team were to relocate, we’d likely see Houston push for that team. If things don’t work out in Arizona maybe…
Quebec City, Quebec
This is probably the most popular option, as Canadians have been very vocal about their want for a team back in Quebec City ever since the days of the Hurricanes/Panthers relocation rumours long ago.
It seems like the NHL does not want another team in Canada, and would consider multiple American options before resorting to adding a Canadian team. However, the option is definitely still alive just because of the amount of fans that want this to happen, and even the city itself showing interest and meeting with Gary Bettman in the past.
I don’t think we’ll end up seeing a team in Quebec City, at least not for a while, but could you imagine the potential rivalry with the Canadiens? Would be fun to watch.
This is kind of a sneaky underrated option, as you don’t hear much about Milwaukee as a potential market, but there has been interest from the city in the past, and they currently home an AHL franchise in the Admirals.
Milwaukee also has an NBA team and MLB team, and could definitely gain a fanbase, although it would be a smaller market compared to the recent new American teams we’ve seen added.
We just saw an outdoor game hosted in Hamilton in March that got a ton of fan interest overall, and I think it’d make for a good Canadian market in the NHL.
Again, there’s the issue with the fact that the NHL isn’t exactly eager to bring in another Canadian team, which makes this a long shot, but I do think that Hamilton could host a dedicated professional team if given the opportunity. Probably the best available option in Ontario after the two that are already in the NHL.
San Francisco, California
A lot of people do not want another Californian team in the NHL, and I actually agree. This is mainly because I think that the San Jose Sharks could slowly be playing their way out of SJ, and I think rather than leaving the state completely, moving it to San Francisco instead could maybe help rejuvenate some life in the franchise.
It just seems like as of right now there is a lack of fan interest in the team, and I also consider San Francisco as a much better sports city than San Jose is, as we see with the 49ers and Warriors.