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09-10-2004, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by JV
Most of the essential facts are no longer in dispute. The most important of these is that rapid expansion into soft hockey markets in the US did not pay off in national (US) television exposure and money. There was the optimistic bump from ABC/ESPN, and now reality has reared its ugly head. There are two main sources of income that teams have to depend on: gate receipts and regional cable revenues. Teams without both of these generating significant amounts of money will always be on the verge of insolvency. Accordingly, if the goal is to have a league where every franchise is a healthy one, the NHL should contract to approximately 20 teams. If the lockout is a lengthy one, no less than two and perhaps as many as four to fold without the league "doing" anything. In the four year period thereafter, another four to six teams will drop off. There's no deal that both the owners and the NHLPA will agree to that will prevent this from happening.

The likely victims? Between four and six of the following: Pittsburgh, Anaheim, Tampa or Florida, NY isles, Atlanta, Nashville, Calgary, perhaps Ottawa, Washington and Buffalo.
JV you are so right! I posted something similar yesterday on this thread. I was suggesting that certain changes are inevitable. There is a not a lack of talent in the league, but there is far to much non talent, which hurts the stars and ultimately the game. Those teams that are in non hockey markets have proven that they can make a run at the cup, and in Tampa's case they won the whole thing. The problem is that over time these markets cannot hold on. They do not have the local cable deals, they are not drawing enough fans, because in most of those markets, hockey is not even the fouth major sport, therefor they are not getting the gate receipts they need to keep the teams afloat.

Baseball has rebounded incredibly well since their labour dispute, that lost the season and the World Series. They went through some lean years, lost a lot of fans, and in doing so they realized that something had to change. Now you see that the last few teams that have opened new ball parks are making them smaller, making it more quaint, instead of those large cavernous buildings which are half empty most of the time. Smaller ball parks means more home runs, which equates directly to more fan interest and thus more gate receipts. I don't mean to go off on a baseball tangent here, but the reality is the same for all sports. Give the fans what they want and they will show up. Today sports teams mean big business, but in a lot of ways some real bonehead ideas, like how expanding into markets that are oblivious to hockey backfired, and set the league back 10 years. For the game to thrive there must be healthy franchises. Things need to change now.

The players are offering a luxury tax, well woop dee doo da! The teams that spend over a certain amount will be taxed, with the money going to the lesser lights as a form of revenue sharing to help keep them alive. Did you get that last part? ALIVE! Because there are 8-10 teams that are on life support and for the good of the rest of the league, someone has got to pull the plug! Those 10 teams constitute 1/3 of the NHL, so rather than make the teams viable, this luxury tax will just keep the teams afloat, and obviously the NHLPA will be happy because no jobs will be lost. If you cut out those teams, that means 30 players lose their jobs x 10 and those are numbers the PA cannot swallow. On the flip side, those are numbers the would make this a much better league and would make the most sense.

Last edited by Puckhead: 09-11-2004 at 06:47 AM.
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