Gary Bettman, NHL Commissioner
Photo credit: CBC

Gary Bettman officially meets with the 33rd and 34th NHL teams

Published April 9, 2024 at 8:46 PM

Gary Bettman and the NHL have been holding expansion meetings for months now, and it appears things may be getting more serious with two cities in particular, Houston and Atlanta.

Interested Groups Meeting in New York

Potential buyers representing the two cities are reported to be meeting with the NHL today in New York City, with expansion/relocation being the topic of conversation.

Former NHL player Anson Carter has also thrown his hat in the expansion ring, as a group led by the broadcaster has begun informal expansion plans with the NHL.

Carter previously expressed his desire to bring professional hockey back to Atlanta, eventually becoming part owner of an ECHL franchise, the Atlanta Gladiators.

While Houston has never hosted an NHL franchise, it had an AHL team, the Houston Aeros, from 2001-2013, eventually moving to Iowa and changing their name to the Wild.

With Houston already possessing NBA, MLB, and NFL franchises, NHL expansion seems likely as major groups remain interested in bringing a second team to the Lone Star State.

Unlike Houston, Atlanta has had two previous NHL franchises, the often forgotten Flames, now in Calgary, and the Thrashers, who now call Winnipeg home.

Atlanta has struggled to maintain an NHL franchise, leaving some to wonder if expanding there once again is a fruitless endeavour.

Gary Bettman and the NHL will have an arduous decision ahead of them as expanding to the wrong market could prove incredibly costly, and could hurt the NHL's reputation if not handled correctly.

As Read On HockeyFeed
— NHL meeting with reps from two potential expansion cities today
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