How do the Lightning rank against other leagues expansion teams?
The most popular debate style in all sports is to rank teams, players, moments, etc. Following suit, we compared all of the expansion franchises across all major North American sports leagues since the Tampa Bay Lightning entered the NHL.
Growth and expansion in sports are essential. Expanding a league by adding another team hones in on two factors, the success of the current brand is large enough to warrant a need for another team and longevity. In 1992 the NHL added two teams to its league with the Ottawa Senators and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Since that time, with the “big 4” sports leagues in North America, a total of 22 teams have been added to their respective leagues. The NHL happens to have the most prominent expansion, with ten teams added since the 1992 season.
Expansion teams tend to get a bad rap for various reasons; maybe it’s an in-state rival, perhaps it is because they typically host an expansion draft where some of your favorite players may find themselves relocating to a new team. Typically is used because the Baltimore Ravens did not hold an expansion draft, although the NFL officially deemed the franchise as an expansion team.
Front office personnel is essential for new teams coming into their leagues, as they hold the keys to success by building their franchise from the ground up. A poor expansion draft or free-agency outing could leave an upstart team miles behind established teams. Some get it right, and some don’t; it’s sports, and that’s part of what makes it entertaining. Did the Lightning get it right when a group fronted by Phil Esposito won the bid they placed to the NHL to bring a team to Tampa on December 6, 1990? Let’s see how the Bolts compare to teams from around the MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL.
Yep, we’re doing a slideshow; it’s much more organized this way.