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Posted: Thursday February 9, 2012 3:03PM ; Updated: Thursday February 9, 2012 3:03PM

Report: Canada can support nine NHL teams

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TORONTO (AP) -- A new report released by the Conference Board of Canada says the country could support up to nine NHL teams, two more than the current number.

Quebec City and Hamilton are the most suitable cities for having a team, according to the report by the non-profit organization that studies economic trends in the country.

The Conference Board of Canada used four "pillars" in its analysis - population size, market wealth, corporate presence and the level playing field created by a Canadian dollar that is at par with its U.S. counterpart.

It found that "getting and keeping" a second team in Toronto would be difficult.

The Winnipeg Jets became the seventh NHL team in Canada after the Atlanta Thrashers relocated last offseason. The other teams are in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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