Hockey is not a regional sport. That's an unfair label slapped on the sport in the United States.
Hockey is more than, say, Minnesota's sport. More than Canada's sport.
Case in point, the Vegas Golden Knights. In their expansion season, they captured the imagination of sports fans everywhere by going to the Stanley Cup Final. During the playoffs, Golden Knights games became the hottest ticket in Sin City.
At the moment, the NHL doesn't have plans to expand after 2020. Vegas was the league's 31st franchise, while Seattle is scheduled to hit the ice in 2020.
But the relocation of a pre-existing NHL team is always a possibility for future hockey hotbeds.
If the NHL can be a smash hit in the desert, it can be popular anywhere. All you need is a fresh sheet of ice.
With that in mind, the NHL should consider putting teams in these 24 cities.