The polls are closed and the votes have been counted! The IceHL is expanding by two teams in 2012 and Icethetics readers have decided they will be in Hartford and Yellowknife.
Hartford garnered 35% of the vote on the IceHL EAST side while Yellowknife picked up 34%. Ottawa and San Francisco were the runners up. However, that doesn't mean these two cities won't get IceHL teams. There's still the possibility of relocation for a handful of teams this summer. More on that to come.
Hartford, Conn. was once home to the Whalers of the NHL and WHA. To my knowledge, Yellowknife (of Canada's Northwest Territories) has never had a professional hockey team. In other words, lots of hockey history to draw on in one city, almost none in the other.
By the way, as far as votes go, people did not want to see Phoenix get an IceHL team while it's struggling to keep its NHL club. The city earned a mere 3% of the western vote. The least-voted city in the east was Miami with 8%. If you click the link above, you can see how 10 cities did.
You'll notice the comments are disabled for this post. This is just an announcement of the winning cities. Hold your ideas. On Monday, I'll open the floor to name suggestions, so start doing some research and thinking about what these teams should be named. (Obviously, Hartford/New England Whalers is not an option.) Get creative!
When the naming submission post goes up on Monday, I'll explain how the process will work.