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A New Toronto Hockey Team to Bet On

Written by:
Ean Lamb
Published on:
Oct/23/2008
Toronto

Last we checked, the Toronto Maple Leafs were 75/1 long shots to win the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup at Sportingbet.com. Move over Maple Leafs, North American gamblers could have a new Toronto hockey team to bet on.

NHL governors are talking informally about placing a second hockey team in Toronto alongside the Maple Leafs, The Globe and Mail reported this week.

"Why shouldn't we put another team in the best and biggest market in the world?" one of several NHL governors who spoke with The Globe anonymously said of the Greater Toronto Area.

According to this governor, one idea floated is for prospective owner Jim Balsillie to be rewarded with an expansion team in Toronto after helping to restore financial ballast to the Nashville Predators.

"I've heard this exact scenario," a second governor said.

Richard Peddie, president of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, said the organization would not automatically reject the idea of a second team in Toronto.

"When and if the league brings expansion to the table, we'll listen and decide what is best [for hockey]," he said.

As to the potential impact on the Maple Leafs, the first governor dismissively waved his hand. "The Maple Leafs would not be hurt one bit. In fact, it would help them. They could make all kinds of money renting the Air Canada Centre to the other team."

It was also suggested by one NHL governor that any new team in Toronto would be part of a moving process of an existing franchise, not an expansion.

Two league teams co-exist successfully in a number of US cities. New York has the Giants and Jets, Yankees and Mets. Chicago has the White Sox and Cubs. San Francisco has the Raiders (playing just over the bridge in Oakland) and 49ers. Los Angeles has the Lakers and Clippers. And while the Clippers have long played second fiddle to the Lakers, other two sports team cities enjoy loyal fan bases for both.

Hockey betting continues to propel the sport despite financial losses for some teams. Outside of the Major League Baseball World Series, hockey accounted for nearly half the bets coming into Bookmaker.com on Wednesday, more than the early football wagering.

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Ean Lamb, Gambling911.com

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