Did the NHLPA drop the ball?
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09-12-2004, 03:46 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Originally Posted by
One expression I've always loved is "you are only as strong as your weakest link", and I think it very much applies to today's NHL. You could argue that the weaklings of the NHL should be removed and it'd make the overall product stronger, it probably would in some cases, but that isn't to debat right now.
Why not? Maybe it is the best thing. Most hockey fans would vote for a 24 team league as long as their team was a survivor. I'm not in favour of contraction. I'm in favour of letting the turkeys go bankrupt. What do I care whether Disney loses some money. They've got lots. Either the fans turn out or they don't. The business goes bankrupt or it doesn't.
Something has to be done so that the strongest team and weakest team are essentially on the same footing, they have equal chances at success although the stronger team may have far superior management.
This is pretty much as I see it. No one has made a convincing argument that the league has competitive balance problems.
I do buy that the majority of the losses are probably coming from just a fraction of the league, and I'd suspect that there is not as much solidarity amongst ownership on the issue of cutting losses as there is about making more money.
The six teams that are supposedly not cutting it are the New York Rangers, Washington Capitals, St. Louis Blues and (likely in my view) New York Islanders, Florida and Carolina. The first three teams are the so-called irresponsible spenders who have supposedly driven up salaries for everyone! The market is punishing them and should punish them into responsibility. That is not evidence of a strutural problem. It is an example of teams getting their just desserts. The Islanders will lose money on any CBA until they get a new rink.
The current system doesn't work, and if you want to save those 6 or so teams that aren't cutting it, something has to change. Otherwise the "weakest link" in the chain is broke, and so does the league to some degree.
Do you really think we need a new CBA to save the Rangers, Capitals, Blues and Islanders? It doesn't make much sense to me.
There is no chain. What kind of analogy is that? If a team folds or relocates, the league does not break. If either Carolina or Florida folds it will be because hockey did not sell in the market. If that happens, the owners will be getting their just desserts for making a bad investment.
What - besides a few really old and greedy rich men - is the problem?
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