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NHL open to bringing expansion team to Atlanta

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

Its been just two years since the Seattle Kraken joined the NHL as the leagues 32nd team, and talks have already begun about the future of the league beyond its current 32-team format.

Third times the charm?

According to the NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, the league is strongly considering an expansion bid from Atlanta if the league were to expand to 33 teams.

Daly is optimistic that a third franchise in Atlanta would yield better results than the two previously re-located franchises in the market.

"I think some of the challenges that we've seen in the past in Atlanta can be overcome," Daly told ESPN at the NHL/NHLPA player media tour on Tuesday.

“Market demographics have changed pretty dramatically since the first time we went there and then again in 1999,” Daly said.

Following the immediate success of the Golden Knights and Kraken, there are more people than ever who want to own an NHL franchise in the future.

With the revamped expansion draft rules, as well as ESPN coverage of the league increasing dramatically, there is no reason to believe Atlanta would strikeout on their third attempt.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has already stated that expansion is not a priority for the league at the moment.

Thrashers history

The Atlanta Flames played from 1972 to 1980 before relocating to Calgary. The Atlanta Thrashers played there from 1999 to 2011 before relocating