Reality Check - Time for players to listen to it's fans - majority opinion

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by eye, Dec 26, 2004.

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  1. eye

    eye Registered User

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    The writing has been on the wall for what's about to happen in the next 2 weeks and it's time the players look themselves in the mirror and ask themselves a serious question based on facts;

    Do I want to be partly responsible for what could be the demise of the NHL the way we all know it? Over 80% in every poll I have read supports the owners. Why you ask? Common Sense!!!

    Players MUST insist that Goodenow allow the owners their right to determine the system issues in which they will be remunerated for their services. Players MUST advise their greedy agents that the game is bigger than their future earinings and most importantly to start listening to the fans, the majority of which support the owners in their quest to regain control of their business operations and get a handle on expenses that have driven the price of tickets out of reach for the ordinary fan.

    With all games now available for pennies a show, fans are speaking out and will no longer stand for price increases in tickets. The NHL is a gate driven league with little TV revenue and when you copare the pro leagues in North America the players in the NHL do very well for themselves. Better than they should be when you look at % of gross revenues. IT'S TIME TO WAKE UP AND AGREE TO A CAP, then make the best possible deal for yourselves by negotiating within the framework of a cap system.
     
  2. Trottier

    Trottier Very Random

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    :speechles

    Look, regardless of whether you are pro-union or pro-owners (or neither), to suggest that either side should base their negotiations on the fans or some ridiculous fan poll is, well, naive.

    These are businessmen negotiating the distribution of hundreds of millions of dollars. We (fans) at this juncture, are bystanders. As well it should be.

    Stop overrating your/our importance! You are a paying customer. Want to have a say in labor negotiations? Buy a team.

    Don't mean to be harsh, but let's get a grip on reality and a semblance of proportionality.
     
  3. Johnnybegood13

    Johnnybegood13 Registered User

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    I would like to know what YOU do for a living? I am a small business owner and if i didn't listen to my customers i would have been broke and out of business a long time ago. to suggest the fans thoughts mean nothing is out of touch IMO.The NHL is a fan drivin league and any smart owner sucks up to them huge. If Goodenow would have seen or bothered to look at the small market frustrations of fans leaving the last few years then he might have had a job after this is over. It certainly doesn't look good for him at this point.!!
     
  4. nyr7andcounting

    nyr7andcounting Registered User

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    Yea it was real frustrating being a fan in a small market like Calgary or Tampa last year.

    You don't need a cap to cut salaries, you don't need a hard cap to keep salaries down over a period of time.
     
  5. CarlRacki

    CarlRacki Registered User

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    How was it being a fan in those cities for the previous decade? Does one great run by the Flames wipe out seven previous years of misery? I guess you'll have to ask their fans.
    Your comments are spoken like someone who's never taken an economics class. NHL teams are subject to the same market forces as most other businesses. If Smith Engineering is paying its top guys $100K a year, Jones Engineering can't expect to compete with Smith on a consistent basis paying their top guys $60K. Same with the NHL. If a 40-goal forward gets $9 million in one city, another one is going to have the ability to demand it, and very likely receive it, elsewhere. Some teams can afford that, others can't. The ones that can't are the ones less likely to compete on a consistent basis.
    What happened in Tampa and Calgary last year (and in Carolina two years ago) are exceptions to the rule. Just like the Rangers are the exception on the other side of the equation. The teams that win consistently and compete for the Cup consistently - i.e. Detroit, Colorado, Philly, Toronto, Jersey - are also the ones that spend the most.
     
  6. CarlRacki

    CarlRacki Registered User

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    Yes and no. To say the fans opinion is irrelevant is not correct. It's certainly not the first (or even fifth) thing on the two sides' minds when they sit at the bargaining table, but it has an effect nonetheless. In present case, the fact the fans are solidly behind the owners bolsters their solidarity and gives them the ability to dig their heels in a little longer. If public opinion swung in favor of the players, the owners would face a greater risk of alienating and losing fans (i.e. paying customers) and may be more likely to cave on its hard cap stance. On the other hand, anyone who doesn't think the players' offer of a 24 percent rollback wasn't substantially a PR move is fairly naive as well.
    o think that both sides aren't paying attention to public opinion is wrong. It may not be of primary concern for either side, but it's certainly a factor.
     
  7. Johnnybegood13

    Johnnybegood13 Registered User

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    Please don't come in here spouting off the proof that you know d!ck about the NHL and its problems. :banghead: :shakehead
     
  8. nyr7andcounting

    nyr7andcounting Registered User

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    Actually I'm enrolled in one of the better business schools in the nation and I have taken my share of economics classes.

    I am sure it sucked being a fan in Calgary over the previous 7 years. It also sucked being a fan in the largest market in sports over the last 7 years, I can tell you that first hand. Point is there is no relation in a given season between payroll and on ice success, I just wish people would leave that out of this lockout.

    Anyway, the scenario in your post is something that can be fixed by tinkering with salary triggers, especially arbitration, and increasing revenue sharing. A luxury tax, although some oppose it for some reason, would help small market teams a lot. I agree teams like the Red Wings are driving up salaries in small markets with every contract they sign, but if they have the revenue streams and an owner willing to spend then what is wrong with them spending? I don't believe that a hard cap should be put in place to simply stop teams big markets from spending. Rather, a high luxury tax would be most effective because big markets will cut back spending to a certain extent but at the same time small markets will have more money in their pockets.
     
  9. nyr7andcounting

    nyr7andcounting Registered User

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    I know plenty about the NHL and its problems and a hard cap in the mid 30's is not the only solution, not at all. Just because my opinion on the solution is different than yours doesn't mean I don't know **** about the situation.
     
  10. CarlRacki

    CarlRacki Registered User

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    First, there is a correlation between on-ice success and winning. I'm not going to go look up all the numbers again (though I will if you abolutely insist), but I did some research and found that over the past five seasons, the vast majority of playoff teams were in the top half in payroll. As I recall, the best years for lower payroll teams meant four of the bottom half teams were among the 16 playoff teams. The top 15 teams in terms of payroll occupied 12 of the playoff spots. In other words, if your team spends enough to be in the top half they had a better than 75 percent chance of making the playoffs. If you spend in the bottom half, it's a less than 30 percent chance. Is that mere coincidence?
    As for the luxury tax, here's the potential problem and why the owners might take issue: Several of the big-spending teams (i.e. NYR, Toronto, Philly, Detroit) won't blink at paying a luxury tax, especially one as weak as the players' offer. Now, you are correct that it would put more money in smaller-market teams coffers. But if that leads those teams to spend more money, what's the end result? Higher salaries across the board. It pours more money into the marketplace, which will drive up the cost of every player. It's akin to the Treasury printing more money and the inflation that would result from it.
     
  11. Chileiceman

    Chileiceman Registered User

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    Go ahead and start your own team and pay them diddly squat (in hockey figures)
    Let's see how many good players sign with you.
    First line: Scott parker-Esa Pirnes-Jon Sim
    My point is payroll has a lot to do with it.
     
  12. YellHockey*

    YellHockey* Guest

    You're missing one key point here. A top guy at Jones Engineering can't jump ship to Smith until he's 31 under the NHL's market forces. Similiarly, a top guy at Smith has no leverage to force Smith to pay him anything over what all of Smith's competitors, including Jones, pay. And when a guy turns 31, he's no longer as talented as he was four years earlier.
     
  13. YellHockey*

    YellHockey* Guest

    Really? Well duh!


    There was a study that was discussed here several months ago that demonstrated that there was a correlation between payroll and winning. The correlation was that as a team won, its payroll increased. The opposite was not true, however.

    So if any team can increase its payroll as it gains success, which makes sense since successful teams have more playoff dates at higher prices and increased demand for regular season tickets, then the system is fair. How many teams have been successful and have been unable to expand their payroll?
     
  14. CarlRacki

    CarlRacki Registered User

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    No, but he can hold out and force a trade or seek arbitration.
     
  15. CarlRacki

    CarlRacki Registered User

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    First, that's kind of a trick question since just about everybody's payroll has increased over the past 5-10 years. But as for successful teams who couldn't keep key players because of payroll:
    The Pittsburgh Penguins (lost Jagr, Kovalev, Kasparitis)
    The Buffalo Sabres (lost Hasek, Barnes)

    The bigger question is how many successful teams have come from markets where they were unable to expand their payroll? I'm thinking Pittsburgh and Buffalo.
     
  16. Coffey77

    Coffey77 Registered User

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    Hey Trotts. One thing that really annoys me is the fact that the owners deserve as much blame as the players. IMO, anyway. It's basically millionaires fighting other millionaires over money. Owners aren't in it to help the fans, they are in it to help themselves. I don't blame them because they have a right to make money but it's funny how they spin in like they really care about us the fans.

    Bettman says that ticket prices will decrease significantly if they get their deal. I doubt that. I mean I watched 3 games last year (paid for 2 of them). $50 for a green seat to see an exhibtion game between Detroit and Toronto and $200 for a gold seat for the regular season game between Det and Tor. I don't really see those numbers lowering too much.
     
  17. eye

    eye Registered User

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    Are you related to Goodenow or something? Who the heck do you think you are? The fans are as much the game as the players and the owners are. Don't short change yourself or my significance because without fans there would be no game and no life of luxury for these players. If they don't listen to fans like us and allow this season to end they will continue to see the NHL lose value and will see their paychecks go down to unforseen levels. :banghead: :banghead:
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2004
  18. eye

    eye Registered User

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    There are 2 reasons why Calgary and Tampa Bay made the finals.

    #1 Tampa Bay drafted high, built a really good team and most of their roster have not reached their hay day so they have been fortunate to keep their players to date. That wouldn't have lasted much longer under the past CBA.

    #2 The great equalizer which will be taken away when the new CBA comes into play. Reduced goalie equipment and new rules and rule enforcement to open up the game which hopefully will reward skilled teams and hurt teams like Calgary, Anaheim and Minnesota 2 years ago, Carolina before that.

    Calgary wouldn't have made it to the Cup final with a normal sized goaltender or refs that called all of their cluthcing and grabbing. Sorry Calgary fans. I was cheering for you but if your honest you will admit that the way the game has been called lately it did favour your style of play.
     
  19. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    Changing thr size of the goalie equipment won't change which goalies are best at all. Take a look at the AHL sv%. They are using the smaller goalie equipment. Bottom line is that goalies are that good now, and sv% will never drop anywhere close to previous levels (.890 - .905)
     
  20. nyr7andcounting

    nyr7andcounting Registered User

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    Well a potential luxury tax certainly would not be as weak as the players'. If the luxury tax were high enough, even if the huge markets didn't blink at spending, it would put several small market teams back in the profit, which is the main goal of the NHL or so they say.

    Anyway, your point of inflation of salaries is certainly valid, but you can tinker with the rest of the system in order to offset inflation. If you first cut back salaries 20-25% and, as I said, alter salary triggers it would be a long long time before salaries came close to reaching the level they are at now. Also, inflation won't become that huge of a problem because even if those 3 or 4 teams didn't blink at spending above it I am sure that the rest of the league would, but I guess that's something we would only know if it were implimented.

    Plus, obviously what I think means nothing, but if I had a say than my proposed luxury tax would also include a hard cap which would lay $10-12 million after the luxury tax. This would not only leave the luxury tax affective, but it would solve the biggest problem caused by the system, inflation.
     
  21. Interesting take on things. I would not have considered Kiprusoff to be an obvious offender when it came to goaltending equipment. I actually thought he wore some of the smarller equipment in the league. I thought that he and Khabibulin were a good match in goal and that neither goaltender looked like the Michelin boy between the pipes.

    I'm also intrigued by the comment about Calgary's style. Throughout the playoffs they out skated every team they came across. Their success came from applying pressure in the offensive zone and generating turnovers. This was not a trapping team. They played a ton of dump and chase, but they were successful because of the forwards ability to keep the opposition defensemen's faces pressed into the glass. I thought it was an exciting brand of hockey and lead to one of the best Stanley Cups we've seen in years. Tampa won and deserved the victory. But to say that Calgary got there on an over inflated goaltender or the ref's carrying them to the finals is a gross exaggeration and very far from the truth IMO.
     
  22. I don't know if its common sense or just the PR machine that the league has working for themselves. I guess everyone forgets about the previous 80 yrs where the owners treated the players like slaves. But now that the owners are supposedly suffering the last 10 yrs, its common sense to support them? Plus this 80% in all these polls...who are the ones responding exactly? How many fans are they talking to (if they're talking to only 100 fans, the accuracy isn't going to be correct)?? Are they selecting from the entire fan population or just from certain areas like Canada? To me, 80% means nothing without knowing the ways that the data was collected.

    Let's say the players do agree to a cap and they want to make the best possible deal by negotiating within that framework. How do you think they would do it? The league wants the owners and players to form a partnership by having a percentage of revenue be set aside for player salaries. What would be the best possible deal for the players then? The players would want to have a say in the revenues. How you say? Well as you mentioned, its a gate driven league for the most part...ticket sales are a large component of the league revenues. Thus, if I were the players and were going to agree to a salary cap and wanted the best possible deal, I'd want to have a say in ticket prices. Thus, the fans will have to continue to endure high ticket prices and the owners wouldn't fight it because they would be able to blame the players on high ticket prices still. It still baffles me to see this line of thinking by some where a cap means lower ticket prices...it just doesn't work that way.

    BTW, some of you might want to re-read what Trottier said. Nowhere did it say that the fans were irrelevant. Just to not overrate your opinions as that important and that during negotiations, we are basically bystanders. When the league is running and games are played, that's really when the fans matter the most because our dollars do pay for the game. But during negotiations between any union and any company, you won't see the customer's opinions influencing things much (I think about BellSouth and the Communication Workers of America and they were almost on strike this past fall...the customers had nothing to do with the negotiations and would've impacted many in the southeastern US).
     
    Last edited by moderator : Dec 27, 2004
  23. Kodiak

    Kodiak Registered User

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    You don't know that would be true. Tampa Bay built a young, exciting team in a fairly big market. They were growing into a good hockey market. Look at their average attendance figures:
    2000-01: 14,906 (25th in the NHL)
    2001-02: 15,722 (20th)
    2002-03: 16,545 (16th)
    2003-04: 17,820 (12th, ahead of Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary, Boston and New Jersey, among others)

    That's an average gain of about 970 per year over that period. And that was all before they won the Stanley Cup, which leads to a huge boom in demand for tickets and merchandise (or it would have if the work stoppage hadn't hijacked Tampa's momentum with the fans). So with a growing hockey market, and a young, winning team, why exactly are we so sure that in a few years, Tampa would not have been another large market team?
     
  24. YellHockey*

    YellHockey* Guest

    The only reputable poll I've seen has the majority of people not giving a damn about either side. Why you ask? Common sense!!
     
  25. Brent Burns Beard

    Brent Burns Beard DontTouchMyDonskoi!

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    Yes, one great run does wipe out those 7 years. It proves that the Flames problems were not money, they were POOR managment.

    It proves that even if you cant afford a large payroll, you still have a chance to get to the final.

    DR
     
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