Given the strength of the Canadian dollar and the growing interest for more teams in Canada, do you foresee plans for any struggling, revenue-sharing teams such as the Coyotes to be moved North? If so, what impact, if any, would that have on the CBA?
Lyle Richardson: We already know Pierre-Karl Peladeau, the owner of media giant Quebecor, is interested in purchasing an NHL franchise and moving it to Quebec City, especially since the city and the province have agreed to build him a new arena.
I believe it’s a certainty Quebec City gets a franchise, either via relocation or expansion. Given the recent news of a potential new arena being built in Seattle, however, that city could jump ahead of Quebec City if the Coyotes are to move, but of course that’ll depend on whether there’s an owner willing to move a team there. As for the impact of more Canadian franchises on a new CBA, it’ll affect the salary cap more than anything else. As long as the Canadian dollar remains at par with the Yankee greenback, the higher the salary cap will rise, especially if there’s eight Canadian-based franchises.
My concern, however, is for those markets when (not if) the American dollar inevitably improves, and the Canadian dollar falls in value. It’ll hurt smaller Canadian market franchises like Winnipeg and a potential one in Quebec City, which raises the spectre of relocation once again.
Paul Kukla: Any struggling team that wants to move or needs to be moved to Canada, should do so. The move will only strengthen the NHL, have a positive impact on salaries and is a win/win for both the NHL and the NHLPA.
But again, get the input from the NHLPA before deciding on this type of move. Remember, a true partnership!
My belief has always been, put a team in a city where people want to watch it, not in a city with potential growth. The economy is brutal right now, go with a sure thing and not a “hope it works out” scenario.
Jesse Spector: The Coyotes, all along, have been 50-50. While the union will have something to say about relocation and consequent realignment in any scenario, I don’t think Phoenix’s situation will have a major impact on CBA negotiations.
Tyler Altemose: No, I do not see any more teams moving to Canada; at least for the immediate future. Gary Bettman and the league have so far succeeded in their efforts to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix, and from what I see it appears as if that success is slated to continue. I do, however, consider the recent move of the now-defunct Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg as a litmus test for potential future endeavors of this sort (namely with Quebec City; although you should keep your eye out for Seattle, too, regarding the recent developments out there).
The impact on the CBA of a move of this sort would, in my opinion, be minimal. Escrow would be affected depending on the immediate success of the new franchise, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to a different structure in the new CBA. As this juncture I would have to say that, because I do not see any moves in the immediate future, I also cannot see any significant changes to the new CBA resulting.