One more year and they can buy beer.
Indeed, it was 20 years ago today that the NHL announced the addition of two teams in Miami and Anaheim. The former would be owned by Wayne Huizenga, the chairman of Blockbuster Entertainment; the latter by Walt Disney Co.
“Our company has been involved with hockey through Goofy and cartoons,” Disney CEO Michael Eisner said at the press conference. “We made a movie called ‘The Mighty Ducks.’ It did $50 million box office. That was our market research.”
It should be noted that Gary Bettman was not the NHL’s commissioner at the time. (Bettman was responsible for expansion to Nashville, Atlanta, Minnesota and Columbus; he also allowed the re-location of the Winnipeg Jets to Phoenix, the Minnesota North Stars to Dallas, the Quebec Nordiques to Colorado, the Hartford Whalers to Carolina, and the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg.)
Of the two 1992 expansion teams, Anaheim has had the most on-ice success. The Ducks lost in the 2003 Stanley Cup finals before winning in 2007.
The Panthers made a surprise run to the finals in 1996 but were swept by Colorado. Otherwise they’ve missed the playoffs in 14 of their 18 seasons.
Without further ado, here’s something that actually existed: