The turnaround came from a lot of things, I think…Yeah, new spent more, but Leopold may have spent on but it was hard to get players to want to come to Nashville because not only was the team, not a contender but because they’d basically fall out of view in the hockey world. No one paid attention to the Predators. The expansion drafts were different back then than they are now. Growth was slower. So the team got better slower. Having Paul Kariya and Shea Weber helped that franchise so much. Weber was homegrown but Kariya on the team made our team look like an actual NHL team to skeptical locals. Same Official Skull Pittsburgh Steelers Shirt with Arnott, and even the short term Peter Forsberg.
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Balsillie tried to buy the Preds, Pens, and Yotes at different times, all with the idea of relocating them to Hamilton, Ontario. And every time he was politely told to fuck off by the league. I lived in Hamilton for a year. It’s a dirty, old, industrial town that I would not consider suitable for an NHL franchise considering other options available. There’s Official Skull Pittsburgh Steelers Shirt also the fact that Balsillie is a jackass. Hamilton is a fine Junior / Minor league town. But the NHL? It wouldn’t work at all. Not only is it firmly Leafs / Sabres territory, it just wouldn’t work at all. So what? There are plenty of blue-collar cities that aren’t ashamed of their roots; like Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore. I guess we would never allow any of those cities in our league though.
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LA approved the Ducks coming in since it was technically their territory. San Jose is on the other end of California. Tampa and Florida came in around the same time. Ottawa is on the other end of Ontario and the Capital, so it’s a no brainer to approve a team there. I feel bad for Hamilton. They went all-in on a facility in the 80s on a serious push for the Penguins, they built an NHL ready rink that never got filled with anything beyond an AHL club. And their biggest Official Skull Pittsburgh Steelers Shirt booster for bringing a team to the area seemed to do everything he could to piss off the old boys club.