I'd be sick if the Oilers moved. I think there should be a "hands-off" policy on Canadian teams. Any team below the 45th should be the first to move. Teams along the southern US border shouldn't have been so quick to move to those cities, regardless of how fast those cities were growing. There are a lot of snowbirds from Canada that own homes in Phoenix and Miami areas, but you can't depend on part time residents as a fan base. It just doesn't work.
The Angels have tried to market themselves to tourists, thinking that folks will come to Disneyland and also go to an Angels game. It hasn't happened, so now they are trying to move into LA itself. It is the same sort of issue. You can't depend on visitors to fill your seats. You need a strong consistent day-to-day fan base. I think Seattle would have one built in for hockey.
Hockey isn't all that popular here in Utah, but when we had a AAA team, we drew almost as much as a lot of NHL teams. It was a good team, in a good league, and there is a large enough base of people here to support a team. Plus we have a "cold season" so hockey makes a lot of sense. Plus people here need something to do.
Seattle fans have shown they will consistently support a decent team. Not a crappy one, but a decent one and above. Look what the Sounders have done. The M's think their attendance is down because the Sounders FC came along. What a joke. The M's would still be filling the place. The problem for the M's is that they suck, and the Sounders are consistently in the top 3 or 4 teams in the league and win trophies (multiple open cups in a row).
There are PLENTY of fans to fill the seats of a hockey, basketball, baseball, and football teams in Seattle. Here in Utah we fill the seats of the Jazz (around 20,000 a game for 82 games), Real Salt Lake (over 16,000 per game for about 20 games), 3 minor league baseball teams (2 rookie league, 1 triple A), 5 division 1 basketball teams (all within an hour and a half driving distance north and south), and 3 Division 1 Football teams (BYU seats 65,000... U of Utah seats about 60,000, and Utah State about 40,000) and a lower level hockey team. We don't have nearly the population base that the Seattle/Tacoma area has.
There will be no problem. The M's just want to be able to continue to spend little and get a huge return. To get butts in the seats, you need a better product, and competition is bad if you don't want to try. Thus their blatant whining about the whole thing. It's obvious they don't want to invest in the product.
R.I.P. Dad. I miss you. You will never be forgotten
1/12/39 - 8/7/08