The NHL is rumored to be looking into adding two Western teams, and there have been rumors about Seattle or Las Vegas being a possible landing spot for a NHL franchise. But, could Kansas City be on the horizon?
Kansas City does have roots in NHL hockey. From 1974-1976 the City was home to the Kansas City Scouts. The Scout played only 160 games compiling a mare 27 wins; finishing 5th in the Smythe Division In 1976 the Scouts moved to Colorado and became the Colorado Rockies, and later in 1982 moved to New Jersey and are now the New Jersey Devils.
Fast forward to today, and once again Kansas City could be rejoining the league. According to a tweet by Jeff Rosen of the Kansas City Star, who spoke with Gary Bettman. “Bettman says NHL has heard from several parties in last year about hockey in KC. Those calls have come from both in and outside of KC.” built the Sprint Center, the Center opened its doors on October 10, 2007. It is a multi-use building, and is in need of a team to call it home. If the NHL chooses to make the move to K.C. the Sprint Center can hold 17,544 fans.
There is a hockey fan base in K.C. they do have the Missouri (Independence) Mavericks of the CHL, and they have been able to sell-out the Sprint Center on several different occasions.
The small local team has won best fans of the Central Hockey League and has sold out the small arena consistently over the last 4 years. [KC Kingdom]
The biggest question is will the NHL expand or will they be forced to relocate a struggling team? Rosen quoted Bettmen as saying the NHL” is not considering expansion, And league hasn’t advocated relocation of teams unless it’s a last resort.”, but honestly I think the NHL may have no choice, and relocation is a real possibility. Teams like the Phoenix Coyotes or Florida Panthers may be in need of a new home in the near future, and K.C. has the building ready to go.
Whatever happens, things in the NHL could get very interesting in the near Future. I’m not one for expansion, but putting a team in the heart of the country is not a bad idea.