Blog Entry

City of Saskatoon joins relocation hopefuls

Posted on: March 2, 2012 3:45 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2012 4:08 pm
 
(Motifake.com)

By Brian Stubits

Since the Phoenix Coyotes situation still hasn't found a resolution, there has been plenty of discussion where the team could potentially relocate to if it doesn't remain in the desert. The most of the focus in that conversation has centered around Seattle and Quebec City with Kansas City and even Las Vegas being mentioned on the periphery.

Well just as long as we're discussing the options, might as well add Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to the list. Really.

The prairie city in the middle of one of Canada's two provinces that shares a border with the United States but don't have a team (New Brunswick the other) would like to change that. Here's the initial report from TSN's Bob McKenzie.

But interested parties in Saskatoon have contacted the league and suggested there are individuals or parties in Saskatoon who would be willing to ante up the required purchase fee while various levels of government in Saskatchewan would make necessary arrangements to expand and make NHL-suitable the 15,800-seat Credit Union Centre.

Now the city of Saskatoon only has a population around 250,000 and doesn't have many cities nearby that could help. Saskatchewan's capital of Regina and its population of nearly 200,000 is three hours away.

Yet I have no doubt that even with a population of just 250,000 the city would likely have no problems filling the arena on a nightly basis. We're talking about a Canadian city in a province that produces a lot of NHL talent. In fact, Saskatchewan is responsible for 9.1 percent of the Canadian talent in the NHL today, a slight ways behind British Columbia with 10.6 percent and ahead of Manitoba.

It's all the other factors that you wonder if they could compete, such as corporate sponsorships, television deals, etc.

But they do have an arena that would work, at least temporarily until renovations could be finished. If Winnipeg's MTS Centre with 15,000 seats was approved, that size shouldn't be a problem.

The mayor of Saskatoon, Don Atchison, told the StarPhoenix on Friday that this is a little more than just idle chat.

“They’re exceedingly serious, make no bones about that,” Atchison said. “But it doesn’t matter how serious the ownership group is. We have seen that once before when Mr. [Bill] Hunter bought the team and was ready to move it here.

“It will be up to the NHL what occurs in the end.”

What he is referring to is Bill Hunter's attempt to buy and move the St. Louis Blues to Saskatoon in 1987, obviously an attempt that was felled by the NHL.

Obviously we're looking at a super long shot here. If the city failed the first time who’s to say the NHL would approve it on the second try? The population has to be a concern from an available money standpoint even though I think it would work, it's taking a leap of faith.

Just a little food for thought. In closing I'll leave you with this.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Comments

Since: Mar 26, 2011
Posted on: March 8, 2012 11:14 pm
 

City of Saskatoon joins relocation hopefuls

Galf: LOL. Only for 2 weeks on vacation in the summer of 82!



Since: Mar 5, 2010
Posted on: March 8, 2012 2:23 pm
 

City of Saskatoon joins relocation hopefuls

ARK - You left the Pier for the Prairie?



Since: Nov 6, 2009
Posted on: March 8, 2012 2:11 pm
 

City of Saskatoon joins relocation hopefuls

Good, Canada deserves a stronger hockey presence. Hockey is better when Canadian teams are involved. Canadian cities are more deserving of a team than any American city due to the fact that they would sellout the arena every game, due to Canada having a great fan base. Just move them out of the pacific divsion due to geographic location compared to the rest of the division (CALIF, Texas). Phoenix has a solid, talented team and that is another reason why I think a Canadian city should have this team because most likely this will give a stronger Canadian presence in the post-season and hopefully increase the chances of a Canadian team taking the cup back north of the boarder. If not Saskatoon, then Quebec City should be awarded the hockey team. NHL give the team to Canada.



Since: Mar 5, 2010
Posted on: March 8, 2012 6:44 am
 

City of Saskatoon joins relocation hopefuls

I second that MC



Since: Nov 18, 2007
Posted on: March 8, 2012 6:19 am
 

City of Saskatoon joins relocation hopefuls

notwhat- Cool-- good stuff



Since: Mar 26, 2011
Posted on: March 8, 2012 2:46 am
 

City of Saskatoon joins relocation hopefuls

I spent two weeks in Saskatoon, and I love the city; but it's too small. 260K is the Metropolitan area, not just the city.



Since: Jul 23, 2010
Posted on: March 6, 2012 7:31 am
 

City of Saskatoon joins relocation hopefuls

@notwhatuthink....  LOl, I'm rolling on the floor. Awsome post, just saying



Since: Jan 11, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2012 11:46 pm
 

City of Saskatoon joins relocation hopefuls

Yeah, notwhat, and it's all Molson, eh?



Since: Dec 29, 2011
Posted on: March 5, 2012 11:05 pm
 

City of Saskatoon joins relocation hopefuls

None of these Canadian cities make a bit of sense to me. For 1, your fan base is already in Canada...that's the only sport those people eknow about(aside from Curling), so why move another team there if you want to expand the NHL horizons. A place like Seattle, that is close to the border and would probably create a huge rivalry would certainly increase the American fan base, and in my opinion, that's the only one that matters
It's this ignorance and arrogance among some of the American people that drive Canadians crazy. Yes, we have absolutely no knowledge of other sports outside of hockey and curling. We know nothing about football and baseball. Oh, by the way, in case you ever want to come for a visit, be sure to bring your snow shoes, ice fishing gear and get ready to cozy up in our igloos. Oh, the beer is cold and waiting.



Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: March 5, 2012 7:21 pm
 

City of Saskatoon joins relocation hopefuls

how bout just contracting and removing the Coyotes and Panthers from the league.  Wouldn't the league benefit more from 36 players needing to find a new home and increasing team talents NHL wide?  I'm more for this than other peoples dreamy ideas of what would work better than Phoenix.  From what I've heard, there are a lot of people down there that like hockey, there are just too many problems with contract negotiations etc for the team to turn a profit.  Furthermore, when your team, prior to the last few seasons, is perenially terrible, it's hard for anyone to draw.  They finally got good as soon as rumor was that they were leaving...and how is one supposed to support a team that is repeatidily rumored to be walking out of their lives for good.  It's like spending time with a girlfriend you know is going to leave you....just doesn't make sense.  None of these Canadian cities make a bit of sense to me.  For 1, your fan base is already in Canada...that's the only sport those people know about(aside from Curling), so why move another team there if you want to expand the NHL horizons.  A place like Seattle, that is close to the border and would probably create a huge rivalry would certainly increase the American fan base, and in my opinion, that's the only one that matters


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