Hockey fans are hearing a lot about prominent American cities like Seattle and Houston as possible NHL markets with plenty of room for the league to grow. And then there’s the now-resolved situation in New York, as the Islanders won the Belmont Park bid.
But what of the markets north of the border? Two of Canada’s seven NHL cities, Calgary and Ottawa, have plenty of question marks hovering over their skylines when it comes to their respective arena situations, while Quebec City is still without a team to play at Videotron Centre. “The Senators need a new building downtown and that’s something that’s going to have to get worked out,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said during an appearance on Prime Time Sports on Thursday.
“The Flames do need a new building, and that’s something that’s a concern for sure that has to get focused on; and yes, Quebec City has a building, but nobody’s moving right now, we’re not expanding East.” “Calgary’s been very frustrating because the Flames have concluded they can’t make a building deal in Calgary so they’ll hang out and hang on as long as they can and we’ll just have to deal with those things as they come up,” Bettman said.
Unlike their Alberta rivals—Edmonton opened the new Rogers Place last year—the Flames have not been able to strike a deal with the city for funding a new rink. Bettman said Thursday that he believe there’s “no bridge to build” over the gap between team ownership and the city’s mayor, Naheed Nenshi.