Demand>Supply is the problem

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by DuklaNation, Oct 19, 2004.

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  1. DuklaNation

    DuklaNation Registered User

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    I believe that the NHL can fix about 50% of their problems by maintaining a better balance of the demand/supply of players.

    During the expansion decade of the 90's it was thought that the Euros would add the extra talent needed to fill out rosters. Although the # of Euros has increased, the quality of players has dropped.

    Aside from a handful of players, there has been no big offensive player from Finland, Sweden or US since '97 (I'm talking offense only). Most of the impact players have come from the other hockey nations. Currently, only the elite offensive players can excel in today's game.

    That being said, supply has dropped versus the demand partially creating the salary explosion we have today.

    The NHL has to implement the following:

    1) Expand the width of the ice by about 10 feet. Why? This will enable lesser skilled players to excel, thereby ^supply and improving the game while they're at it. The loss of revenue will be recovered via lower salaries from greater supply.

    2) Reduce roster size from 20 to 18. Why? More fatigued players become worse defensively thereby improving offense, thereby ^supply. Saves money too.

    3) Improve safety with flexible boards&glass, and leather elbow&shoulder pads. Why? Reduces injuries, thereby ^supply. Saves money too on insurance. Bigger ice will also reduce injuries.

    4) Strict limits on goalie equipment. Why? Goalies cover too much of the net these days and its improbable any slapshot that they can see will go in. Will allow lesser talented players to score, thereby ^supply.

    5) No forward passes by goalie. Why? Improves offense via forecheck and again allows lesser players to thrive, thereby ^supply.

    If these are implemented offense will increase, lesser talented players can thrive. This will increase the supply of offensive players which should in time be a drag on salaries as the demand drops.

    There are many other improvements that can be made to improve profits such as the TV broadcasting. Certain US broadcasts are too dark, cameras are too high, and cameras have poor positioning. I'd recommend that all of them copy the Hockey night in Canada format.

    I still see that need for a cap of some kind but at least this will solve some of the problems with minimal union resistance. The NHL needs to fix the league in baby steps as the union has zero interest in improving the game for all 30 franchises.

    JMHO.
     
  2. ehc73

    ehc73 Registered User

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    1) Likely will not happen. It would cost too much to expand the rinks and owners probably wouldn't be willing to give up the extra ticket revenue from the lost seats.

    2) More fatigued players means more injuries. How do star players put butts in the seats if they're in the pressbox? This would be more plausible if the schedule were reduced though.

    3) This has already happened. All arenas were instructed to get rid of the seamless glass, so all boards have some give now. As for leather pads, I think the NHL outlawed the hard plastic pads when Zednik had his face rearranged by McLaren's elbow. They're using a softer version of the things now, not exactly back to the old school leather pads, but something along that idea of soft but protects.

    4) This'll likely be looked at in the negotiations once they get past the cap/no cap issue. It's really more of a matter of policing, IMO, because a bunch of goalies cheat anyways. But they have reduced the size of the leg pads this past season. They still need to reduce the catching glove though...it's ridiculous how big they've gotten.

    5) This is similar to the idea of not letting goalies handle the puck behind the net. The argument against this is that d-men coming back to retrieve the puck could get pasted into the boards, thus increasing chances of injury. Besides, this affects the minority of goalies, not that many are good enough to get a forward pass off under pressure.
     
  3. HckyFght*

    HckyFght* Guest

    If they stop expanding, eventually, the supply of players will meet the demand. The problems you cite in that area are not permanent. SO making drastic change to fix a temporary problem is unwise.

    The ice surface is too small, however. And the shame of it is that in the late '80's and 90's when all these new buildings were being built, no one took that into consideration. Nor did they take into account that a camera needs to be in each third of the ice for the game to be good on television. Make the ice bigger, but let's not go Olympic. BTW, the surfaces have gotten too small in all the major sports.

    HckyFght
     
  4. shveik

    shveik Registered User

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    The NHL has already put a system in place which IMO was designed to do just that. They allow clutch and grab which reduces the gap between the higher skilled players and the rest. But the only thing they achieved is that now they had to pay outrageous salaries to the mediocre players (hello arbitration!).

    The way to reduce the expenses IMO is do exactly opposite. Increase the on-ice gap by cracking down on obstrution, which will translate into salary gap. The top players will always be scarce, and will always command top salaries. The only way to reduce the payrolls is to put the squeeze on the bottom-liners, which will always be abundant.
     
  5. Guest

    Guest Registered User

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    I can't disagree with a single thing you said here. If you look at all of the mediocre defensemen who are able to get bigger contracts, yet they would be lesser players if the rules were enforced, then you would see less players making above the league average. You are always going to have to pay the star players, although they are perhaps receiving more than their share now. A crackdown on arbitration and the rules would improve things. However, those are things that would improve the game, and do not directly or immediately impact the finances of the teams. So it's a nice talking point, but not on topic at a time like this for the guys in charge.
     
  6. PecaFan

    PecaFan Registered User

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    Sorry, but that's garbage. The 20 man roster is a *modern* invention. 18 skaters added in '82, 17 skaters in '71, 16 before that.

    Modern players are more fit, have better training, lighter equipment, and easier replenishment (no energy drinks in 1968 etc). They can easily handle the same workload as someone who had none of these benefits. Length of schedule is irrelevant, there's no difference between 80 games in '74 and 82 now.

    Note also how each time the roster was expanded, it corresponds to a massive increase in fighting. The extra spot each time was given to a useless goon, somebody who spends only a few minutes on the ice each game.

    Going to 18 man rosters is an excellent idea, and serves two purposes. It saves some cash, and cleans up the game by getting rid of some useless enforcers, guys who can't really play hockey.
     
  7. littleHossa

    littleHossa Registered User

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    I don't agree with your opinion that the quality of the players dropped during these last 15 years, but I actually like the idea of increasing that "supply". Right now there are too many players that know they are untouchable and have the owner's on their heels, what needs to happen is have the lesser skilled players close the gap in term of points on the 1st line talents and create more competition between the players. In other words, your whole idea of "supply" is also just to give the owners more leverage come contract talks, which is a good one.
     
  8. X0ssbar

    X0ssbar Guest

    While I don't agree 100% with everything you mention - I thought this was a great post and I hope the NHL is considering some of the ideas you mention :handclap:
     
  9. ehc73

    ehc73 Registered User

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    Okay, I'll give you the point about the length of schedule. But I don't think that the reduction of rosters will remove as many goons as you think. The reasons why goons were introduced is because of the need to protect the star players. Why have the star players fight (like how Gordie Howe did) and risk them breaking a hand when you can pay a goon with no talent to do it for you? They will always be there, simply just to protect the investment in the star players.
     
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