The NHL is undoubtedly expanding the league to 32 teams with Seattle all but confirmed as the NHL's newest franchise. This is extremely exciting news for the NHL, especially after the success of the Vegas Golden Knights in their inaugural season. However, what if the NHL wants to continue to expand into a 33rd or 34th team? Maybe that's a bit of a pipe dream for right now, but it never hurts to consider spreading the game to more cities.
5. Toronto, Ontario
If New York can have two NHL teams, then I'm sure Toronto could do the same. Toronto is a massive hockey market and putting another team out there could drive some revenue from the Toronto suburbs.
Also, this would immediately become one of the best rivalries in hockey. The New York Rangers and the New York Islanders have a deep rivalry ever since the Islanders entered into the league. Imagine if the two Toronto teams met in the playoffs? That would be an immediate bloodbath between not only the teams but also the fans.
4. Houston, Texas
The city of Houston could be a great way to spread the NHL even more in the south. Gary Bettman loves to spread the game to hotter climates, case an point, the Arizona Coyotes and the Vegas Golden Knights.
Houston would have a heated rivalry with the Dallas Stars that could drive more fans to the games. They already have an NHL ready stadium in the Toyota Center so the transition would be easy. The NHL has tried to create a market in Houston before with the AHL team, Houston Aeros, however they were relocated in 2013.
If the NHL wants to take a second chance at hockey in Houston, maybe their best shot is to make the Aeros into an NHL franchise instead of a minor league team.
3. Portland, Oregon
With the expansion to Seattle all but done, the NHL could be looking to further their reach out west. the Seattle team will undoubtedly have a rivalry with Vancouver, however, an even better option would be Portland, Oregon.
Portland is extremely passionate for their sports, primarily the Timbers and the Trail Blazers. If the Seattle franchise does as well as everyone hopes, don't be surprised to see the NHL make it's way into Portland.
The Moda Center, home of the Trail Blazers, would immediately be a home for the Portland team. There's already been some interest from Portland to binging an NHL franchise to their city. Portland was reportedly an option for relocation if the Coyotes were to move from Arizona.
2. Kansas City, Kansas
Kansas City is already familiar with an NHL team in their city limits. The Kansas City Scouts were an NHL team for just two years from 1974 to 1976 before relocating to Denver, Colorado.
The NHL has even held preseason games at the Sprint Center in recent years, proving that it could hold a hockey game. Kansas City already has the Royals and the Chiefs, but maybe the city would be interested in a hockey team as well.
The Sprint Center would have to be the venue for the expansion team, and likely in need of a renovation to make it further suitable for hockey games. The NHL has tried their hand in Kansas City before, so maybe they'll give it another go in the near future.
1. Quebec City, Quebec
This is the obvious choice for an NHL expansion or relocation. If the NHL chooses any other city, it really is just a flat out mistake. Quebec City is in desperate need to bring back the Nordiques, already with a fantastic arena in the Videotron Centre.
If any expansion/relocation team is gonna have immediate success, it would be the Quebec City Nordiques. However, the Montreal Canadiens have voiced their objections to an expansion to Quebec City, stating that it would take away from their hockey market.
That being said, the rivalry for Quebec would become insane and drive people to the games from all across the country. If the NHL does decide to expand even more, or relocate a struggling franchise, the correct choice is Quebec City and it's not even close.