Home NHL Duhatschek: If you started from scratch, which 32 cities would get NHL teams? – The Athletic
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Duhatschek: If you started from scratch, which 32 cities would get NHL teams? – The Athletic

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Back around 1983 or ’84, when Bob Johnson was coaching the Calgary Flames, he had a fascination with the city of Phoenix. He liked it for the climate, the warmth and the geography. Once or twice a year, Badger Bob would come up to me and George Johnson, my writing counterpart at the Calgary Sun – and in that big, booming theatrical voice of his, would loudly predict that one day, there’d be an NHL team in Phoenix. Badger would then lean in close and – in a much lower voice – predict that he would coach the team and that he intended to bring George and me along as his writers. Usually, that would be our cue. The three of us would howl like the witches at the start of Macbeth, before collectively bursting out in laughter at the absurdity of the notion.

An NHL team in Phoenix? Dream on. And then we’d go back to our regularly scheduled business, trudging through a cold northern winter in a traditional hockey city.

Well, you know the rest of the story. Five…

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