The NHL Should Split in Two

The NHL expansion process is well underway, and the consensus seems to be that the two prospective NHL expansion cities, Las Vegas and Quebec City, will be successful. But are they really shoo-ins to become the next darling teams of the NHL? If not, then the NHL would be making the same mistake it has done in the past with other failed expansion teams.

Although the nearly $500 million in NHL expansion fees intrigues the league into expanding, it must not be forgotten that the revenue from the league is shared among more teams. Instead of sharing the revenue among 30 teams, it would be shared among 32, meaning each team would likely get less money. There are many other factors that the NHL considers when expanding, but there is really only one thing that matters: money. That is why I think the NHL should split into two leagues.

32 teams in a professional hockey league is too many. The NHL should split into the two leagues: A hockey league with teams only based in Canada and a hockey league with teams based in the United States. Right off the bat, that will take away huge logistics issues. Teams will not have to cross the border almost daily and travelling expenses will decrease substantially. Taking away Canadian content from NHL games would be great for the NHL if they want to expand their American audience. Not many Americans know where Edmonton is, for example, so that might turn them off.

However, the most important reason why splitting up the NHL into Canadian and American leagues is the declining value of the Canadian dollar. The Jets and Nordiques did not leave their respective cities in the 90s because they were losing a fan base, it was because the Canadian dollar was very low. Small Canadian markets like Winnipeg and Quebec City cannot survive when the value of the Canadian dollar puts increased strain on the franchises’ expenses. Quebec City has found a committed and rich prospective ownership in Quebecor, but who knows how long they will stay committed if the Canadian dollar continues to go down?

If the leagues are separated, the Canadian teams can hopefully pay most of their expenses in Canadian dollars. This could potentially open doors for small Canadian hockey markets like Saskatoon, Halifax, Hamilton, and Moncton to host a professional hockey team. Who knows, maybe with no Canadian teams in the NHL, it could open doors for more cities in the United States to give the NHL a shot, like Milwaukee, Seattle/Portland, Kansas City, and Hartford. NHL expansion needs to happen, the best way it can, however, is if the NHL splits up.

At the end of the season, the winner of the “Canadian Hockey League” and the all-American National Hockey league could face off for the Stanley Cup.

What do you guys think of this idea? Is it a smart plan, or too crazy to work? Comment below!

NHL expansion