The NHL is currently wrestling with the possibility of an expansion team in Salt Lake City, and this raises many concerns. While fans and observers have been discussing the issue, the league is primarily focused on the revenue of approximately $1 billion that they would receive from this expansion. The Athletic’s Eric Duhatschek has outlined the various factors that the league should be considering, such as the 33 team setup and the potential negative impact of diluting the talent pool.
Duhatschek argues against expanding the league to maintain competitiveness in the sport, stating that winning a championship should be challenging. He points out that if teams are added, it would make it easier to win, which is not the purpose of the league. However, Duhatschek’s reasoning has been called into question, as it overlooks the fact that fans are more interested in watching a competitive team rather than focusing purely on championship wins. Furthermore, the argument surrounding parity in sports leagues is often perpetuated by owners to avoid having to invest heavily in creating a winning team.
While fans want to see competitive games, they do not necessarily expect rotational championship wins. The popularity of sports leagues is not solely dependent on parity, but rather on the stories and struggles of the teams involved. In addition, successful franchises tend to attract more viewers due to their familiarity and legacy.
Ultimately, the NHL should be cautious about expanding and potentially diluting the talent pool in their quest for parity. Championships are meant to be hard-earned, and this is what makes the sport compelling for fans. Creating a league where championships are easily achieved is not a viable strategy for growth or success.