My stance

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by GoM, Nov 10, 2004.

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  1. GoM

    GoM Registered User

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    Bring the NHL back.

    Although the owners are more to blame for the current mess, it's up to both sides to come up with a compromise to help make the game better. Not to jump on the bandwagon, but Bettman has done a horrible job as Commisioner. I'm all for expansion (not now, 30 is enough), but expanding by 8 teams in 9 or 10 years is ludicrus. Fan bases take awhile to get started and become solid (hell, even those well-established can have troubles. See: Toronto in the 1980's/Harold Ballard era), and rushing off to create new teams in perhaps not the best of markets that may not be 'ready' for hockey is stupid. The game was doing beautifully in the late 80s/early 90s, and since then, has gone downhill. Expansion, in general, isn't to blame, but a declining ice product (nothing can be helped with that, it's part of the game's cycle. See: the NHL in the 30's and 50's) combined with expanding into new markets way too quickly, has made the game less 'exciting', and when you're starting up a new team witha new fanbase, it has to be exciting to keep the fanbase.

    With that said, the top 5 or 6 richest owners are mainly to blame for today's contract situation. If a team like Edmonton can't afford players of Bill Guerin's or Doug Weight's calibre, yet Dallas/Boston and St Louis can, then they're going to buy those players. That has driven up the prices, as teams are outbidding each other. Therefore, say someone like Doug Weight has a 30-goal, 70-point season, pretty good in today's day and age. However, over his career, he's put up relatively similar numbers on a pretty consistant basis...and is worth more than a one-time fluke who puts up 80 points. However, the bidding war still occures for Weight...let's say Toronto offered him 5 million a year, and St Louis offered him 8 million a year (this didn't happen, St Louis got Weight in a trade with Edmonton, this is purely hypothetical)....of course Doug Weight is going to sign for 8 million. However, anyone who has an 80 point season for a year will expect around that much, even though he hasn't proven that worth. Beyond that, if Weight has a 50 point year, he's still paid 8 million...therefore, if somewhat indirectly, anyone who has a 50 point year and needs a new contract, is going to command a contract in the region of 6-8 million...over time, this drives up the average contract, driving owners to divert more and more of their profits to the players (I believe it's around 76 percent...compared to approx 50-60 for the other major sports), resulting in less profits and bigger defecits, resulting in bankruptcies (see; Buffalo and Ottawa)...and the unstable, critical state of the league today.

    That has happened. The league today is in a critical state, yet neither side is attempting to fix it. Both sides recite their rhetoric that they care about 'the game', yet when neither side sits down to discuss a new CBA, it ain't happenin. A salary cap is needed to save the league, or at least save it from contraction, in my opnion. Although it is not the players' fault the NHL is in the mess it is in today, it is what needs to be done to ensure profits to keep the league and all its teams running. A common argument agaisnt this is that players don't get paid what they're worth; that's folly. No way is a 40-point, average, not-great-defensively player worth the 5 million that a 40-point, amazing-all-around-player may be worth. In general, the market prices have risen astronomically, and the prices they are getting is what they think they're worth. No, it's the prices the owners have determined players of similar calibre are worth; not what they actually are. If I pay $200 for a $5 bag of candy, it isn't worth 200 bucks, but I paid it. Fact is, a salary cap of, say, 35-40 million, along with revenue sharing from the richest to the poorest teams, will help ensure the safety of the league, and players will still get paid what they are worth. If they don't feel like they are being paid what they're worth, they can feel free in trying to convince another team through Free Agency that they are. The NFL system has worked to ensure a somewhat-more-competitive system, and combined with a smart marketing campaign and a boon in important markets, is a huge sport.

    However, one main argument I keep seeing is that the lower-tier teams have no right to take money from the richer teams so they can be competitive. That's not the point of a salary cap/revenue sharing. The point is that the teams themselves don't go defunct.

    I'm lucky in that I have the OHL and about 5 or 6 teams from the league within an hour of my house, along with an AHL team in Hamilton, an hour away. But good god, bring back the NHL.
     
  2. Bring Back Bucky

    Bring Back Bucky Registered User

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    I'm all for bringing back the NHL, but what are you proposing as a solution?
     
  3. GoM

    GoM Registered User

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    A reasonable salary cap and revenue sharing from the richest to the teams that need it, to ensure that the teams int he league now survive, until the poorer NHL markets get on their feet.
     
  4. Bring Back Bucky

    Bring Back Bucky Registered User

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    I think most of us as hockey fans feel a cap is the best/only solution, I just don't know how that the NHLPA really cares about that fact. How do you feel the poorer markets will get on their feet? There are places where people might just not like hockey, and you see attendance problems, but for many markets, i.e . Edmonton, Ottawa, there's no trouble selling tickets. How can the Oilers / Senators who have both faced serious difficulty in the past 5 years "get on their feet"?
     
  5. GoM

    GoM Registered User

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    I think the poorer markets will get on their feet over time, by building a team and a fanbase with it (like Nashvile has done), but until then, they'll need financial support from the league to keep going until they're profitable on their own.

    As for Edmonton and Ottawa, I don't know. I'm not a genius. However, with salaries generally lowered, it will help somewhat...whether it will fully help...who knows.
     
  6. Toonces

    Toonces The beer kitty

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    :handclap:

    Sums it up.

    Get a deal done...
     
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