Archive for the ‘SPAD Speaks’ Category

2014Dec 1

SPAD Speaks #1 – NHL Expansion

By Blog Contributor Tyler Fitch

It is always interesting to see the stance that students take on issues that affect the industry that many hope to one day be a part of. In the first installment of the “SPAD Speaks” series, students were polled on whether or not they supported the NHL expanding to more than 30 teams. The results were very interesting, with the first years having a different opinion than students in second year and older.


Isolating the poll into second years and above, the result becomes almost too close to call, with 48.8% supporting expansion past 30 teams, and 51.2% against it. The second years have just completed their Sport Marketing project on the topic of NHL Expansion, potentially making them more enlightened on the topic than others. A lot of upper years elaborated on their answers, saying that they’d prefer the NHL to explore relocation from struggling markets to more attractive ones (Seattle, Quebec City), rather than through expansion. Other rationale provided by students included dilution of talent, including the process of going through an expansion draft and each team having to give up players.

On the supportive side, by far and away the most popular rationale was summed up by first year Grant Trayner, who said “NHL expansion would be good as it could add a balance to the Eastern and Western Conferences”. The first years were overwhelmingly in favour of expansion, with 69.6% in favour of having more than 30 NHL teams.

Third year Jon Nelsons took a more in-depth look with his opinion on the future of the NHL. “I think the NHL will definitely expand to 32 teams, though relocation will occur first. The NHL ranks last of the big 4 in revenues, and with studies showing Canada is capable of supporting up to 12 teams, the league must strongly consider additional expansion to the north.”

Fourth year Alex Buchanan added “there is a lot of buried talent in the AHL and juniors that are drafted and could play for weaker teams. If they have markets that can support teams once they fix markets like Florida, then I’d agree (with) it.”

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman recently downplayed the NHL and expansion saying “even if we decided tomorrow (to add teams), it wouldn’t happen for two or three years”. Even though media has fervently speculated as to where the NHL will expand, it appears that there are no changes imminent. SPAD students as a whole, however, seem to support the notion of expanding to more than 30 teams. Of course, students may just be supportive of expansion due to the hundreds of jobs it would create in the sports industry.

This is the first installment of the SPAD Speaks series. If you have any suggestions for future topics, please e-mail them to .