It all started with a Tweet. Forbes’ sports business writer Maury Brown put out a fairly direct Tweet suggesting that the NHL will not only consider relocation, but that it will actually happen in June.
File this under rumor…. NHL relocation around the end of June.
— Maury Brown (@BizballMaury) June 3, 2015
Brown indicated right off the bat that this was a rumor, but you have to wonder what made him believe this was worth reporting. Something so seemingly out of the blue could damage a reporter’s reputation if there wasn’t at least an element of truth.
The NHL usually doesn’t comment on rumors, but they quickly brushed this one aside. Take the NHL’s dismissal with a grain of salt as they’ve routinely disputed reports only to do the exact thing the report is suggesting (see: Las Vegas).
Bill Daly spoke with TSN and disputed the relocation report:
“There is absolutely no truth to speculation that any NHL franchise is currently considering relocation. The League and its franchises have never been more stable. There has been no discussion whatsoever regarding a potential relocation and there is a zero percent chance that any franchise will be moved prior to the start of the 2015/16 season.”
The June relocation rumor seems pretty far-fetched mainly due to the timing, but relocation as a whole isn’t too out of the question. There are several cities looking for an NHL team and though the league still needs to expand in order to balance out the two conferences, relocation rumors will probably always follow the Arizona Coyotes and Florida Panthers as long as there are more empty seats than fans at home games.