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09-08-2004, 11:46 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: NJ
Posts: 24
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I hope the NHL is locked out a good long ass time

Why you ask? Because it the league is a watered down version of it's former self. Too many teams, not enough star players to go around, a number of league enforced systems that reward defense, rather than offense. The game has never had wide appeal, it is a game best watched live, it certainly loses something on television. It is a regional, seasonal sport for a small group of North American fans.

For these reasons hockey has very few casual fans. While many hockey fans will sit down and watch a football game this Sunday, how many football fans normally sit down a watch a hockey game? The average American doesn't give a crap about the Canucks vs. Predators. The average American would be more interested in the Packers vs. the Bucs. The television ratings back that statement up. The league needs to reinvent itself. It needs become leaner, meaner, more streamlined. Less teams. Remove the red line. Call the obstruction penalties. Penalties should be a full 2 minutes, regardless if the team on the PP scores.

The league needs to reward offensive hockey, and penalize defensive hockey. Fans don't want to watch 60 minutes of hockey played between the bluelines by 3rd liners and nobodys. One of the reasons salaries are so high is that you have 30 teams bidding for a handful of "name" players every UFA season. These very few name players get signed for incredible amounts of cash, only to have forgetable seasons finishing up their career on a line with the Jim Dowd's of the NHL.

The owners gobbled up that expansion team cash, and changed the rules of the game so teams like the Wild could have success without spending a bundle. By also endorsing defensive hockey, the league thought this would keep salaries low. They miscalculated. Now the Bobby Holik's of the NHL make $9 mil. Jagr who scored 149 points in 1995-1996, is worth $10 mill for scoring 74 last season. 20 and 30 goal scorers are sought after like never before.

Nearly every team in the NHL is playing some variation of the trap. Arenas are half empty, TV revenues are gonzo. The league has destroyed itself. The hockey we watch today is garbage. If you grabbed almost any hockey team from the past, and matched them up against a hockey team now, it would be a joke. The rosters from years ago look like All-Star teams compared to the crap we have now. Excuse me for not getting excited over Jason Strudwick. But hey after all the guy had 4 points last season and was a -16. That's worth $625k.

The only thing that will save the game is money. Money being lost, a whole lot of money being lost. The NHL needs to be crushed completly and start over again, get back to basics. I hope the lockout lasts a good long time, I hope teams fold, and I hope the game gets opened up again, for the good of the game. Otherwise it will continue to destroy itself over time.

Pass-the-Puck is offline