GTA expansion on hold, Leafs still the only show in town for now

It looks as though it’ll still be a while before another NHL team is skating through The Six.

The deadline for prospective expansion teams to submit their applications to the league came and went yesterday, with the two most-talked about locations – Quebec City and Las Vegas – sending in their paperwork. Somewhat surprisingly though, there was nothing from the GTA (the “Greater Toronto Area” or “Hockey’s Mecca” or “Center of the Hockey Universe” as we’ve all come to know it.) 

One group, GTA Sports and Entertainment, had indicated just a few weeks ago that they would carry out this process when the window opened. In a piece published by The Sun in June, Graeme Roustan, CEO of the group, had this to say about the league’s willingness to open up expansion talks again.

“(The league’s announcement) means different things to different people…We’re now seeing an opportunity for a process to apply for an NHL franchise which we’ve privately been hoping for…We’re going to proceed with the process. Hopefully we’re successful with it.”

But something must have hit a snag and the plans obviously fell through.

A second team in the golden horseshoe has been considered viable by most people who get paid to talk about this sort of thing, perhaps even more realistic than the cities that did apply. Roustan’s group has mostly been tied to the Markham area, though they’ve apparently been keeping their options open throughout the area. 

For now, though, it looks like we’ll have to wait to see the Leafs and Bettman go to war over this whole thing, which is sort of disappointing. We could all use another team to hate, and this guy would definitely be in line for a new jersey.