Expansion or Contraction for the NHL?

This was what it looked like in the arena when the Florida Panthers began playing the Ottawa Senators last night--an almost empty barn at the beginning of the season.

The National Hockey League wants to expand but it can't gain a toehold in the warm weather locales found in the lower 48. The only answer is to expand to Europe, in my mind, because an NHL franchise anywhere else is probably looking at economic hard times.

Why not four teams in Sweden, Norway, Germany and Poland? Call it the European fun run and schedule accordingly. The season is already pretty damned long--we will have hockey well into June of 2015. Somewhere in there, you could accommodate a European road trip for the Eurodivision franchises.

An NHL playoff season split between here and Munich? Holy cow.