Houston Sports: Speculation points in direction of new NHL franchise

SAN ANTONIO - OCTOBER 15: Josh Harding
SAN ANTONIO - OCTOBER 15: Josh Harding /

It has been an incredible run for Houston Sports in interim and the latest speculation of the city getting an NHL team may actually retain some traction.

To make Houston Sports whole, it’s a no-brainer that adding hockey to its massive amount of teams represented by pro sports is something that should be desired.  When Tilman Fertitta purchased the Houston Rockets for $2.2 billion, we obviously knew things were going to be changing with the direction of the business with Leslie Alexander on the way out.

Don’t get me wrong, Alexander is a shrewd businessman and Fertitta clearly has some large shoes to fill but the likely reasoning as to why professional hockey in Houston has been more of an innovation rather than a reality is because of his own doing.

The Houston Aeros weren’t selling out their games but there was a large enough of a fan base to where I’m sure the team turned a profit for owner Chuck Watson.  In fact, the Aeros were ranked 7th out of 30 AHL teams in 2012-13, its last season in Houston.  But likely because Les was able to make more money on top headlining events such as concerts, he forced the Aeros hand by raising their rent causing the team to pack up their bags for Des Moines, Ia. for good.

So pro hockey — which has been much of an afterthought to many — is gaining steam and has excellent chance of being successful given Houston’s robust, diverse economy with plenty of residents that would have elongated interest.

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Although NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has said that expansion is not part of the league’s most highest of priorities, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman indicates that speculation should continue on this hot topic.

He also writes that there’s “zero chance that Bettman is not paying attention” to Fertitta’s comments in his initial press conference about wanting to have hockey in H-Town.

Here’s what else Friedman had to say about it’d work with Houston Sports:

"Considering Vegas just dropped the puck, I could see it being true. But (there’s always a but), when someone drops $2.2 billion on the NBA’s Houston Rockets and says, “Yeah, I’m interested in the NHL,” there is zero chance Bettman is not paying attention.Remember, when the AHL left the city, it wasn’t because parent-club Minnesota didn’t like it there. Then-NBA owner Les Alexander jacked up the rent on the arena because he could make more money with other events. Houston’s got a good hockey history. It’s the fourth-largest TV market in the United States. The new boss, Tilman Fertitta, oozes cash. It would fit in the one remaining seven-team division. It’s not impossible to see."

And you know what?  Let the speculation continue!  Because the more this is talked about, especially by us fans, the more it will become of something that needs to be addressed.  Listen, hockey CAN and WILL work in Houston and it would be here to stay just based off the aforementioned that I wrote about.  But it remains to be seen as far as when this vision becomes a reality.

Next: The one way Houston can get an NHL franchise

But in the meantime, pro hockey will have an appearance in Houston soon!  This will be a charity game featuring many of the NHL greats, all under one roof!  All proceeds will go to relief for Hurricane Harvey victims.  This is terrific way to fuse Houston Sports and something that has

affected us all in some way together for the greater good.

CLICK HERE for more information about the benefit!