NHL Expansion Rumors Leave Fans In One City Very Unhappy

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The NHL went on a bit of an expansion spree when it added four new franchises into the fold around the turn of the new millennium in the form of the Predators, Thrashers, Blue Jackets, and Wild.

After a somewhat lengthy break, the league once again grew when the Golden Knights officially arrived in Las Vegas in 2017 before Seattle got in on the action when the Kraken kicked off their inaugural season in 2021.

While commissioner Gary Bettman hasn’t officially announced any new expansion plans, it appears the NHL may be on the verge of growing from 32 to 34 teams based on what unfolded over the weekend.

On Sunday, a Twitter account devoted to lobbying the NHL to bring a team to the most populous city in Texas teased an impending development when it suggested the Houston Aeros and a resurrected version of the Atlanta Thrashers will become the newest members of the league.

While it was very easy to be skeptical of that claim, retired goaltender-turned-insider Kevin Weekes added a ton of credence to the rumor with a tweet of his own.

However, the news didn’t sit well with one group of hockey fans who are not thrilled Quebec City has apparently been snubbed.

That metropolis was home to the Quebec Nordiques between 1972 and 1995 but has been without an NHL team since the franchise rebranded as the Colorado Avalanche. In January, Bettman said he was open to returning to the city, but also downplayed the possibility by claiming “We’re not in an expansion mode.”

As a result, plenty of people were given yet another reason to tear into Bettman after Weekes added fuel to the fire.

The rumored decision to return to Atlanta is indeed a curious one when you consider the Flames and the Thrashers were unable to find extended success in the city.

With that said, it’s easy to understand why the NHL might be focusing on two major untapped markets in the southern United States as opposed to entering a Canadian one where there’s already plenty of interest in the league.

It’s worth noting Andy Strickland spoke with a league source who disputed the notion any expansion is imminent.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how things play out.

Connor O'Toole avatar
Connor Toole is the Deputy Editor at BroBible. He is a New England native who went to Boston College and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Frequently described as "freakishly tall," he once used his 6'10" frame to sneak in the NBA Draft and convince people he was a member of the Utah Jazz.