Russ Conway :New league, or will NHL replacements work?

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by Gee Wally, Mar 14, 2005.

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  1. Gee Wally

    Gee Wally Grumpy

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    as usual , an interesting read from Mr. Conway


    http://www.eagletribune.com/news/stories/20050313/SP_007.htm

    Just when you think pro hockey's meltdown couldn't get any worse, along comes word of a brand new league, or maybe two, being organized to compete with or replace the National Hockey League.

    That may beg the question: How can two or three "major" hockey leagues survive when the "No Hockey League" can't make it on its own?

    But three separate groups are pursing plans to build a big-time hockey business on the ruins of the NHL.
     
  2. dolfanar

    dolfanar Registered User

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    Good synopsis of all the different options out there. Feels like Hockey has been thrown back to 1915 though. Multiple competing leagues, players potentially jumping from league to league (rather than just team to team).

    blech
     
  3. Weary

    Weary Registered User

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    I'm beginning to enjoy the sport of watching the lockout as much as the sport of hockey. The league has six options. Which one will they choose? What will the PA choose to counter? It's actually kind of exciting.

    One can only hope.
     
  4. shveik

    shveik Registered User

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    Very good read.

    One thing that attracted my attention was Rich Winter saying that his grandmother could've done a better job running the NHL. The NHL management always gave me the impression of the good ole boys network, when the "relationship" is more important than how you are doing your job. But I really dislike the notion of a league owned entirely by one entity, since competition/rivalry feeling would not be nearly as strong.
     
  5. SENSible1*

    SENSible1* Guest

    Con-way's true colours show through loud and clear in that peice of tripe.
     
  6. me2

    me2 Calling out the crap

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    You have to wonder at the logic of agents.

    Agents complaining about the terrible way the NHL teams overpayed for players.


    They want more and more money in the player contracts.

    Then the agents complain about bad management such as overpaying on contract the agents negotiated (and no doubt wanted higher).

    Yet they refuse to agree with the NHLs more financially viable system to control bad management practices.

    :dunno:
     
  7. Bicycle Repairman

    Bicycle Repairman Registered User

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    They're the Unsung Heroes of Professional Hockey. They do as much (if not more) in nuturing young men to become the players we all enjoy today than any scout or coach.

    They're often the only advocate a player has against an industry designed to exploit them.
     
  8. shveik

    shveik Registered User

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    Are you sure that's what Winter meant? Not the lack of any meaningful, coherent marketing effort? Not negotiating bad arena deals (hello, Penguins?) ? Not the choice to cancel a whole season looking for a deal under which Winters 2 year old niece*) could run a hockey team? There are many things he could have meant besides the clubs spending outside of their means.

    [SIZE=-5]*) I do not know if Winter has a niece[/SIZE]

    Assuming Winter indead meant the high player salaries, it doesn't mean that he complained about it, but stated his opinion on the competence of NHL management. And who is better to judge the competence of the GM in doling out salaries than the guy who is sitting opposite to him at the negotiating table? Again *assuming* he is talking about salaries.

    Oh, and by the way, there is an outstanding method to control bad management practices that doesn't require cancelling a season over. It is called "fire the GM that doesn't listen to what you tell him to do".
     
  9. me2

    me2 Calling out the crap

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    LOL that's so poetic. I can hear the music in the background. :nopity:

    Its a shame the agents' independence is compromised by the fact the union controls their certification. :dunno:
     
  10. broman

    broman Registered User

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    :lol :lol :lol
     
  11. Bicycle Repairman

    Bicycle Repairman Registered User

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    And why shouldn't they? Agents should indeed be held to professional standards.
     
  12. dunwoody_joe

    dunwoody_joe Registered User

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    And they get paid top coin to do so.

    Everybody is feeding at the trough and it would serve them well to remember that and settle this issue pronto!
     
  13. SENSible1*

    SENSible1* Guest


    Yes, they do need to be held to standards. I'd suggest that certification by the National Sport Governing bodies in Canada and the States would be a far more appropriate way to ensure that those standards are indeed "professional" and not merely at the whim of the current head of the PA.
     
  14. Mighty Duck

    Mighty Duck Registered User

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    Don't forget the owners who circumvent a GM by signing players for more than the market value. Does, Jagr come to mind!
     
  15. wazee

    wazee Registered User

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    Russ Conway is losing his objectivity. Fast. Given his history, it is natural that he would favor the player’s side. But this article, he has let his heart overrule his head which is never a good thing for a journalist.

    Let’s look at his assertion that 2 or 3 rival leagues are forming to challenge the NHL.

    First, he names the WHA. A ‘league’ that has been in the talking stage for two years and is still without investors, teams, or arenas. The WHA is having trouble even putting on an exhibition tournament. Does Conway really believe the WHA is a threat to the NHL or is he just trying to convince us that the players have options?

    Second, he mentions the Bain offer to the NHL and spins it to seem like the Bain group is interested in starting a rival league even though he quotes Bain group member, Randy Vataha, as saying "We're not looking to start a new league. We want what they've got. There's underutilized assets," he says. So how does Conway think the Bain group might become interested in a rival league…Well…because the Leafs and the Flyers are going to break away and join the rival league. Bet all those Leaf fans will be delighted to give up their Stanley Cup dreams…

    Third, agent Rich Winters is ‘exploring an international league, with North American teams in one division and European teams in another’. Like we haven’t heard that one before.

    And Russ Conway says the owners are desperate??
     
  16. SENSible1*

    SENSible1* Guest

    :handclap: :handclap: :handclap:

    Well said.

    I'm glad his blatent bias has been exposed. He has now dropped down to the level of Strachan, Downbiggin and Brooks.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2005
  17. Hawker14

    Hawker14 Registered User

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    yeah, why couldn't he be unbiased like bob mckenzie ?

    lol
     
  18. SENSible1*

    SENSible1* Guest

    Mckenzie has been the most consistently unbiased commentator in this whole sordid affair. He takes his shots at both sides when he feels it is merited.
     
  19. Hab-a-maniac

    Hab-a-maniac Registered User

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    Why is a writer's anti-owner bias such a crime while the media people with an obvious bias against the players are just sharing an opinion? You can say how you like guys who share your opinion but to claim some sort of movement of anti-owner bias like it's a travesty? If you wanted to be better heard, then join the NHLFA and get your opinions across there. Come on, they're all exerting their opinions and you can like it or not, just don't claim stuff about how these guys are pro-PA and taking bribes and are friendly with player reps. Look, these guys have never blasted the PA as much but they have acknowledged Goodenow's idiocy in keeping his players informed, exploiting owner lies and therefore he spouts tired, old PA rhetoric that further makes them look dumb.

    The truth is, there are too many obstacles in the way of a replacement NHL. Laws and resistance by certain teams are making it impossible to have a 30-team league with replacements. It's too easy to say, "No CBA? Hey, Bring on the Replacements!!!" Some markets would show up for replacements just to stick it to the players they hold a grudge against, but that's just some places. Most of the NHL markets would say "screw this crappy quality hockey!" People do identify with the teams and the logos but as a Hab fan I'd feel less enthused about my team's fortunes if it was full of Stephane Lebeaus, Paul Dipietros and Andre Racicots all over again. Mind you, would I watch a rival league? Not really. Without my team involved, it's not the same. But to underestimate any rival league with the top players would be foolish. It's not like a rival league will prosper and reign supreme, though that is possible if it gets strong enough in quality of play and players. But a continued stalemate in CBA negotiations would only hurt all leagues and sides involved, making it a rather half-hearted hockey landscape for fans like myself.

    Anyway, sometimes people's anger over no hockey has taken them to ridiculous lengths on this board. Don't like the media's articles? Don't even read them then because it's justmisled bashing to do so. Okay, guys like Brooks, Garrioch and Strachan are wrong on their trade rumours but they don't resent the owners side only because they're friendly with the players side. Get this straight, anti-owner doesn't always=pro-player. Me, I'm anti-owner but not exactly pro-player because some of them have been rather selfish and stupid in this whole ordeal. They can both go to hell! There are honest players like there are honest owners, though. But the owners faults are more to blame than the players, IMO. That being said, I've gotten my two cents in and I'll once again ignore some of the hypocrisy I'm seeing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2005
  20. ScottyBowman

    ScottyBowman Registered User

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    :handclap:
     
  21. SENSible1*

    SENSible1* Guest

    His bias isn't a problem. I'm glad it is out there for everyone to see after all the sunshine blown up his ass by some posters here.

    Ignoring his bias and pretending we are getting a valuable source of information is a problem.
     
  22. alecfromtherock

    alecfromtherock Registered User

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    “Screw the crappy quality of hockey†that statement is applicable to the current NHL game and I do not see that changing for a rival league that would be using the former players of the NHL as there base.

    Money might not be enough for current NHL players to abandon the Stanley Cup along with the team namesakes and history.

    Under any salary cap the players will still make there millions, unless the rival leagues offer comparable salaries why would any current NHL player leave?

    Some teams in the US will still not turn a profit or get any fans even under a $25 million salary cap, Hamilton, Quebec City and Winnipeg are all ideal relocation cities for those class of teams.

    Toronto might leave the NHL for a rival league :lol: I am sure that the members of the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund and other ownership groups(not to mention all of the Leafs fans) would accept that move.
     
  23. JohnnyReb

    JohnnyReb Registered User

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    I'm not sure why you think he is losing his objectivity. The only "leap" he makes is to guess that a couple of big market teams like Toronto and Philadelphia would jump to a rival league. Other than that, where has he strayed?

    Conway goes out of his way to point out the short-comings of the WHA, post past and present, stating the "comical" beginnings of its first incarnation, and the "hockey hotbed" quip at Omaha's expense in its second re-incarnation. Other than that, he states what the WHA is planning on doing, and the effects the old WHA had on the NHL, even though that league too, was dismissed as a joke at the time. But is it not true that star players defected to the WHA, a bidding war was started, and the league eventually had to swallow Edmonton, Winnipeg, Hartford and Quebec? Where is his "lack of objectivity" here? Seems like he is simply stating facts. IF the WHA gets off the ground, then yes, it would provide the players with options, and yes, if anything has been learned from history, the NHL should be wary of it.

    He also has a quote from Vataha stating "we're not going away." If they aren't going away, then they only have two options, right? Convince the owners to sell, or... force the owners to sell. The best way to force them to sell, would be to start up a rival league, poach some big market teams (like Philadelphia and Toronto, Conway's only leap of faith - albeit a big one), and drive the NHL to its knees, so that they would have no choice but to merge/sell to Bain. Bain was willing to drop a minimum of $3.5 billion on the NHL, something tells me they would have a lot of reserves if they wanted to go toe-to-toe with the NHL.

    Don't think it really matters to Bain what Leaf fans think. It would be all about scorched earth warfare. If the Leafs ownership group decides to abandon the NHL, where would the NHL Toronto Maple Leafs play? The ACC would be taken out of commission, and is Maple Leaf Garden still available for hockey? Where would the Flyers play? Doesn't Snyder own the arena there, too?

    The defection of one or two big markets to a rival league would be a devastating blow to the NHL. That's a fact. No bias on Conway's part there, other than to hypothesize that Toronto and Philadelphia are the two to go. And even then, Conway points out that there is no guarantee of success, as the USFL and the XFL proved. How is this biased?

    And Winters seemed more than willing to talk about the venture. Does that make Conway biased, or merely a good journalist, reporting on what is going on? The option is obviously being explored, why is Conway being biased by reporting on it?

    Everybody has always said that replacement players are a last resort. Even the owners have said this. Last resort usually imply desperation, in my mind. "We can't get anything else done, we need to get hockey going, we have to do this."

    Where is the bias?
     
  24. Weary

    Weary Registered User

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    Certain people are biased against writers who aren't biased against the players.

    There's the bias.
     
  25. It's called forming an opinion and following through with it!

    Russ Conway is losing his objectivity. Fast. Given his history, it is natural that he would favor the player’s side. But this article, he has let his heart overrule his head which is never a good thing for a journalist.

    Pleazzeee!! Conway is the one journalist who actually does research to support and counter react against his opinions! He has more sources than Bob Woodward! Trust me, he's legit!
     
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