Hockey's northern exposure
Another campaign has come to a close for the Penguins, arguably sooner than expected. But this season must be considered at least moderately successful for the National Hockey League. After all, the season had almost been scratched because of the lockout.
The NHL will be facing what should be a less-unnerving off-season. There are surely some issues the league will need to address, including franchises that are struggling to turn a profit. We witness practically undying support for the Penguins in this region, but not every hockey team packs the house every night.
The NHL's roots run deep in Canada, and it seems fitting that any team considering relocation would eye potential new homes such as Quebec City, Hamilton and the Greater Toronto region — known as the Golden Horseshoe.
As far as the profitability of professional hockey is concerned, it doesn't seem that the money is found in the south. A look at the attendance figures for the league will clearly indicate that several southern markets — Dallas, Florida, Nashville and Phoenix — didn't have as many people pass through the turnstiles as most northern markets. The future of hockey — and a potentially very promising one at that — as well as the passion that any franchise would truly desire from its fans will be found in the north.
I can't speak for everyone, but if I were taking in a Penguins game, I'd rather see a prospective Quebec City squad on the ice than one from, say, Las Vegas. Pittsburgh versus Quebec — now that sounds like a hockey night!