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06-07-2011, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by sabrefan27 View Post
Terrible comparison and I don't even really know where you're going with it.

Ask any AHL fan on here or any other board who's been around for more than 10 years or so and see the responses you get. I don't think you'll get too many who think the AHL of 2011 is better than the AHL of 1998.
But, you're never going back to 1998. That was then. This is now and now is the way it is. A league that made certain decisions based on financial realities. If the AHL followed a path of autonomy and "our players are our players" then it would be six teams, who could afford "veterans" with no affiliation to the NHL.

But... Guess what? A league would have started to fill the need of developing players for the NHL. Someone would have filled that void if it wasn't the AHL and in 5-10 years... We have the IHL-AHL scenario playing out again.

Hockey in North America is working itself toward a model followed by MLB... That's a financial reality because high-priced veterans can't be sustained long term in the minor leagues. Only a handful of teams who can afford those types of players and even less choose to pay for those types of players.

As for this development vs. winning argument. That's crap. It's just deflecting blame from teams who don't draft well or develop their own players effectively. You can't tell me there isn't player or a member of management on Binghamton or Houston that isn't trying to win the Calder Cup. You can't tell me that teams in any other city aren't trying to win. Yes, teams have different philosophies on how to get there. Some are much better at than others, but they all want to win. Just simply saying that teams who focus are developing aren't focused on winning is just deflecting blame on a bigger issue.

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