Massive Expansion Proposal

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by RTWAP*, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. RTWAP*

    RTWAP* Guest

    I was looking at Mirtle's blog and saw this map. It gave me some funny ideas about better groupings of divisions but they would only work if there was a massive expansion.

    So I'm going to walk you through the questions and answers I could see. It might be a little hard to follow, but this is how my brain works. :banghead:

    Why not expand into all the available markets, especially if it makes geographic sense and enhances rivalries?

    But that would dilute the talent pool so much that the hockey would be almost unwatchable, which reminded me of a pet idea from a while back.

    Why not reduce the roster sizes to three forward lines and 4 D-men?

    But that would be too hard on the players. They might break down from the increased icetime.

    Why not reduce the number of games, spreading them out a little, to allow a little more rest and recovery time during the year?



    So here's my wacky vision for NHL 3.0. :teach:

    66 games, 40 teams, 8 divisions, 2 conferences.

    Why do it?

    More revenues, less cost. There would be more games (1320 vs. 1230) and more sponsorship deals in more markets. You can also sell more seasons tickets when they cost less (fewer games) and the best dates are easier to schedule.​

    Why would the players agree?

    They get more revenues split among roughly the same number of players (30 x 20 = 600, 40 x 16 = 640) for fewer games/player. More money for fewer games is an easy sell.​

    Why would the teams agree?

    Not all would, but at the price teams are going for these days -- some factors keeping that price up would be the attractiveness of employing only 16 players, and a decent expansion draft, and the leveling effect of the cap -- the teams could be looking at $1.5B for 10 teams. That's $50M each for the current 30 teams. Sweet!​

    How would the games be divided?

    4 games against each division rival (16 games).
    2 games against each conference rival (30 games).
    1 game against each other team (20 games).​

    Who are these 40 teams and 8 divisions?

    Western Conference

    Northwest:
    Vancouver
    Calgary
    Edmonton
    Seattle
    Portland
    Southwest:
    Los Angeles
    Anaheim
    San Jose
    Las Vegas
    Phoenix​

    Westcentral:
    Colorado
    Dallas
    Houston
    Oklahoma City
    Minnesota​

    Eastcentral:
    Nashville
    St. Louis
    Kansas City
    Chicago
    Columbus​

    Eastern Conference

    Southeast:
    Florida
    Tampa Bay
    Atlanta
    Carolina
    Washington​

    Northcentral:
    Winnipeg
    Detroit
    Toronto
    Hamilton
    Buffalo​

    Northeast:
    Ottawa
    Montreal
    Quebec
    Boston
    Hartford
    Atlantic:
    New Jersey
    New York Rangers
    New York Islanders
    Philadelphia
    Pittsburgh​

    What can I say? It's late, and I should have been in bed hours ago.
     
  2. se7en*

    se7en* Guest

    I like the idea of massive expansion. Like 4 divisions, but 9 teams in each, and six teams from each division make the playoffs. I won't explain it here, it's too farfetched and you wouldn't be interested. Though I feel the NHL could stand without a few markets, expansion is probably the best answer for Bettman's insane idea of "growing the sport".
     
  3. ForsbergForever

    ForsbergForever Red Rocket

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    Why not just transfer AHL franchises to the NHL, it'd be quicker for start-up and the quality of player would be the same as a brand new expansion team.
     
  4. RTWAP*

    RTWAP* Guest

    If they added a bunch of teams with rosters of 20-23 players then over time the existing talent pool would be seriously diluted. I'm personally of the opinion that defensively oriented hockey comparatively is more successful when talent is diluted. So I'd rather see no dilution of talent.
     
  5. Bobby Orr

    Bobby Orr Guest

    I like it, in just about every way! I don't think most teams would have trouble going to 3 forward lines, but I worry about 4 d-men. I think it's safe to assume the extra player in the lineup would almost always be a defenceman. You could always give each team an extra time out if it was too much strain at the start. With the cut schedule, less travel time, etc. I think they could manage.

    Even adding extra teams to the playoffs wouldn't be a concern, because the regular season has been cut back by at least the amount of time an extra round in the playoffs would take.

    Winning the Cup would be a helluva task with 40 teams in the regular season and 5 rounds in the playoffs. I think it's safe to say the Canadiens record of 5 Cups in a row would be safe... forever.
     
  6. puck57

    puck57 Registered User

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    The more I look at this idea, the more I like it. I like the shorter season, there would be less travel distance- especially for the western teams, you would have a few more Canadian teams in there, just three forward lines which would be cool. One question I would have would be if there would be adequate areneas for all these places- I know KC and Winnipeg have them but that might be an inital concern. I really like novel ideas like this. And really, there are already 30 teams- it would not be that radical an expansion per say.
     
  7. RTWAP*

    RTWAP* Guest

    Thanks. :blush:

    That's a good point. A fair number of the expansion cities could need a few years to get an adequate facility built, or upgrade an existing one. In the alternate reality where this happens, I could see the actual expansion happening a couple years after the announcement. Ottawa played for something like 2.5 years in a 10,000 seat arena before the modern arena opened.
     
  8. Lionheart

    Lionheart Registered User

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    It would be interesting, to say the least. I'm not sure where I stand on the idea yet, but I do think that at least ONE 2-team expansion to even out the league at 32 makes much more sense than what they have now. With 32 teams, you have 8 divisions of 4, 6 games vs. division opponents (= 18), 4 games vs. Conference opponents (= 48) and 1 game vs. Opposing conference (= 16). 18 + 48 + 16 = 82. I've had that idea in my head for the better part of two years, but yours, while a bit more radical, is a good idea as well! :handclap:
     
  9. Poignant Discussion*

    Poignant Discussion* I tell it like it is

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    Brutal

    Expansion almost destroyed this league...do you really want it to die?

    And if you think teams are going to give up 10 home gates then I'd like what you are smoking

    Here is a novel idea...have 30 healthy hockey teams for 5 years in a row and then discuss expansion instead of bringing in proven failed markets

    Whats really funny is the expansion teams

    Quebec - no place to play
    Kansas - Look at the Royals, nuff said, proven NHL failed market as well
    Seattle - Vancouver would never allow it
    Portland - No place to play
    Las Vegas - There is a reason no professional teams are in Vegas...3 guesses why
    Houston - Should be in next expansion 5-10 years down the road (or Oak City)
    Oklahoma City - Should be in next expansion 5-10 years down the road (or Houston)
    Winnipeg - Failed market, building is not NHL standards, cannot support a NHL team
    Hamilton - LMFAO Gold. Hamilton has lost more teams than I have socks in my life, not to mention they do not have an NHL building and Buffalo AND Toronto would never allow it
    Hartford - Should be the other expansion team in 5-10 years

    Do yourself a favor and look up the N.A.S.L and what went wrong for them and then look at your suggestion again and debate can lightning strike twice?
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2006
  10. leafnation67

    leafnation67 Registered User

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    toronto not in with ottawa and montreal!?
     
  11. Hire Sather

    Hire Sather Don't punt seasons

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    I lol'd.
     
  12. RTWAP*

    RTWAP* Guest

    Whoa there. You're approaching this like it's a serious proposal. It's just some mental sludge that grew legs and started walking.

    Of course the 10 cities (well 9 plus Hartford) shown on Mirtle's map are not top-flight NHL markets. If they were they'd already have teams. Sheesh.

    I'm sure this would never happen. We're all clear on that, right. Will. Never. Happen.

    Ok, so now that we're all clear on that. Let's pretend it could and discuss it like it could happen.

    You asked why would teams give up 10 home dates?

    Much cheaper player costs, more revenue for the remaining games, perhaps a much better television deal (more local markets means more viewers engaged). More geographic rivalries means more fans (probably).

    You made a good point that any expansion (including this crazy idea) should happen after the league is stable. And especially after the CBA/cap changes have had a chance to settle out. If hockey were to somehow lose it's "Kick Me" status (especially evident on ESPN), then a massive expansion timed to coincide with a new TV deal might be interesting. I don't want to see any expansion unless rosters shrink or the talent level has risen to support more teams (maybe 10 years from now?).

    Regarding Hamilton, that's a whole can of worms, but it's not impossible, just unlikely. Who would have thought that New Jersey would get a team when there are so many other teams in close proximity.

    I checked NASL on wiki and it listed three main reasons for the failure.

    1) Rapid expansion diluted the talent pool (not applicable here)
    2) Too many non-soccer owners who were just riding the wave of popularity (don't we wish)
    3) New teams spent millions on aging stars trying to match the best funded team (hockey has a hard cap)

    None of those seem to apply.

    Here are my top 3 reasons why the idea is crazy.

    1) The NHL is about the most conservative league there is. Radical is not in their vocabulary.

    2) The expansion would hurt some teams disproportionately and benefit others disproportionately, but each team would get the same split of the expansion fees? That's not very equitable.

    3) It would be a giant leap of faith, by 600 players, 30 owners and the league executive. The only time they've acted in a coordinated way to implement a change has been when the cooperation was insignificant, obvious, or they were all being threatened with extinction. As none of those apply, they'd never do it.
     
  13. RTWAP*

    RTWAP* Guest

    Yah. Bummer. But I remember the Toronto-Detroit rivalry from before the Sens and I thought that might be an interesting thing to revive.

    There's no doubt that my 'proposal' costs Toronto more than just about anybody else. Lose 2 original 6 rivals (including the long-time foes from Montreal). Lose the recent Battle of Ontario rivalry. Gain distant division foe in Winnipeg. Hamilton impinges on the local focus (not really much of a threat, but it's there). And tons of money lost from the fewer games. All for $50mil?
     
  14. TheDanceOfMaternity

    TheDanceOfMaternity Registered User

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    Wow!

    Do people really think the NHL will be able to afford the most teams out of the four major sports. Don't get me wrong, the first post was very fun to read, and although it won't happen, makes sense. I need someone to answer this question who is from a city that is lacking a major sport (cuz in the the Bay area we have all of them... except soccer, but the earthquakes won a couple of championships before they left:)). Do you feel totally unnattached to it? Not following it at all, simply because it's not where YOU live?

    Just kind of wierd seeing a few new teams pop up every half decade.
     
  15. rekrul

    rekrul Registered User

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    you have the first two backwards, Seattle has no place to play ( see sonics situation). Portland has a modern facility the Rose Garden built in the mid 90's seats 17.5K plenty of Lux boxes.

    Vegas's mayor is jonesing for a proteam, an arena will pop up very quickly. Their Population boom has cooled but it still is expanding a lot faster than Winnipeg or Hamlton I'm sure.
     
  16. rekrul

    rekrul Registered User

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    Its not a bad idea on paper, however what troubles me is this sort of resembles the bettman braintrust idea back in the 90's, get into new markets and grab the expansion cash, the game breaks into new markets and grows;its a win win.

    However the game actualy lost ground, as the NHL didn't realize that its TV viewership that grows the game. So even getting into the Bay area or south Florida brought in few new die hards, American casual sports fan was told that hockey sucks, further the dead puck era came with the expansion and some of the absurd critisim from the MSM was justified.

    I think the NHL 2.0 needs to be in place for at least 10 more years, Please no more playoff teams, no more expansion, the regular season is finaly getting to resemble something significant ( 06 canucks probably would have made the playoffs in most NHL seasons). The talent is beggining to catch up, teams are getting deeper in propects and the salary stucture is in place. Now the NHL needs to wait for the 30 NHL markets to grow amongst the fans, build rinks get more american kids playing and see what happens. Going into a rapid expansion hurt the game the first time, I wouldn't like for it to happen again.
     
  17. GKJ

    GKJ Global Moderator

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    Columbus and Nashville in the West and Winnipeg in the east? :whaaa?:
     
  18. discostu

    discostu Registered User

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    Here's a couple of wrenches in the plan:

    -The new teams would be lesser markets. Would the owners be willing to add newer, weaker (financially) teams when there is a revenue sharing program in place. It would result in a fair bit of money being taken out of their pockets.

    -I think the last wave of NHL expansion has shown that being in more markets doesn't generate more interest in a national TV deal, which is the big motivation for expansion. Without that financial incentive, is there reason for the NHL to continue to expand?

    -The player dilution would become an issue. Right now, the NHL has expanded to the point that there are a lot of players playing in Europe that could be marginal NHL players, but, the compensation they are getting from their club teams, along with the benefits, is fairly comparable to what they would be getting from the NHL. Getting enough players for another 10 teams would be tough.

    -Many of the high end players wouldn't be a fan of this deal. More teams in smaller markets would be a drag on the salary cap (as revenues are being split 40 ways, rather than 30). A smaller cap amount means that teams are less able to fit in a a $6 or $7 M salary on their roster, and have enough money to fill out the roster with competitive players.

    Those are my thoughts. Had to be the party pooper, but, I don't see any viability in major expansion for the NHL right now.
     
  19. Bourque7799

    Bourque7799 Registered User

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    Bring back Hartford WOOOOO :sarcasm:
     
  20. BritSabre

    BritSabre Registered User

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    Before I say this, I do really like the idea.

    The main flaw would be the dilution of the talent pool. Reducing roster size to 3 forward lines and 2 Dman pairings would be a good idea, but the players would be knackered.

    60 / 3 forward lines = 20 mins average per forward

    60 / 2 dman pairings = 30 mins average per dman

    Players would get extra gaps between games and fewer games, but not during the games. They would have to be extrememly fit to play an AVERAGE of 20 or 30 mins per night. The only thing that will happen is the game will slow down because the players will not be able to keep up the same rate they do for 15 mins avg. (for) or 20 mins avg. (def). Some players may be fit enough to do it and would really excel, but others would be forced to drop out. Also, older players may have to retire earlier due to this, not saying thats a good or bad thing, just a point.

    Maybe to rectify this, give teams 1 or 2 timeouts per period and extend intermissions slightly.

    For me watching the NHL the speed of the game is one of the most entertaining and attractive parts of the game. If I introduce people to a game, the incredible speed compared to British hockey is the thing thats pointed out everytime. It would be sad to lose that.
     
  21. operasen

    operasen Registered User

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    EuroConference will explode some day when the NHL figures out the money angle. Within 6 years I figure. There have to be 12 cities right now who could make their own Conference. I'd love to see it.
     
  22. 19nazzy

    19nazzy Registered User

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    Gary? Is that you?
     
  23. Scandale du Jour

    Scandale du Jour JordanStaal#1Fan

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    As long as Quebec is in, I'm in! :yo:

    But seriously, I can't see that happening.
     
  24. Dogbert*

    Dogbert* Guest

    Expand to two more teams and go with an NFL-style divisional structure.
     
  25. Poignant Discussion*

    Poignant Discussion* I tell it like it is

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    Hey Winnipeg is an Eastern city as per the CFL so who knows lol
     

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