These 10 cities should be candidates for NHL expansion.

10 Cities That Should Have NHL Expansion Teams

The NHL should consider these cities for expansion franchises because new markets and fan bases can never hurt a sports league.


The NHL expanded to Las Vegas last season and the Golden Knights made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals. They were perhaps the most successful expansion team in NHL history. The NHL also announced expansion into Seattle late last year. The NHL will be the second of the four major sports leagues to expand to 32 teams along with the NFL. With two new teams in the league, the NHL enters new markets and new fan bases. Hockey is a sport for everyone and the more fan bases in North America the better. What other cities need an NHL team? Which fan bases will provide exhilarating environments for a hockey team? These 10 cities should be candidates for NHL expansion in the future.

1. Quebec City

Quebec City once had a hockey team, the Quebec Nordiques. The team left Quebec City in 1995 to move out west to Denver. The Nordiques had an intense rivalry with the Montreal Canadiens in the 80s. Quebec City deserves a new hockey team for its fans. It has been 24 years and counting since an NHL team was in Quebec. Another added bonus to a team in Quebec City is a renewed rivalry with the city of Montreal.

2. Hartford

Similar to Quebec, Hartford also had a hockey team. The Whalers moved south to Raleigh, North Carolina in 1997. Hartford may not be a large city, but the fan base was loyal during the Whalers tenure in Connecticut. A new team would fit perfectly in the region along with other northeastern cities such as Boston, Buffalo, and Montreal.

3. Baltimore

Baltimore would bring a fresh market in the Mid-Atlantic. Close proximity to Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington D.C. may bring new rivalries as well. Baltimore is a great sports town. The Orioles and Ravens have had great success here. An NHL team in Baltimore could have success on the ice.

4. Houston

Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States. It is a fast-growing community with excellent sports fans. Houston has 3 sports teams — the Astros, Rockets, and Texans. Those teams play baseball, basketball, and football. Hockey in Houston is almost too easy. It brings a new market to Texas and the loyal sports fans are already there.

5. Indianapolis

Indianapolis is a typical Midwest city, and Midwesterners love hockey. Expanding in Indianapolis would be an excellent move by the NHL. It would bring new hockey fans from the state and new rivalries with Chicago or Detroit would thrive. Indiana may be a basketball state, but that does not mean there isn't room for a hockey team in town.

6. Milwaukee

The NHL expanded to the desert before Wisconsin. Residents of the state are long overdue for an NHL team. Hockey is almost as popular as football in the state. The popularity of the sport would skyrocket with the addition of an NHL team. Once again, geography makes the decision to expand an even easier one. Milwaukee is a great location for regional rivalries with Chicago, St. Louis, or Minnesota.

7. Kansas City

Kansas City had a hockey team in the mid-70s, but the Scouts had very little success. Today, a new hockey would be worth the investment for the NHL. It would attract many fans from mid-America, create sound geographic rivalries, and create a new market for the NHL. Kansas City sports fans love their Chiefs and the Royals. A hockey team would make KC a more well-rounded sports city.

8. Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City deserves another sports franchise. Its NBA team, the Jazz, has not been championship contenders since the late 90s. Utah would be the perfect location for another western hockey team. Expansion out west is nothing new for the NHL. Adding a team in Salt Lake City would bring in the fans and the money.

9. Portland

Portland is another West Coast city with only one sports organization, the Trailblazers. The city of Portland would be receptive to an NHL franchise. With the announcement of a franchise in Seattle, Portland would make perfect sense for a new team. Adding more teams to the west coast would counter the many teams the NHL has on the east coast.

10. San Diego

Hockey is not exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you think of San Diego. But, some thought adding a team in Vegas was a bad idea, and the Golden Knights are successful thus far. San Diego is one of the largest cities in America and its only sports team is the Padres after the Chargers left town. A new hockey team in Southern California is just what the NHL needs. A team close to Los Angeles and Anaheim is great for breeding rivalries.

Each of these cities has fun things to do whether it is sports related or not. But, none of them have a hockey team. The Seattle franchise will be the 32nd in the NHL. One day a sports league will hit 40 organizations. The NHL and the owners should ask themselves if they should be first of the NFL. NHL expansion rumors come around each season, but new cities should be serious contenders for expansion. These 10 cities all bring something new to the table and have plenty to offer new fan bases.

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11 Things Fastpitch Softball Players Know To Be True

You'll never remember your Facebook password, but you'll remember softball cheers for the rest of your life.

There comes a time in every little girl's life when she must come to terms with the fact that she will never play Major League Baseball. So, she turns to softball. From tee-ball to coach-pitch to travel ball, to playing on your school team, softball has played a crucial role in your life. It taught you the value of teamwork, the importance of sunscreen, and introduced you to your best friends. For former and current fastpitch players alike, these truths are universal.

1. The rays of a thousand suns couldn't even out your tan lines.

Tan arms and a V-neck tan line is the unofficial uniform of the softball player. Years after you stop playing softball, at 2 p.m. on the second Monday of every month when the sun is shining through your bathroom window at a 90-degree angle, you'll swear you can still see the slightest hint of a racerback tan line between your shoulders. Good luck finding a flattering sundress!

2. Pitchers are a different breed of human.

It's a tale as old as time: You saw that the pitchers got to skip all of the intense drills at practice so they can go off to the side with the catcher to chat and have a catch for an hour and you said, "I gotta get in on that." So, your dad paid for your pitching lessons, you mimicked Jennie Finch as best as you could, and three years later, you're contemplating changing your name just to forget about that time you spent as a pitcher. Successful pitchers must have no other interests, future career goals, or a family who loves them because pitching just destroys everything you believe in. If you do survive being a pitcher, congratulations, because you are now fully equipped with nerves of steel that will allow you to conquer the worst that life has to throw at you.

3. An 8 a.m. game on Sunday means you had a really bad Saturday.

Where is the most tranquil and somber place that people often go to on Sunday mornings to reflect on their wrongdoings? No, not church. It's the softball field. When you have to be at the field before the sun, you start thinking irrationally, like "Maybe if I used the Demarini instead of the Stealth in the third inning of the second game yesterday we would've only lost by six runs instead of seven which would have put us in the winner's bracket!" Have fun running a lap for every error you made the day before.

4. If the other team is wearing shorts, you know you're going to win.

There's just so much leg! Shorts and softball go together like ketchup and strawberry jelly, as in, that's what your knees are going to look like if you even attempt to slide wearing a pair of shorts. Don't even get me started on the tan line from mid thigh to mid shin. You know the one. This is the big leagues, ladies, put on some pants.

5. If you aren't dirty after a game, you didn't play hard enough.

If you don't come home from a tournament, look in the mirror, and go, "Wow I got a good tan today!" only to take a shower and find out that it was all just dirt, then you probably missed that slide sign from the third base coach when you were rounding second.

6. Cheers are a necessary evil.

Cheering in softball is like having a dead-end job that you hate; it's unfulfilling, robs you of your dignity, and tires you out, but you have to do it anyway. You'll never remember your Facebook password, your parents' anniversary, or that you left your laundry in the washer, but you'll remember softball cheers for the rest of your life. Unless, of course, you fall into the water and bump your little head like that damn froggy.

7. Pre-wrap is a hot commodity in the dugout.

"I'll trade you a bag of Ranch sunflower seeds for your light blue pre wrap."

"No way, I had to get my mom to drive me to three different Sports Authority's last night just to find this color!"

8. You may get along with other teams between games, but they are not your friends on the field.

It's perfectly normal to meet another player in line for the bathroom at a tournament, compliment her on her cheetah print hair ribbon, and then trash talk her on the field half an hour later. You can make it up to her by giving her a high five and a poignant smile in the handshake line after the game.

9. If you get hit by a pitch and there aren't lace marks in your skin, it's really just a waste of time.

You love being able to showcase your bruises at school on Monday when all of your non-softball friends ask, "Does it hurt to get hit with a fastball?" and you can coolly and calmly answer, "Nah." Bruises up your street cred, and lace marks are just bonus points. So, when you don't have any stitching embedded in your skin, you wish you could just have the chance to bat. Take your base.

10. When the bat meets the ball juuuuuust right, it is the most powerful feeling in the world.

Your dad was right when he told you to keep your head down when you swing. You always thought that the "sweet spot" of the bat was just a myth until you hit your first home run. The rush of adrenaline will make you feel so powerful that you'll try to see if you can pick up a car in the parking lot with your bare hands after the game, but you still can't.

11. You will always consider your team to be your best friends.

After spending every weekend together, you and your team create a bond so close that it borders on uncomfortable. You may take out your frustrations on each other from time to time like when someone steps on the freshly chalked line before the game, or when you all fight over the ball with the best, most prominent laces for your warm up toss. But at the end of the day, your team will always be the biggest bunch of weirdos you know, and that is irreplaceable.

Cover Image Credit: Art Mad

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Andy Ruiz Jr. May Not Look Like The Typical Boxer, But It Doesn't Make His Victory Any Less Deserved

Andy Ruiz Jr. just proved that dreams can come true.


On June 1, boxing fans witnessed something special as Andy 'Destroyer' Ruiz Jr. defeated Anthony Joshua via TKO after going seven rounds in the ring at Madison Square Garden in New York City to become the first ever Mexican-American heavyweight champion of the world. Ruiz Jr. (33-1) was a heavy underdog (+1100) heading into the match-up with Joshua (22-1) but ultimately flipped the script to hand the British fighter his first professional loss ever. Surely the fight will go down as one of the greatest moments in sports history.

Some members of the media and fans have been quick to label the fight as a 'fluke' and 'rigged' which in the end is no surprise to me. That always happens in the sports world. Many did not believe we would get this result yet failed to remember the one rule of sports -- expect the unexpected. Over the past week, I've been coming to the defense of Ruiz Jr. in the wake of others choosing to call him a joke.

I was shocked and surprised to hear two of my favorite sports analysts, Stephen A. Smith and Shannon Sharpe, make fun of Ruiz Jr. and frame him as just a guy that looked like 'Butterbean.' When I viewed their tweets on social media it honestly made me upset. Sure, Ruiz Jr. may not have fit the mold of what a professional boxer should look like, but they simply should not have just judged a book by its cover.

Personally, I thought it was disrespectful for Smith and Sharpe to throw shade at Ruiz Jr. in the way they did. I felt like they should have done a better job of acknowledging the winner considering the result of the match. Yet choosing to bash someone because of their physical composition appeared like a low blow. The very foundation of sports allows people of all shapes, sizes, genders, races, and backgrounds to compete -- that's why most people follow them in the first place.

Smith was open behind his reasoning for his tweets in which I'd like to shed some light on. Smith was upset about how boxing time after time contains elements of corruption with fans having to wait years until promoters schedule big fights. He along with other followers of the sport were looking forward to the highly anticipated yet potential future match-up between Joshua and fellow heavyweight Deontay Wilder. Smith believes that by Ruiz Jr. beating Joshua it essentially diminished the chances of that fight ever happening with the same amount of buildup, but that still doesn't provide any excuse for mocking the new heavyweight champ.

Ruiz Jr. was there for a reason and ultimately seized the opportunity that was right in front of him -- that's not his fault for getting the job done. Just because someone doesn't look like the part doesn't mean they don't possess the same qualities and characteristics as their counterparts. The following pair of videos display the amount of talent Ruiz Jr. does have in the ring. Even fellow boxer Canelo Alvarez and former UFC lightweight/featherweight champion Conor McGregor acknowledge that and have come out to say something on their behalf.

Unfortunately, I don't expect much to change because most will stand their ground and continue to behave the same way. All I'm saying is I did not enjoy some of the top figures within sports media stereotyping Ruiz Jr. based on his looks. I would think that we would be better than that and recognize that anyone can accomplish something great in this world. It all just starts with a simple dream.

I understand and respect other people's takes on this subject, maybe I'm looking into things deeper than what they are, but it struck a chord with me and I felt the need to say something about it.

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