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City takes next step towards NHL expansion team



Is another NHL expansion coming just two short years after Seattle made its debut as the leagues 32nd franchise?




Atlanta takes next step forward in NHL expansion process


NHL insider Kevin Weekes reports that Georgia's Forsyth county is "about to green light the arena project, a significant step toward a professional Hockey team."


This means a possibility of a return of professional hockey in Atlanta has taken one major leap forward.


This report comes just three months after NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN he was optimistic about the prospect of a franchise in Atlanta, saying he thinks “some of the challenges that we’ve seen in the past in Atlanta can be overcome.”





Atlanta has been home to two NHL franchises in its history. The first came in 1972, when the Atlanta Flames joined the league. Following struggles to maintain a consistent fanbase, the team was sold and relocated to Alberta to become the Calgary Flames in 1980.


Then the Atlanta Thrashers became the leagues 28th franchise in 1998, playing their inaugural season in 1999-2000. The city then lost their team once again in 2011, becoming Manitoba's Winnipeg Jets.





Atlanta is currently not the only team in the expansion conversation. The owner of the NBA's Utah Jazz has also been pushing for a team in Salt Lake City.


Other cities hopeful to bring in an NHL franchise are Houston, Texas, and Quebec City in Canada.


We've now seen two successful expansion teams in the league over the last decade. The Vegas Golden Knights have been one of the leagues most popular franchises, and the Seattle Kraken have built themselves a strong following.


There is reason to believe a third attempt at bringing hockey to the state of Georgia could be successful. Thanks to new expansion team rules, with the ability to build a team by hand picking players from every other team, they could find early success much like their predecessor's.




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