Do the players really have a choice?

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by eye, Dec 14, 2004.

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  1. eye

    eye Registered User

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    If the owners want some form of a cap, cost certainty, partnership and are only willing to negotiate within this framework - what choice do the players really have. Sure they can play in Europe, they can hope that the WHA starts up again but in reality, sooner or later they will have to agree with what owners have said has to happen before the NHL is prepared to resume play. The owners can afford to play the waiting game or start up NHL II or start play next year with replacement players. I don't think that even the wealthy NHLPA can afford to start up a new league and even if they could - they couldn't afford todays players and neither could the WHA.

    So, players have a choice to make - They can sit at home for weeks, months, years and lose a boatload of potential income from their limited careers or they can swollow some humble pie and move forward with the owners in growing the game. Who konws - this work stoppage may turn out to be the best thing ever to have happened to the NHL. It's generated a ton of free publicity for them.

    IamCanadian - do you really want to hurt me? Do you really want to make me cry? We want hockey.
     
  2. Brent Burns Beard

    Brent Burns Beard DontTouchMyDonskoi!

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    they dont, but they wont go down without fighting. they are NHL level players becuase of the size of the fight in their dog. as much as some will say its stupid of them, they just wont cave without fighting first. these are guys who play on broken limbs, play with concussions and no one should expect them to give up their fight.

    i find it hard to believe they will accept it humbly. no one likes being bullied. would you swallow humble pie after the school bully stole your lunch money ?


    Great commercial.

    DR
     
  3. GKJ

    GKJ Global Moderator

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    Uh...no it hasn't. Americans could still care less about hockey.
     
  4. Exactly. No one cares down here. To anyone south of the Mason Dixon line, the only ice you want to see is in your drink.
     
  5. Onion Boy

    Onion Boy Registered User

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    If Bettman gets his hard cap and player salaries are driven down exponentially, what incentive will Europeans have to come over to the NHL anyway? The Russian League seems to be paying players pretty well over there, plus if you go to Sweden you don't have to worry about all the clutching and grabbing. The only incentive to come to NA is for money and if that's taken away...
     
  6. eye

    eye Registered User

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    Every NHL arena has been sold out many times so I have a hard time believing that there isn't any interest in the NHL south of the border. I travel quite often and see games in different U.S. cities and hockey is just as popular in many of those places as it is in many Canadian cities. I agree hockey takes a back seat to other sports in the USA but there is a place for hockey and I honestly believe the game can grow in the states.

    There are now more rinks than ever with more kids playing hockey in the USA than ever before. It might take a generation or two but I say give Bettman and USA hockey a chance. Give all 30 teams a level playing field with an improved version of the NHL game and watch as new fans continue to see what most of us already realize. Hockey is the best pro sport with the most athletic and skilled players of all professional sports. Tampa Bay fans were great last year and filled the place. Carolina did the same. Anaheim did the same. Give it a chance to grow and don't sell Americans short on their knowledge of the game.
     
  7. The Frugal Gourmet

    The Frugal Gourmet Registered User

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    Bull.
     
  8. TexSen

    TexSen Registered User

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    I think what he meant to say was that American's are ambivilant to hockey here. If it's there to watch we'll tune in for curiousity sake or to watch a local NHL or regional NHL team.

    But I think what we've found is that going to the rink and playing hockey is much more fun than watching the boring dump and chase/defense first game that the NHL has become. So, yes, local hockey has become more and more interesting to us....the NHL could disappear and only a few thousand die hard fans in each US hockey city would even notice.
     
  9. Cropduster

    Cropduster Registered User

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    I think we all get confused about hockey not being popular is the US vs hockey having too much competition down here with other sports. Americans in general dont love hockey, but this nation of 260+ people have several million hockey lovers. What's frustrating as a hockey fan in the US is the lack of publicity and air time hockey gets with football, baseball, basketball, NASCAR, college football, college basketball, etc etc etc dominating.

    Percentage wise, we are horrible hockey fans. But there is plenty of us around down here and the sport is growing quickly at the grassroots levels coast to coast
     
  10. s7ark

    s7ark Yoshi

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    Even at a low cap, say 30 million dollars. That is Far FAR more then any European team can offer without losing a lot of money every year. A lot of rinks in Europe don't even seat 10,000 people.

    The big money will always be in the big arenas of north america. At least for the forseeable future.

    It isn't like a salary of 1.3 million dollars is pocket change. That is more money in one year then I will ever see in my life. And that is the average salary.

    Besides bettman isn't looking for a hard 30 million dollar cap, he wants a tie between revenue and salary like the NFL has. That way the better the league does, the better the players do. If revenues go up, so does the salaries. Then the players have incentive to play hard as they are the show on ice. The more entertaining the product on ice, the more money they will all make.

    It really is an "everybody wins" formula as long as everyone does their job, the players play hard and don't sit back and trap, and the league makes sure the rules help facilitate the most exciting possible game.

    I think really what the owners want is the players to assume some of the risk for the league and the players don't want that. That is really what it boils down to
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2004
  11. Cropduster

    Cropduster Registered User

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    I meant 260 + million :help:
     
  12. eye

    eye Registered User

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    Actually, what you are saying is similar to what is happening in Canada right now except that our sports pages and sports talk shows are dominated by hockey talk first. Give the USA a generation of kids growing up playing the game and things will change over time in the USA. Likely never to the extent it is in Canada but it will get better.
     
  13. TexSen

    TexSen Registered User

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    Agreed. Hockey in the US (playing hockey, not pro-hockey) is at the point where it is grass-roots but it is growing in interest level. This should conceivably pay dividends at the pro level in a few if not five-ten years.
     
  14. loudi94

    loudi94 Master of my Domain

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    The league was pretty good way back when without them and if that's their only incentive to come, then they should stay home. Not too many Euros in the other "Big 3" sports and they don't suffer.
     
  15. Mothra

    Mothra The Groovy Guru

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    That is a very poor analogy....are you saying that the willingness to pay players over 1mil/season on average is stealing?
     
  16. Mothra

    Mothra The Groovy Guru

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    I think many are aware of the Stanley Cup
     
  17. 417

    417 Registered User

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    Do the players have a choice, if they want to play in the NHL, no they don't have a choice but to accept cost certainty, it's up the players to decide if they want to keep fighting a war they can't win, if the players were smart, they'd focus on making a salary cap as favorable to the players side as possible
     
  18. missK

    missK Registered User

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    <<<<<--------------- Check out the avatar

    Since you are not from the south how would you know?? Don't assume you can answer for anyone other than yourself.

    22,000 people in Tampa were inside the arena for Finals game 7 with another 20,000+ outside during the game......but no one cares about hockey in the south :lol
     
  19. Care to elaborate on that brilliant commentary?
     
  20. The Frugal Gourmet

    The Frugal Gourmet Registered User

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    Sure, if you'd like.

    Despite the out-of-date location on my profile, I am from below the Mason-Dixon line and currently reside there. Also, I happen to care. So, I can easily conclude the original statement is false.

    Of course, I have had lots of other experiences, friends, acquaintances in the South which also speak against the statement, but -- naturally -- the original statement was so dumb it took but one example to debunk it.
     
  21. And I bet you sell out the arena all by yourself too don't you? Speaking in generalities, hockey doesn't exist south of the Mason Dixon just like Nascar doesn't exist north of the 49th. People in the southern states don't care about hockey and people in Canada don't give a rip about Nascar. The empty seats in the hockey hotbeds like Carolina, Florida, Tampa (had terrible attendance all year right up until the finals), Nashville, Phoenix and southern California tell you everything you need to know. Dallas has been the only success story, but when you have one fo the top teams in the league for a decade it is easy to draw fans. Hockey doesn't draw as well as high school football for crying outloud. It just doesn't matter down here.
     
  22. True Blue

    True Blue Registered User

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    Can't start up an NHL II without folding NHL I. Can't fold NHL I without paying 100% of existing contracts. Think owners want to pay nearly $100m in total contract worth just so that they can start a new league?
    Replacement player hockey is not a real option either as fringe players playing fringe hockey in arenas that are 65% empty is not going to do anyone any good.
     
  23. Onion Boy

    Onion Boy Registered User

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    I think "many" would prefer to stay in their home country, possibly with their families, than compete for a piece of silver prized in North America.
     
  24. True Blue

    True Blue Registered User

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  25. Mothra

    Mothra The Groovy Guru

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    If the option was to play for peanuts in the states...with only the Cup as a reward you might be on to something.....but the money will still be more in the states whenever things start.....so I dont know what you are getting at

    North America will still be the most competitve league...with the highest talent...paying the most money...and playing for the biggest prize
     
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