Lastly, there are few cities in any sports where the owner of a franchise is as revered as the owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
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From on-ice superstar to off-ice savior, Mario Lemieux (and his partners) have managed to bring the team back from the brink of bankruptcy, to building a new arena, and bringing home several championships in the process.
While it’s entirely possible that Lemieux will soon hand off majority ownership of the franchise, whomever steps in could be looking at a situation similar to the Pegulas in Buffalo, where they own both local hockey clubs (as well as other franchises in other sports).
Increasing interest in the game is good for any owner and having an NWHL club in addition to an NHL team could provide new opportunities for fans and merchandise.
While Dani Rylan has made it clear that she and the league is open to potential partnerships and league expansion, it’s hard to find any city that would be more prepared to welcome a NWHL team with open arms.
Anyway you look at it, there are few cities, specifically in the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic that could offer the NWHL the features that Pittsburgh can right off the bat. Beyond an passionate fan base, the team would be able to take advantage of some of the benefits the city has to offer, making Pittsburgh the best fit for the next NWHL franchise.