Could the NHL have its sights set on a second team in Texas?
While recent expansion talk has centered on the success of the Vegas Golden Knights and the pending entry of a Seattle-based team, at least one member of the NHL's executive committee sees unearthed value in bringing a team to Houston.
"I look at where we can make the greatest impressions and have the most effectiveness," Boston Bruins owner and NHL executive committee chairman Jeremy Jacobs told 98.5 The Sports Hub. "Clearly the one area that is missing is Houston because that's such a great city."
Jacobs did not indicate whether he thinks the NHL should enter Houston through expansion or relocation, but added, "We don't have any really poor cities anymore. They're continuing to flourish."
It's not the first time Jacobs has shared his admiration for Houston, particularly when compared to another oft-discussed expansion market in Quebec City.
"You look at Houston and you look at (Quebec), it's the fifth largest city in North America versus the 105th, let's say, so they have a different situation there," Jacobs said in May.
Meanwhile, Tilman Feritta, a Texas billionaire who bought the NBA's Houston Rockets for $2.2 billion in September 2017, hasn't been shy in expressing his interest in bringing the NHL to Houston. He's even met with the NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to discuss Houston's suitability as an NHL market.
"I'm very interested in the possibility of bringing the NHL to Houston, but it will have to be a deal that works for my organization, the city, fans of the NHL throughout the region, and the NHL Board of Governors," Fertitta said in November 2017.
Houston has previously played home to two pro hockey teams: the AHL's Aeros from 1994 to 2013 and a World Hockey Association franchise by the same moniker from 1972 to 1978.