With all of the news this past week about Seattle based Oak View Group and the seemingly slam dunk decision for the NHL to approve a 32nd franchise to the city of Seattle, reports and rumors of further expansion and relocation are leaking out from NHL owners.
Vancouver Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini first confirmed that Seattle looks to be getting a team, saying, "It's exciting. We want a team in Seattle. It's great for Vancouver. It's great for the league. It's eventually going to happen. KeyArena is going to be built. So I think it's imminent."
Now, Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs is lifting back the curtain even more on the NHL’s plans moving forward. While making a rare public appearance on sports talk radio’s 98.5 The Sports Hub, Jacobs confirmed that Houston, Texas is next up on the docket for the NHL, whether by expansion or relocation.
Check out these quotes from Jacobs, courtesy of Complete Hockey News:
NHL executive committee chairman Jeremy Jacobs says that after Seattle, Houston is the next city in line for an NHL a club.
"Clearly the one area that is missing is Houston because that's such a great city,” Jacobs told 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Jacobs said he didn’t know whether it would be relocation or expansion, but added that all the current markets are in good shape and standing in the eyes of the executive committee.
Houston Rockets (NBA) owner Tilman Fertitta made waves last season when he revealed his desire to land an NHL team in his downtown Houston arena Toyota Center, home of the Rockets. Houston, of course, has a strong professional hockey history with the former Houston Aeros of the World Hockey Association (WHA) of the 1970’s and with an American Hockey League (AHL) team of the same name from 1994 until 2013. The most recent version of the Aeros were an affiliate of the Minnesota Wild, while the WHA version was famous for having legendary NHLer Gordie Howe on its roster.
For what it's worth, the Seattle group goes in front of the NHL's Board of Governor's in December to find out the fate of their expansion bid for the 2020-21 season.
Source: Complete Hockey News
Photo Credit: Zuma Press