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06-11-2008, 09:19 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Originally Posted by
Well, maybe I'm blind but I'm not stupid. First off, he has 2 lockouts to his credit and neither accomplished anything.
What got fixed? The league is spending more on players now than before the lockout. The minimum payroll level is higher than the payroll max when the cap started. You can say that is a barometer of the league's strength but I see it as a comedy of errors. Teams couldn't afford their $20m rosters 5 years ago but suddenly they are all healthy... Now to me, they either lied (more than likely) about their health or the fans are picking up the tab (fact) with skyrocketing ticket prices. That's the source of the escalating revenue... not the paltry TV contracts or the sponsors.
The lockout was supposed to 'protect' us fans from the players (not the gms right?) and their higher salaries and a mere 3 years into eutopia we're paying out the hiney for an inferior product.
Last I checked, Bettman doesn't develop hockey equipment, he doesn't train players, he doesn't raise European babies into hockey monsters so I don't see how he gets credit for that. He's on the verge of a crisis in Europe with losing tons of talent new and old to the KHL and it's about to stike midnight on his cheap transfer agreement... then he'll be stuck with pumpkins in his bloated 30 team league, rotting pumpkins in the sunbelt no less. His failure to come to a fair agreement is going to cut off his necessary supply of talent sooner than later. Maybe 'cut-off' is strong but its will be diminished.
Everyone thinks we finally have parity but we had it before the lockout... 12 different conference finalists in the 3 years prior to the lost season. The league made a fatal assumption in believing winning was tied to salaries instead of drafting. The cap isn't hurting the league, but wait until we really see the problems with early free agency... superstar kids moving all over the place like the NBA and NFL. At least there, the kids play right away so you see them for at least 4 years or so in the league. The NHL is different in that development takes much longer. Fans get attatched, they relate to certain players. Now they're flying the coop (probably to the powerhouses) at 27 or younger which is going to alienate the fragile fans bases that are lucky enough to draft such stars. The kicker is that the younger free agency was dangled to get the cap. Watch how this error completely reverses the precious balance in 3 years.
Bettman isn't killing the NHL but none of his solutions fix the problems. Most of the problems to him aren't the real problems plaguing the league or the fans' attention span. He's just... off. Plain and simple he was hired to keep contracts down and to beat the union, and to line the pockets of the owners (which was through expansion). He made them money. The state of the game is far down on the list and I'll blame Bettman all the way.
Tremendous post...Couldn't agree anymore!
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