From Trevor Linden...
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09-14-2004, 01:48 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
I'm glad the NHLPA has finally decided to post some of their points and views. The NHL has been running a huge propoganda machine with the construction of a website dedicated to pumping out anti-player pro-management sentiment and snippets gathered from various sources all of which are pro-management.
In my opinion, cost certainty = salary cap = guaranteed profit for the owners. Let me ask you in what industry are you guaranteed a profit, (besides Haliburton of course
The players should come out publicly and propose a 10 percent reduction in salary to be offset by a 10 percent reduction in ticket price. This may bring more fans, who because of the sheer effort of the owners pr machine are supporting the owners, to the side of the players.
On the ticket subject, the owners claim that the high price of tickets are dictated by the high salaries paid out to the players. This is totally false. Tickets are a commodity that are ruled by supply and demand, not by labor cost. Any business in any industry would be foolish to sell their product for lower then market value. If MSG sells out those $1,000 seats every night why would they offer the same seat for $200. If they could sell them for $2,000 they would. If the salary cap does go in in 2005 or 2006 and the NYR payroll goes from 80 million to 40 million will all ticket prices drop 50 percent? I don't think so. It's like McDonalds charging 50 cents for its Big Mac, they could and would probably still make money but why would they want to when you or I are willing to pay $2 for it.
The owners want to link salary to revenue. Revenue they have shown under Bettman that they are unable to grow. Their latest tv deal is a prime example. They basically got the networks to show the games for free and are able to profit off of the advertising if their is any. Most people in the US would rather watch 5 idiots seated around a table playing poker. For any player to want to link revenue to salary under this regime, they would have to be out of their mind.
The league speaks of guaranteed parity under a salary cap system. Well for one fan, I hate parity. I like dynasties, the Canadiens, the Oilers, the Islanders, a team you either love or hate. By the way I hate the Islanders. Parity is like the NFL where you play in the Super Bowl one year and are 4 and 12 the next year. No more Cowboys or Steelers dynasties no more teams you love to hate. I personally love going to see the Rangers play an original 6 team especially a good original 6 team. With parity you might as well see them play the Ducks or the Hurricanes because everything will be on one level.
Also, in the eventual deal, I see the league lowering the restrictions on player movement. Which in my opinion has ruined baseball and totally driven me out of the game as a fan. How can any self respecting fan hate a player for years, have him come to your team, love him for a few years, and then hate him again for leaving. Roger Clemens and Yankee fans are a perfect example.
The league has over expanded which has caused players who would never have played years ago to play today, which in turn leads to all this clutching and grabbing and the institution of the trap. The marginal players don't have the skill to keep up with the stars so coaches have turned the game into a 1 man forecheck with 4 guys lined up on the blue line. They have put teams in areas where they have no business being. What is next a team for Sweet Grass, Montana or a team for Eagle Pass, Texas? When is enough enough. What the league needs is contraction. If you can't make it in Pittsburgh or Carolina then fold. Why should the strong teams have to subsidise the weak?
One point on the NHL numbers from the Levitt report which I understand did not include all revenue streams but did include all expenses. I read on another website a while back that the report itemized minor league expenses but did not include any minor league revenue. Putting that aside for a moment lets assume that the figures are correct and the league lost 300 million last year. They also built up a 300 million lockout chest. If this is factored in does that mean that they really broke even? The majority of losses were reported by teams who have terrible leases and major arena problems, Pittsburgh for one. It appears that most of these losses are from non-hockey related issues.
Now if I can figure some of this stuff out, how come the NHLPA can't come up with these same arguments and generate some pr of their own. What the league needs now is an agreement so hockey can be played. What the league doesn't need is a lockout to alienate the true fans who may wind up watching those idiots drawing cards on ESPN2. In my opinion the only think worse then millionaires crying about their money is billionaires crying about their money.
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