Originally Posted by Tom Servo
I know the way realignment is set it leaves the West with open spots, but the next franchise relocation/expansion really should be in Quebec City. Like Winnipeg, they never deserved to have their team taken away and while it is a small market, you can guarantee that there will be 15000+ in the seats every home game.
I'd love see a team return to Quebec City, but the new alignment makes it more difficult. The league can't grant an expansion in the east without kicking a team to the west, and I doubt there will be anyone offering to make that westward leap.
Likewise, relocating a team in west to Quebec City would necessitate another eastern franchise switch conferences. That pretty much takes Phoenix off the board.
That means it pretty much has to be another team from the east relocating to Quebec. The Islanders were the logical candidate, but they now have a deal to move to Brooklyn. I doubt Columbus will move shop any time soon. It just switched to a new conference and is owed an All-Star Game. I'm guessing it has a Winter Classic coming its way as well. Bringing the Red Wings to Ohio Stadium seems like a natural.
Florida has a horrible team and has been struggling on the business end in recent years, but its attendance is up this season. That could be due to some free or dirt cheap ticket policy, so maybe Florida is still bleeding cash. Hard to believe more people in Miami were interested in a lousy hockey team on the heels of lockout. So I'd say that's Quebec's one chance - poach the Panthers.