Toronto

Toronto must push for 2nd NHL team: councillor

Toronto council should tell the National Hockey League the city is interested in hosting a second team, says a rookie councillor.

Toronto council should tell the National Hockey League the city is interested in hosting a second team, says a rookie councillor.

Coun. Josh Colle presented a motion to council's economic development committee Thursday that calls for the city to send a letter to the NHL expressing its interest in hosting a franchise to compete with the Toronto Maple Leafs "should the opportunity arise."

The letter is addressed to the chair of the committee, Coun. Michael Thompson. Mayor Rob Ford and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman are among those copied on the letter, which argues a second team will bring "significant increases in economic activity, tourism, jobs and tax revenues" to the city.

Colle said he's inspired after the recently consummated deal to bring the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg.

'We want to be considered'

"Their politicians have been talking firmly about this for 15 years, and not shy about saying they want NHL hockey back," said Colle.

"I just think we've got to restate to make it clear that if and when this were to happen, whether it be a new team or relocation, we want to be considered."

The committee is discussing the motion Thursday and will make a determination about whether such a letter should be sent.

Colle said in the letter he thinks another team could benefit MLSE, the owners of the Maple Leafs.

The addition of two teams to the New York market has yielded eight Stanley Cup Championships for their three local franchises and helped to grow the sport exponentially," he wrote.

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