Do some organizations really want to win or just profit...

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by DARKSIDE, May 20, 2005.

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  1. DARKSIDE

    DARKSIDE Registered User

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    After posting over on the Lottery thread and then the salary cap thread, I've come to the conclusion that the so called small market fan won't be happy until they get every issue go their way. Now, a $35 mil to $45 mil cap with a luxury tax say to $50 mil with revenue sharing still won't help those teams compete. Well as a fan of the Devils, an organization that as reported losses of the last several years and has a bad attendance record, why is that they have been able to compete and have never held a fire sale of their core players. I believe the Devils won the cup in 2003 with a payroll over $50 million. Are they cooking the books or are they a freak of nature. If the Devils can compete, why can't the others?
     
  2. Classic Devil

    Classic Devil Spirit of 1988

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    The Devils have been willing to take the losses to compete. Other owners are much more stingy and care more about making money than playing the game. (Jacobs, Wirtz.)
     
  3. Gee Wally

    Gee Wally Grumpy

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    while I detest Jacobs...you are stating an urban legend here.


    First and foremost, without any figures in front of me, I'd guess that since The Devils inception, jacobs has probably equaled and some years exceeded the Devs payroll.

    Second , because some teams spend in payroll beyond income "to win"...doesn't make them necessarilly the greatest sportsmen in the world. they make it back finacially because if they do win the overall value of the franchise increase...so it is an investment .

    Lastly, the Bruins biggest issue and the one I detest Jacobs for is a lack of accountability of his management staff.
    He spends enough to win. That is a cold hard fact.
    Where the money goes is stupid.
    Also , his judgement, Harry Sinden, sure made some good trades...but name me ONE...just ONE..GM in any sport that kept his job without winning a championship for OVER 30 years.

    I sure as heck don't know of one.
     
  4. mr gib

    mr gib Registered User

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    milbury and clark bringing up the rear
     
  5. mooseOAK*

    mooseOAK* Guest

    All that I know is that if profit is the main motive for owners, in a lot of markets there are better places to invest their money in than an NHL franchise.
     
  6. kdb209

    kdb209 Registered User

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    The payrolls for New Jersey and Boston from 1989-90 to 2003-04 ($M):

    NJD 5.5 6.0 10.8 9.6 13.1 18.6 21.0 25.0 29.6 27.7 31.3 35.7 40.1 51.2 48.1
    BOS 6.8 8.0 11.2 9.7 13.9 12.0 20.2 24.4 20.7 22.9 24.5 31.1 40.8 36.9 45.8
    Delta -1.3 -2 -0.4 -0.1 -0.8 6.6 0.8 0.6 8.9 4.8 6.8 4.6 -0.7 14.3 2.3


    Since '94-'95, the Devils have exceeded the Bruins payroll every year except '01-'02. The minimum delta was $800K (95-96), the maximum $14.3M (02-03). From 89-90 to 93-94, there payrolls were pretty similar with Boston higher by between $100K and $2M.
     
  7. Gee Wally

    Gee Wally Grumpy

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    yeah..pretty much what I expected... bottom line is that aside from a year , they are in a relative ballpark.
    But they got Lou and we got Harry...One with his pulse on the game and the other with his pulse on the game cica 1970.
    Then there is other issues of you just can't buy a championship..I'd post the usual franchises but why start a war of words..

    The other thing here in Boston, that is extremely interesting is the spending dynamics of the Patriots as compared to the Bruins. They both opeerate on a strict budget. the Pats always keep room to manuver under the CAP. The Pats discard VERY highly admired players.
    Yet the Pats are hailed as genius and the Bruins as something lower than whale crap.

    A big part of it is that the repective management group of the Pats have a clue about talent/trades/picks etc.. While the owner doesn't wait for 3 decades if something isn't working. The reult..3 championships in 4 years and a season ticket waiting list that my oldest son will be lucky to crack the top 100 in his liftime.

    The Bruins...the results speak for themselves. I've been attending games since Weston Aadams owned them and Milt Schmidt was the GM.
    jacobs lack of holding his emplyess feet to the fire for 3 decades has been the bane of my hockey existence.
     
  8. Gee Wally

    Gee Wally Grumpy

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    profit is always a motivator...

    if it wasn't do you think, honestly think, we wouldn't be in this season without hockey ?

    We are the fans. We love the game. We love the teams. We also romanticize it.

    "The good of the game"...It is idealism...I too am an idealist. That is why I'm here and a fan since the 60s...

    But it is at it's very roots a business. once we forget that..once we try to make it graybecause it hurts to think of it as just a business..we lose perspective.


    If all the owners..hell the majority of owners just care about winning , then why are we here now ?

    If the majority of the players only care about being a champion , why are we here now ?

    It is about money...and that is unfortubately how life and the world works.
     
  9. Boltsfan2029

    Boltsfan2029 Registered User

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    Sure, it's a motivator, but perhaps not a deciding factor.

    During the summer before the 2002-2003 season, our owner told our GM he had a blank check for payroll. He could have any amount of money he wanted... as long as he kept the losses "below $10M."

    That's just scary.

    I think a lot of folks think the owners are looking to make a profit. Could be true about some of them. Certainly it's an ideal for all of them (and I see nothing wrong with that, there shouldn't be a requirement that owners lose money). But I think many of them would kill just to break even or, as illustrated above, just to keep the losses as low as possible.
     
  10. NYIsles1*

    NYIsles1* Guest

    Respectfully the title of this thread does not make a lot of sense. We do not have teams making huge profits. Toronto, Vancouver and Minnesota are the three teams that made any tangible profit, several others were holding on near the break-even point or had to dump players to stay at that level. The idea that Wirtz or Jacobs were making big profits prior to this lockout just are incorrect. The article last week with Harry Sinden's comments on the Bruins losing money for the first time say it all.

    John Mc Mullin claimed he lost money every year he owned the team in New Jersey, Steinbrenner and co sold their interest to Vandeerbeek. As hard as Lamoriello worked his payroll grew to a point he could not keep his teams together and his payroll still grew to over fifty million.

    No business can survive functioning in this manner.
     
  11. Gee Wally

    Gee Wally Grumpy

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  12. Bruwinz37

    Bruwinz37 Registered User

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    And now they are walking away from a guy like Stillman over maybe a million bucks.
     
  13. FlyersFan10*

    FlyersFan10* Guest

    Ok, before you diss Clarke like that, let's remember that when he was turfed from Philadelphia, the year before he was turfed (1989) he wanted to deal some of the veterans like Tim Kerr, Dave Poulin, Brian Propp, Mark Howe, etc... and he had good deals on the table. The problem at the time was that Ed Snider's son Jay Snider blocked every deal Clarke tried to make. By the time 1990 came around, it was too late for this Flyers team. They were done. Clarke couldn't make a good trade and it was kaput from there. Let's also remember that as Clarke's first tenure as GM, the Flyers did make it to the Finals twice in 1985 and in 1987.

    When Clarke was fired in 1990, the Flyers did not make it back into the playoffs until 1995. When they made it back in, they went to the third round before losing to New Jersey. 1997, they make it to the Stanley Cup finals. Fact of the matter is that every year Clarke has been the GM of the Flyers, he's kept that team competitive to the point where they should be going deep into the playoffs. The talent has always been there in Philadelphia.

    So, to compare Clarke and Milbury is completely wrong. It wasn't until Milbury actually had an owner who was willing to spend a little money that the Islanders got better in a hurry. As well, Clarke's record speaks for itself. Let's also remember when he was turfed by the Flyers and signed with Minnesota, Minnesota made it to the finals his first year there. Let's not forget when he became President of the Florida Panthers, they too had some luck too with being competitive. So, to say that Clarke is on the firing lines because his teams haven't won anything is ludicrous. Every year, he's gone out of his way to try to find that missing component in Philadelphia. And as long as he does stuff like that, I have no complaint and most Flyers fans have no complaint with how he does his job.
     
  14. DARKSIDE

    DARKSIDE Registered User

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    I guess the point I wanted to bring up is that this lockout has gone on long enough and to now start hearing fans complain about a certain amount of cap dollars being to high, just got my goat. In 2004 we had a few teams with payrolls in the $70 million dollar range, if fans think that the PA is going to sign off on $35 mil cap, well, better get ready for some more classic re-runs. I just brought the up Devils because they managed to keep their team together and compete. Although, you are correct that they wouldn't be able to continue. However, they have been running their organization in this way for several years. I also believe Lou did not want a lockout and would have been happy with a $45 million dollar cap, why can't others. I've been pro-owner in this dispute, but I'm starting to get the impression that a certain group of owners are still pissed about a bad CBA they made 5 years ago.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2005
  15. Gee Wally

    Gee Wally Grumpy

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    that was the ignition to this. The owners couldn't control themselves. They went for the dough brought by expansion and ddin't look beyond it. Then they spent foolishly. Jacobs for instance. The Lapointe contract and Thornton's rookie deal. Even Jacobs went overboard, Although few acknowledge that fact,

    I say ignite because this whole thing to me is analagous to the owners owning a house that the players rent and live in.
    The owners , through idiocy, started a fire. The players , through idiocy, say - "you started it, you put it out while I lay here on the couch"...
    In the meantime the place burns to the ground and both parties are without a home.

    Both should be dope slapped, IMO .
     
  16. missK

    missK Registered User

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    No, the figure is $1.4 million to be exact, which is the difference between Prospal salary ($2.5M) and Stillman's arbitration award ($3.9). AND Prospal still had 3 more years on his contract at $2.5M each after 2003-2004. Stillman's arbitration number was for only ONE year.

    The quote above was for 2003-2004 season, who knows what our owner said to Jay after we won the Cup. But remember, our payroll was going to be increased over $10 million just with contract raises and resigning some RFA's for 2004-2005 and that was WITHOUT signing the league MVP Martin St. Louis to a new contract.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2005
  17. Boltsfan2029

    Boltsfan2029 Registered User

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    Which shows you that teams lose players due to $$. We have St. Louis to sign. If we have to choose between the two, well...

    We did what everyone says should be done -- set a budget and stuck to it. We let Nolan Pratt & Stan Neckar go 2 years ago, we let Neckar go again this year, along with Ben Clymer. There may be roster casualties with a cap, but there are teams who are going through that without one, as well.
     
  18. Boltsfan2029

    Boltsfan2029 Registered User

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    Hmmm, guess I'm wrong but I could have sworn it was the year before... I remember them talking about it & how they could have traded for some "sexy names" but went with the Fedotenko/Lukowich trades instead... :dunno:

    But, the year doesn't really matter that much, IMO. If it's wrong it's one of those inaccuracies that's not really important to the point, which is we still had an owner who instead of looking for a profit was looking simply to lose less than $10M, and that's still pretty scary.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2005
  19. mooseOAK*

    mooseOAK* Guest

    I was talking about profit being the main motive. That is, where an owner is going to invest all his money and expect a decent return which is why NHL franchises are just a part of their holdings. Of course most of the owners aren't going to want to throw money into a black hole which many have done but don't want to any longer.
     
  20. kdb209

    kdb209 Registered User

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    I wouldn't say "bottom line is that aside from a year, they are in a relative ballpark". Since '94-'95, the Devils have had years with payrolls 55%, 43%, 39%, and 28% higher than the Bruins - with an average of 21% higher. The raw percentages (NJ/Bos) over the last 10 years were: 155%, 103.96%, 102.46%, 143%, 120.96%, 127.76%, 114.79%, 98.28%, 138.75%, 105.02%.
     
  21. Digger12

    Digger12 Gold Fever

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    It's a tight balancing act we're on...

    On one hand, some fans flame away at owners that are deemed not willing to show a "commitment to winning" (read: Spend $$)

    On the other, some fans blame the owners for the lockout because they don't know how to stick to a budget.

    Maybe I'm just a simpleton, but doesn't this seem a trifle odd?

    The 'business' of sports. :D
     
  22. 19nazzy

    19nazzy Registered User

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    This is the whole reason I hate luxury taxes that go to smaller spending teams.
    Look at baseball. Everyone criticizes the New York Yankees but Steinbrenner isn't there to make money. He takes his own profits and puts it back into his team so they can be a contender every year. And then when they pay their taxes, the smaller paying teams owner's simply pocket the money and don't spend it on their team.
     
  23. Boltsfan2029

    Boltsfan2029 Registered User

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    That's why the NHLPA needs to insist that the new CBA mandates that all revenue sharing/payroll taxes/whatever go to the on ice product, and monitor it closely. It would look pretty bad for the league to fight that.
     
  24. Larionov

    Larionov Registered User

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    Even in the NFL, the most profitable sports league in the world, the Return on Equity earned by the teams lags behind that of all the Fortune 500 companies. In other words, if it was just about the cash, these guys would have their money invested in almost anything except a pro sports team. True, often the team acts as an attractive add-on to other parts of their empires but, as a straight business proposition, there's more money to be made in other fields. I think what you see in the NHL is simply the difference between owners willing to lose money to compete (Ilitch was one) and those who insist that the team at least makes some tiny modicum of business sense.
     
  25. Mess

    Mess Global Moderator

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    I guess that all depends if one aligns their feelings and visonary more so with Gary Bettman or with Bill Gates in what it takes to "GROW THE INDUSTRY" ..
     
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