Providence "on its own" touts well over a million people in "its" area. It is pretty much not 50 miles away from Boston. So, there are people easily commuting from Rhode Island to work in Boston.
It falls under the realm of New England. Football: check. Baseball? Red Sox of Boston. At the baseline of Celtics Hoops.
What about the New York Islanders? Rhode Islanders? It would pretty much amount to spreading out the teams that are already in the same area. Could the Islanders play in Rhode Island instead? Closer to the Bruins? An exhibition there as the "Road Islanders" would be nifty.
What about Connecticut?
Over 920 thousand people are around the area. Why would I mention Hartford if it's not the largest city in the state. Well, they had the Hartford Whalers play in the NHL about two decades ago. It's the largest inland city in the state. And Connecticut is a small state, with only Rhode Island being smaller and butted up against it.
Baseball for any of these markets? No room. New England Revolution cover the other football.
Hockey is the only justification I can see.
New York City is hellbent on two teams per sport. But something tells me that it's not beyond the realm of possibility for a New York hockey squad to skate scoot up the coast. That's the only shot I see. A five hole finger towards Boston. Good for rivalry.
|Last game ever for Hartford, 1997, usatoday|