The Intercontinental Hockey Association

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by habitue*, Nov 17, 2004.

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  1. habitue*

    habitue* Guest

    I am not optimistic at all about the present lockout in the NHL. I don't think the players will ever accept a hard salary cap, not even a soft one. They don't trust the Levitt Report and were probably very pleased by the Forbes' article. Owners spent money to buy and run the franchises. They are entitled to make some profits. Don't they ? There is no respect for US, the fans, the ones that are paying their huge salaries, by attending games, buying all kinds of promotional products, watching games (cable $, etc...). Players are just simply living in another world.

    That being said, I think, like Guy Lafleur, that the NHL should just declare bankruptcy and start over under a new name: the Intercontinental Hockey Association.

    Why "Intercontinental" ? Because I would create a European conference where a majority of its players would be born in a European country. While teams based in North Ameraica would hire a majority of North American born players.

    The Association would have 4 Conferences:

    Canadian Conference with Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver + two new teams (or relocated US teams) in Quebec and Winnipeg.

    Western American Conference with Detroit, Minnesota, Colorado, Chicago, Dallas, St-Louis, San Jose, Phoenix OR Los Angeles

    Eastern American Conference
    with Boston, New-York Rangers, Philadelphia, Tampa, Washington, Colombus, Buffalo OR Atlanta, New-York Islanders OR New Jersey.

    8 US based teams would disappears... Nashville, Anaheim, Florida, Carolina, Pittsburg, Islanders OR Devils, Phoenix OR Los Angeles, Atlanta OR Buffalo. I apologize to hockey fans in these cities, but It seems to me that these organisations are the weakest or more in debt.

    Those 8 teams could be sold to Europeans or at least 6 of them - the two others being sold to Winnipeg and Quebec. Two new teams would be created, in Europe or Canada.

    European Conference Two teams in Russia - one in Finland, one in Sweden, one in Tcheque Republic, one in Switzerland, and two in Germany.

    PLAYERS would be paid in the currency of the country where they are playing. A player on a canadian based team would be paid in CDN $. So, for exemple, Jose Theodore would not be paid 6 million US but 6 million in CDN dollars.

    Teams would have 21 players on their active roster - 19 dressed for a game.

    European teams would not be allowed to have more than 5 North American born players on their roster - North American teams could not have more than 5 Europeans born player on their roster. Europeans who bought North American based teams would have three years to trim down to 5 "imports". So, there would be lots of trades between European and North American based teams to meet the quota.

    The Draft would allow the 8 Canadian teams to draft the 8 best Canadian born players; the US based team would be able to draft the best American born players; while the European teams would draft the best 8 European born players. After this special first round, it would be a universal draft as we know today.

    A team would play 8 times per year against the seven other teams in its own conference (TOTAL 56 per year) , and would play one game only agains each of the 24 other teams (TOTAL 24) (56+24= 80 games per season). This mean for example that, let's say the Toronto Maple Leafs would play 4 games on US territory against 4 teams in the West, 4 teams in the East, and play in 4 European cities. They would welcome at the AC Centre the twelve other teams from this three Conferences. It would be the opposite the following year. So Maple Leafs fans would see Boston, once every two years. But they would see the 7 other Canadian based teams 4 times each in Toronto.

    The season would be divided in blocks to enhance competition for playoff spots
    1- First 14 games against teams of your own Conference
    2- Next 8 games against teams of other conferences
    3- Next 14 against your own
    4- Next 8 against the others
    5- Next 14 against your own
    6- Next 8 against the others
    7- Final 14 against your own

    The season would start Oct 1 and finish no later than March 31.

    Play-offs would be played in April and May

    4 teams per Conference would make the playoffs. There would be a quarter final and a final per Conference. The four Champions would play against each other for the Stanley Cup.

    SALARIES

    There would be a minimum and a maximum salary and a total control on the bonuses and salary raises. No more 300-400% salary raise. No more arbitration. No more no-trade clause. And an automatic two-way contracts until you have played 400 games at IHA (NHL) level.(150 for goalies). Players would become unrestricted free agent at 30, or after 10 years with the same organisation.

    Minimum salary: $ 250 000
    Maximum: 10 million

    Maximum rookie salary: $ 500 000 ( for first round draft picks) diminishing down to $250 000 for late round draft picks or undrafted players)

    Maximum bonus; no more than 50 % of your actual salary

    Maximum raise (even for a free agent) 50 % of your actual salary over the lenght of the new three year contract (less for a one year or two year deal)

    No raise if players stats and performance did not improve over previous years;

    Maximum contract length: 3 years

    NO MORE "no-trade clause" - NO MORE "salary arbitration".

    Two-way contract for every player who did not play 400 games yet (150 for goalies) at IHA (NHL) level. A player can be sent down at any time to the minors without going thru waivers before he played his 400th game at the IHA (NHL) level.

    Better bonuses ( revenue sharing) for teams and players participating in the playoffs.


    There is for me lots of advantages with this formula. More European players are playing in Europe. More Canadians and Americans are playing in North America. There is no salary cap per say, but a better control of raises and bonuses, slowing down the inflation. Free agents would not double or triple their salary overnite. Rookie salaries are lower and the "two-Way contracts" means that player who are not performing will be sent down to the minors more easily.

    There would be awesome rivalries between teams of each Conference which would play 8 times against each other per year + playoffs.
     
  2. thinkwild

    thinkwild Veni Vidi Toga

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    "Owners spent money to buy and run the franchises. They are entitled to make some profits. Don't they ? "

    They arent entitled to manage their business properly, build their team wisely, make the tough choices you need to do in business and have an opportunity to make a profit while their franchise grows at a rate roughly equal to the stock market.

    They arent entitled to a profit. They have to earn it. That is the western way.

    But the idea of an intercontinental league gets more and more mometum as this drags on, and some of the capitalists in Europe see a chance to spend a lot of money on players to make a lot of money, or whatever they find value in, for themselves.
     
  3. GKJ

    GKJ Global Moderator

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    Why are we getting rid of the LA Kings
     
  4. Speed Demon

    Speed Demon Registered User

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    56 games against your own conference.. that could either get boring or it could raise rivalry..
     
  5. gary69

    gary69 Registered User

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    Without getting to details, a lot of this stuff would probably be illegal in Europe, at least in the European Union countries, which are basically free market in sports as well.
     
  6. ShippinItDaily

    ShippinItDaily Registered User

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    You have some good ideas and interesting concepts and it made for a good read. Here is how i would like to see international hockey leagues set up and compete if the N.H.L. was too fold. Although i like my idea i still dont want to see the N.H.L. extinct.

    Canadian League:

    Toronto (2 teams), Montreal (2 teams), Vancouver, Ottawa , Edmonton, Calgary, Quebec, Edmonton, Hamilton, Saskatoon (Maybe a couple other cities ...)

    American League:

    Detroit, Colorado, Minnesota, St. Louis, LA, Boston , NYR, Tampa , Philly, Buffalo, Jersey, Chicago, Dallas, Phoenix

    Czech League : as is

    Russian League : as is

    Swedish League : as is

    Finnish League : as is

    German League : as is

    Swiss League : as is

    Each team would have a regular season of 50 games or so starting in October.

    4 teams from each league would make playoffs for 2 best-of-7 playoff rounds to determine league champ.

    Top 2 teams from each league would advance to a hockey "Champions League" like soccer. But unlike soccer all the games would be plyaed in one time period, after league playoffs (2 weeks maybe) rather than throughout the year.

    Then there would be 4 groups of 4 teams that would play a round robin format and then break into 8 teams for an elimination format where they would all play best - of - 3 series before moving on.

    The team to come out of the final elimination series, best of 5 games, would be club champion of the world.

    One year the tournament would be in European countries and the next year in NA countries and then keep alternating every year.

    As for salary details i am not ready to discuss that in detail yet but i would like to see a free market system with restriction only on the number of imports like mentioned by habitue.

    SOme might not like this but i think it would add a whole new level of interest and excitement to hockey ... ?
     
  7. habitue*

    habitue* Guest

    I think having too many teams doesn't help the quality at all. Basically, by cutting down actual rosters from 23 to 21 active players (2 X 30 = 60 players) and by adding a couple of teams to have 4 divisions of eight teams each (32), you keep roughly the same amount of players. European based teams have more European born players and us, in NA, we have more north American born players. Have you seen Sean Avery on "Off the Record" on TSN yesterday. He said he was tired to see European players stealing jobs from North American players. He's right in a certain way. But he's wrong also. There would not be as many teams in the NHL without European players in North America. But on the other hand, less teams in North America with less European players and more of ours, make sense too.

    For me another major point is slowing down the salary raises by starting with rookies with lower salaries and having a maximum of 50 % raise from contracts to contracts. If the league wants to award special bonuses to its superstars, that's fine. But I don't want to see another 3rd or 4fth liner making 2-3 million a year anymore.

    Having two-way contracts (AHL salary when playing in the minors) until you've played 400 games at top level, ensure that the guys will give their best to stay with the big clubs.
     
  8. habitue*

    habitue* Guest

    Why are we getting rid of the LA Kings



    We will see after the lock out how many fans there will be in the stands of those teams based on southern and western USA. I don't mind the Kings. You can eliminate Phoenix or San Jose if you want.
     
  9. habitue*

    habitue* Guest

    Without getting to details, a lot of this stuff would probably be illegal in Europe, at least in the European Union countries, which are basically free market in sports as well.


    What do you mean ? The league can and should control salary raises instead of wanting a salary cap.

    As for players quotas, having a maximum of 5 "imports" per team, the European leagues are already doing it. The CFL (Canadian Football League) is also doing it towards American born players.


    With only 5 Europeans per team in North America, our teams could keep the best they have now (unless they became freee agent after 30 and wants to go back home).

    I am sure there is enough very rich people and corporations in Europe to buy the actual organisations/temas that are having financial problems now.
     
  10. gary69

    gary69 Registered User

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    Draft for starters.
     
  11. Keetz

    Keetz Registered User

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    No thanks. when I spend the amount of money a ticket cost these days I want to see the best product possible. Not the best product the USA can produce with import rules. Import rules are silly. where are all the Canadians going to play if not for american cities?
     
  12. kurt

    kurt the last emperor

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    Rules on how many international players

    I don't think there would be a need for any kind of ruling on how many domestic and international players play for each club. I think this would take care of itself, as clubs would seek out the "local" players to make their club more marketable.
     
  13. habitue*

    habitue* Guest

    TO KEETZ

    I think you read my original post too fast or you think the word "North American" applies only to US citizens. I wrote that any players born in NORTH AMERTICA - US, Canada, Mexico, and all Caribean Islands (are North Americans) will occupy most of the roster spots on US and Canada based teams. AS for drafting junior or college players, it would be nice to keep the best young Canadian born players in Canada, and I think that young American kids would like to be drafted by American teams... at least in a special first round draft.
     
  14. Riddarn

    Riddarn 1980-2011

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    That would never work here. Swedes would simply just not care about a team like that, much less pay the ridiculous ticket prices to see it.
     
  15. StevenintheATL

    StevenintheATL Registered User

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    I'm getting tired with all of this "Get Rid of Atlanta" stuff. How can a club with brand-new ownership be considered weak? The new ownership has barely had time to even do anything (they were allowed some input in some deals that occurred prior to the ownership change was approved) considering the lockout. The AOL-Time-Warner/Time-Warner ownership was sketchy to say the least. Atlanta Spirit's isn't having to report to some faceless corporate bigwig up in NYC, so they're going to allow Don Waddell (and his NBA counterpart Billy Knight) to do things the old owners wouldn't let them. Atlanta deserves to stay in the NHL or a new league consisting of NHL teams, as if it wasn't for the Atlanta Flames, the NHL probably would have never expanded into Florida and California, and let teams move to Phoenix, Dallas, and Raleigh. The Flames getting sold and moved to Calgary was not due to organizational or fan issues. It was a financial issue that their owner Tom Cousins had that was not associated with the club. The slump in the real estate market in Atlanta in the late 1970s put a financial pinch on him, and he needed to get some cash quick, and the Flames were the most valuable asset he had. The irony is that Ted Turner was offered the team first, but was not interested at the time. When CNN/Time-Warner was awarded the Thrashers, Turner commented that he wishes he would have bought them in 1980, as it would have been $100 million cheaper. Several NHL teams were rumored to be headed to Atlanta during the 1980s and early 1990s. Instead of the Dallas Stars, it could have been the Atlanta Stars; the Thrashers could have been in the NHL several years earlier and probably would have won the Cup in 1996 (The Nordiques were offered to Turner but he declined due to the lack of a quality arena. The Omni was a bit of a dump by this point, and had been expanded as much as it could. They would have been the Thrashers, as he had been saying for years that if he got an NHL team, the name would be the Thrashers).
     
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