Common sense - Why the season was cancelled!

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by Ola, Feb 20, 2005.

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  1. Ola

    Ola Registered User

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    I´ve read what the Stratchan& Brooks of the world have to say today.

    The question everyone is asking is, "it doesn´t make sense. They were so close and still couldn´t get it done."

    However these guys seems to forget that its febuary 19th today. And when you take that into consideration allot of leverge goes out the window. The alternative from a NHL point of view to start a season in 2 weeks can´t be very appealing.

    Everyone seems to agree that there are allot of changes to be done to the game when it starts inorder to get the fans back after this mess. However would a 28 games season do that? The way I see it the 05´ season could have gone down as by far the worst season ever. I am sure that was as big a reason as any why we didn´t see a deal yesterday... Here is why:

    First of all, almost half the players wouldn´t be in shape. It takes more then a week to get your legs moving. Atleast 2 superstars would be AWOL, and there aren´t to many around these days. I belive we all can agree how much the stars means to the game, and one thing is certain they wouldn´t benefit from only skating a week before the league starts. The timing and hand eye cordination is what takes the longest time to get back.

    Second, the problem with obstruction would still be there. Thats is also a myth Id like to kill, allot of columnists have talked about how its the NHL who have created the trap(or in other words let it be) so that small market teams can compete. Personally I don´t belive 1% of that. I mean the trap has cost allot of money for the entire league, its ridiculos to belive that the people in charge would make that sacrifise so Nashville/Minnesota can compete. The people in charge, Bettman and Campbell isn´t capable thats the bottomline...Swedish equallent to hockey night in Canada spent 50% of its show last monday debating what happend to the last crackdown on obstruction and hooking in the SEL. It only lasted two month! =) And there is no interest what so ever to have a trap in the SEL. I saw a soccer game last night, 0-0. Low scoring has been a problem for 30 years for soccer and they are dooing everything to fix it. The reality in hockey is that the diffrence in talent between the best guy on the team and the worst guy is allot less then it where 20 years ago. The same about goalie equipment, sure its gotten bigger. But put Marty Brodeur in the net naked with a skates, a stick and a glove&blocker and he will save 90% of the shoots from the blueline anyway if his life depended on it. These guys are extremely skilled. Take away the top 60 goaltenders from the NHL and bring up the guys below them and you would see scoring increase allot, and they all play with the same equipment. However I don´t doubt that the game can be opened up but it will take allot more then a phonecall.

    Third, would there have been people at the rink? If I had a seasonticket to a league that I thought was cancelled I wouldn´t be able to attend many of thoose games. I am pretty fullbooked the next four weeks. And how many people would go out and by tickets in a week or two after this mess?

    I am afraid that the level of hockey beeing played would stink. With many skilled players struggling to get back to shape the grinders will dominate even more and the trap will be more prominent the ever. The arenas would be half empty. This if anything could turn out into a disaster for the league. The absolutly worstcase scenario would be a Stanley Cup game in 05´ beeing played infront of 5000 fans. That could forever take away the auroa that the Stanley Cup playoffs have.

    I am not saying that this was the deciding factor. Things aren´t exactly getting better by the day. But personally I don´t belive all the conspiracy theorys. If the owners wasn´t completly satisfied over what was on the table, maybe the option of a 05´season wasn´t that appealing.

    However IF there is a agreement this summer and the league turn on the mother of all commercial campaigns. With 1. Crosby, Ovechkin, Malkin, Forsberg and Kovalchuk among others as marketable stars. 2. New Rules to prevent obstruction, hooking& holding, shootouts, wider lines and on. 3. A new version of the coollest game on earth campaign. I personally belive that allot of fans might come back, and it might even attract new fans which is certain that a 05´ season would not. I know for sure that if Crosby makes his way to NY and the Rangers somehow I am booking flight tickets over the atlantic and will be there on opening night, with my tale between the legs.
     
  2. The Old Master

    The Old Master Registered User

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    you forgot that you need to give the gm.s a chance to sort out their new lineups, get players signed, a fair chance to move players [make trades] to get under the cap. all this could not be done in 2 wks. and nobody would want to see a 3 on 1 only to have the puck hit a puddle and stop while every one skated by only to end up a breakaway going in the other direction. yea that would be fun to see.
     
  3. bcrt2000

    bcrt2000 Registered User

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    imo the real problem here was upwards linkage, arbitration & qualifying offers
     
  4. Scoogs

    Scoogs Registered User

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    A lot > allot......... :D
     
  5. Ola

    Ola Registered User

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    Exactly and I am sure there are dozen other factors too.
     
  6. futurcorerock

    futurcorerock Registered User

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    You'd be surprised what could be done in 2 weeks. GM's have probably had time to figure out their new lineups under a proposed cap system. Their owners have been preaching the cap, so it's only natural that the theory trickles down.

    infact, If I recall, Doug Maclean of the Jackets has a running list of his roster if/when the season starts up. Manny Malhotra on the top line too.
     
  7. NYFAN

    NYFAN Registered User

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    Don't forget the age at free agency also! However, I think upward linkage was easily solved, with wording to the effect that the cap will grow at the same percentage of revenue, once the league eclipses its 2004 revenue mark, but will remain constant in all other circumstances. That simple sentence could have been negotiated .
     
  8. Ola

    Ola Registered User

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    Just putting together a roster won´t solve much if the product on the ice stinks. If the NHL comes back and leaves a luke warm are worse impression it would just dig itselfs a deaper grave.
     
  9. Buffaloed

    Buffaloed webmaster

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    If the NHL didn't want a season at this late stage they would not have made a last ditch offer or improved it to $42.5 million. Any other interpretation flies in the face of common sense. It isn't that complicated.
     
  10. OlTimeHockey

    OlTimeHockey Registered User

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    Six divisions, no history, no poetry, just East vs. West.

    A flood of sub-par talent.

    Salaries 4 1/2 times higher than the last great hockey games offered a decade ago.

    Referees that don't officiate, players that don't play hard, owners that don't build teams but budget exiled free agents.

    Fans that sleep during the second period because thewy can't stay awake.

    Autographs only for those that stand in line and pay for them.

    Owners that don't broadcast home games (Chicago & Analheim)

    NO free TV to attract new fans.

    National television that rarely broadcasts games, but when it does, only broadcasts four teams for the most part.


    WHO IN THE BUSINESS REALLY CARES ABOUT THE FANS?

    A few owners who pay out of pocket for costs, a few players that clearly still LOVE the game and the few fans that have to force themselves into thinking there's hope for the game BOTH sides ruined.

    Traps and salary increases. The new passion. Only $120/seat!
     
  11. Beukeboom Fan

    Beukeboom Fan Registered User

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    Amen! It wasn't the $'s as much as the details you list.

    The difference between the owners position and a reasonable compromise is pretty minor. It's peanuts compared to the "upwards linkage" the players proposed.
     
  12. Ola

    Ola Registered User

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    The NHL called the last meeting, but they would never have done so if it wasn´t because the backchanneling made by the NHLPA. It was the PA that was desparate at that stage.

    Information is never better then the source, and this is comming from Ted Saskin - "I can't see anything worse than what they put on the table,". I don´t put much stock on what these guys are saying otherwise but when you look at the details of the NHL´s offer, in every single issue where the NHL and the PA have diffrent opinions the NHL took a hard stance.

    The bottomline is, if Bettman would have valued saving the 05´ season as much as many people on the outside, you know how many columinists calls the NHL dead and that this was the final nail in the coffin ect, the NHL would have been able to put a better offer on the table, there where a deal to be made. A big majority of the experts agrees with me on this issue.

    Why then wasn´t there more effort put into getting something done? 1. The NHL wants to bust the union. (Stratchan&Brooks) 2. Bettman has promised Nashville and Florida to get a deal tailormade for them. (Stratchan, Brooks & Jones+several others) 3. The gap between the two parts are in fact allot bigger then people thinks. This is important issues. (TSN& staff)

    From my point of view Stratchan and Brooks aren´t close. I don´t belive for a second that Bettman is negotiating on the part of Nashville and Florida without taking into the consideration what the big clubs think. The 3rd theory that the gap is bigger then many people belives is a fact. Otherwise the PA wouldn´t have turned it down. The PA was desperate to get a deal done. The question is why did the NHL take such a hard stance with its final offer? (when most of the experts agrees that there was a deal out there to be made, one that made sense to both parties)

    I am not saying that the not so appealing thought of a 05´ season was the deciding factor, but I think it was just as big as every other factor out there. The NHL was far from desparate. I personally belive that Bettman from now on will be very eager to get something done before the draft in late june. If I am wrong I am wrong. But I don´t think I will be! ;)
     
  13. trahans99

    trahans99 Registered User

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    I agree, Bettman wants a good deal as soon as possible. I'm guessing they will talk in about a month or so initiated by Bettman. I doubt a deal gets done though however until late summer or early September. It wouldn't surprise me all that much if we don't start until Jan 2006, b/c the PA will be even more pissed this summer when the offers get worse and worse. IDIOTS should have taken the 42.5 and ran w/ it :banghead:
     
  14. GKJ

    GKJ Global Moderator

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    The Ducks do broadcast home games. FSN2 or KCAL as someone else mentioned.



    Bill Wirtz doesn't want to broadcast home games because then even less fans would come to the arena. The UHL team in Rockford would outdraw them...
     
  15. ceber

    ceber Registered User

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    You're not the only one with that opinion, and I think you're right.

    There's no conspiracy on one side or the other here. The simple cause is that while there was a difference in the cap number, it was very minor compared to the rest of the details. The sides are far apart on the details. Everyone (including the NHL and NHLPA) was so wrapped up in talk about the cap number that they figured the details would take care of themselves. They should have known better.
     
  16. Why new rules?

    2. New Rules to prevent obstruction, hooking& holding, shootouts, wider lines, etc.

    That's what the problem is and has been under Gary Bettman. Obstruction? You are either interferring, hooking or holding. You don't need to rename the penalties so that your niffty little PR gimmick works and you can fool the fools.

    The game has the necessary rules, just call them. Players are suppose to play with both hands on their stick, period. Gary Bettman is all about smoke and mirrors. All he wants to do is increase the values of the teams and generate a bigger $ for himself. He is by far the worst thing that has happened to this league since the Flu of 1918 and he just accomplished the same thing, only with more dire consequences. Sadly the lost of human life is worst, but he has killed the NHL.

    As to why would you want to play a short season now, as oppose to a regular one later. Well I think the answer is obvious. I don't think that anyone, after what has gone down is going to be happy and flock to the games, regardless of another Bettman PR campaign. In a shorten season the owners could have had free nights, no admission as a appology, a jesture of good will. They could have discounted tickets, etc. Fans are going to be P.O. and a shorter season would have given them the opportunity to vent their frustration. Come next year, a full year, maybe more of them would have cooled off. Now they are going to vent and show their displeasure during a fuller season. Think what the press will say then?
     
  17. ChiHawks468

    ChiHawks468 Registered User

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    It makes no sense to me that it was so quiet yesterday. I haven't seen much, some maybe, but not much in the way of either side saying anything. I figured there would be plenty of slamming going on by now.

    Is it possible that the two sides do have an agreement in principle and just decided that trying to play a season now would just be to difficult?

    There are the obvious facts that tickets would have to be printed, players signed, and all of the other things that go on. But maybe they realized that they would have to ask the players, a lot of whom are out of shape, to play every other night for the next 4 months (including playoffs).

    I just don't know what else to think of all this silence... :dunno:
     
  18. Volcanologist

    Volcanologist Used Register

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    He gets to wear a cup, though, right?
     
  19. Ola

    Ola Registered User

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    Look "crackdowns" on obstruction don´t work. Thats a fact. We have had atleast two of them in Sweden and things are worse then ever. The NHL have also had two I belive and they haven´t worked either. If you would outlaw slapshoots there would still be slapshoots. Its a reflex.(That I know for a fact after beeing a ref in a friendly veteran game where slapshoots wasn´t allowed...)

    I´ve got a new rule for you that would make a crackdown possible. If a team takes 3 hooking/holding/interference/obstruction penaltys they should automatic get a 5 minute penalty. Or something like that. A hooking penalty should be as strict as when the goalie shoots the puck over the boards. But that will never be the case. The refs only catch about 25% of all hooks, so its a possibilty that he would call three straight hooking penaltys for one team while four hooking penaltys went uncalled for the other team. A ref knows that and thats why you see compensation penaltys ect. But if a team would get punshied in such a way that it most likely would end up loosing the game if they kept playing that way they would stop. However with the rules we have now, games get destroyed by too many penaltys when there is a crackdown but the games don´t change much. Thats why the refs stops calling them. They are only human...
     
  20. Ola

    Ola Registered User

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    NHL to institute new rules when play resumes.

    NHL to institute new rules when play resumes according to ESPN.

    Exactly what I was predicting.

    Nice to see Lemiuxe in it and that they even are considering removing the redline offside rule. That have worked in Europe. The big diffrent in Europe and the SEL today from 6-10 years ago is that the team that plays best hockey both offensivly and defensivly wins. Before the non-redline era there where basically 12 New Jersey Devils in the SEL. A extremly popular word among coaches today is "decision making", where as 10 years ago there was no real decision to make. In it self that it was successful in Europe it doesn´t mean that it would work the same way in NA. But it have one tremendous advantage, its impossible to play a completly "safe" game. You either give up your own blue line or the redline.

    As it has been the last 7-8 years I´ve seen teams like the devils play a perfect defensive game, they have played for 60 minutes without allowing the other team one odd man rush and kept the shoots from the outside all night. Without a redline teams can trap on their own blue line like they did in the Olympiques, its not easy to beat that trap but its allot easier then beating one with a redline offside to back you up. All "experts" and coaches was against removing the redline in Sweden. Everyone said that it would make the game even more defensivly. But it hasn´t, the game today is allot more open. The game in the NHL is very diffrent from the one in Europe. I don´t think removing the redline in the NHL would change the game all that much at all. But the few changes that occured would be for the better. Another advantage is that d-men´s have to be more mobile. That would take away a few of lbs from the blue line and open up the game some more...
     
  21. Doctor Zoidberg

    Doctor Zoidberg Registered User

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    It's going to have to hapen in 2 weeks anyway. You don't actually think these clowns will get a deal this September, do you? The next serious negotiations will take place February 2006 and, if a deal gets done, there will be a 28 or so game season with about 2 weeks to prepare. Goodenow is a deadline hunter and has no plan to ever negotiate without a drop dead date.
     
  22. Ola

    Ola Registered User

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    Gooing down the same road we went this winter would hurt the NHL tremendously. I think we will see a deal before that. NHL will give in on a lot of issues, and Bettman will be able to sneak in linkage.

    The pressure to get something done before the season starts from thoose who aren´t happy with the current situation will be allot tougher/louder then from the "hardliners", both in the PA and among the owners. The players who are desperate to get back playing are gooing to be allot louder then Linden, Gurein, Alfredsson, McCabe & Co. Once the PA is put under that pressure they will try to get something done, and at the same time Bettman can´t get close again this summer without getting something done. There are too many owners out there who were happy with whats been on the table already. NHL have always said that they can loose a entire year and survive. Everybody knows that they can´t loose two years. Once we reach january 06´ NHL's leverge will go out the window. I belive that Goodenow is calculating on that, but I don´t belive he can keep the union in shaft untill then....
     
  23. Buffaloed

    Buffaloed webmaster

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    According to Gretzy, the negotiations were never explicitly directed at saving this season. I'm sure the NHL was upfront about that with the NHLPA too.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story.asp?ID=115751&hubName=nhl

    There was no hidden agenda. I have to wonder if Goodenow was upfront about this with the players, given their renewed optimism that the season could be saved. I get the impression that Goodenow led them to believe he could get a better deal.
     
  24. thinkwild

    thinkwild Veni Vidi Toga

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    I agree, no hidden agenda. It has been clear for several years that this labour armageddon was going to be a long one. Goodenow led the players to believe this would be a long lockout of a couple of years and he was right. The players were going to sit out until the NHL didnt find value in pursuing the hardline crush the union stance, and the owners were bound and determined to make the players reflect, change their expectations, and bargain under a new dynamic of chaos, which sets a tone for all other sports labour negotiations. As we have heard from basketball players recently saying they dont want to go down the NHL road of failure.

    The owners should've been pretty certain there would be no deal this season when it was a binary choice. And all their actions to date would reflect that. Poke, insult, threaten, hardball, no working together, no compromising, no good faith with player offers. No reason to think they expected a negotiated settlement with someone they spent a year poking with a stick.

    Now that the players have put a cap on the table, the owners have what they want. The players have bridged the philisophical divide, and now they can work together starting on the same page and come to a deal as Bettman initially said he wanted. If the owners want a negotiated settlement that is. They havent shown they do to date. Not a negotiated one. But now we know half the players will accept the philosophical principle of a cap, and half the owners would agree to a higher one. Now it is simply a deal to be made. One would think good faith businessmen could get it done. But there is no reason to think they will work to fid common ground. Why would the players make another offer? Every offer they make is accepted, ridiculed, and then used as a starting point for the next time. The players would be foolish to negotiate until the owners either win or negotiate a compromise they have been previously unwilling to do.
     
  25. me2

    me2 Calling out the crap

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    If we could prove the little clubs were the driving force behind the trap then blaming expansion for the trap might hold up, it doesn't. How many of the expansion teams trap v league average? There are just as many rich and powerful teams that use traps and variants as there are small teams (Detroit LW lock, Dallas, Devils etc etc etc). A high quality trapping team will usually beat a low quality trapping team. A high quality trapping team will usually beat a low quality offensive team. Teams don't use the trap to equalise for talent, they use the trap BECAUSE IT WORKS!

    Take the offense driven Nucks as an example. The Nucks don't trap or play defensive hockey, they are all run and gun: they suck in the payoffs. Their best hope of improvement in the playoffs is not adding more talent but changing their system.

    Can we put a line through the "expansion driving the trap" argument.
     
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