Sidney Crosby is in favor of the National Hockey League growing by two teams.
With news that realignment is in the final stages of completion — the NHL’s Board of Governors votes this week — the topic of expansion is gaining traction, mostly in response to the league’s proposal for imbalanced conferences (the Eastern Conference would have 16 teams, the West 14.)
No. 87 is definitely on board with adding a pair of clubs.
“It’s only two more teams. I don’t see it as that big an issue,” Crosby told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “The league’s found a way to stay competitive with 30. It can do 32.”
As for where to go?
“Quebec City is the one that sticks out for sure,” he said. “I’ve played in Quebec. I know the city, and I know how much passion they have for hockey. And obviously, with having a team there before and the rivalry with Montreal, I think it would be awesome.”
Crosby does have several ties to Quebec. He played two years of junior hockey for QMJHL Rimouski and his father, Troy, was selected by Montreal in the late stages of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft.
Crosby also cited Seattle and Toronto as potential landing spots for the NHL, two areas that have been rumored as targets for quite some time.
(According to the Trib’s Dejan Kovacevic, the Penguins captain is “really into” the topic of NHL expansion.)
The NHL hasn’t expanded since the 2000-01 season, when Columbus and Minnesota joined as the league’s 29th and 30th teams.
The only move of significance since then came in 2011-12, when the Atlanta Thrashers were relocated to Winnipeg — the first time an NHL franchise had moved since the Hartford Whalers relocated to Carolina in 1997.