Morning Hits: Expansion, World Cup and Panthers Tickets
  • Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun: Gary Bettman said there are no plans for relocation and added that they are “not looking to expand anywhere right now.” Bettman on having two teams in the same market.

    “If we decided that we were putting a second team in (Toronto), and the year the team was supposed to start, (what if) the Leafs won the Cup?,” Bettman asked. “If the Leafs won the Cup, it would be like the second team didn’t exist.”

    “There have been Leafs families that go generation to generation to generation,” Bettman explained. “When a market gets divided there’s not as much attention on the second team, no matter how well it performs. Even if the first team isn’t having tremendous success, the second team won’t get premiere coverage.”

  • Hope Smoke: Bob McKenzie: “A second org would be viable in Toronto, but under what circumstances?” … “If you have a team that has to pay to build it’s own arena and then you’re paying anywhere from $350-$800 on a franchise fee” …  “I don’t know if you ever get out from under that debt, but I’m sure there are a lot of people willing to try.”
  • Chris Johnston: Source saying that World Cup of Hockey dates could be September 15th to October 1st, 2016. Not confirmed yet.
  • Kevin Kurz: The NHL will have a behind-the-scenes leading up to the Sharks-Kings and Blackhawks-Capitals outdoor games.
  • George Richards of the Miami Herald: The Panthers have eliminated their ticket giveaways and deeply discounted tickets.

    “We are 100 percent ready for the reality that we’ll have smaller attendance this season,” Cifu said.

    “We want people who are there to be paying a fair price, the same price and enjoying a great product on the ice. We can get 15,000 in there if we gave away 5,000 seats. We don’t want to do that. It’s not fair.”

    They don’t plan on moving the Panthers.

    “We have nowhere to move nor the rights to move,” Cifu said, adding that the team will honor the 14 years remaining on its lease with Broward County.

    “We’re committed to being here. This is a long-term investment. You don’t fix a dozen years of a lack of success on the ice as well as doing things that weren’t hockey-related and non fan-centric in one season. We have to earn the trust back in the community to get people back.”