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06-07-2011, 03:25 PM
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat48 View Post
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.
I love when people say that one person's argument is crap just because they have a different opinion. I do not agree with you that all NHL teams care whether their AHL teams win or lose. I certainly agree that the players are trying to win, but, no, I do not agree that the management of the parent clubs cares. Again, look at the Devils. Season after season their affiliate is terrible, yet they develop players who step right in when needed at the NHL level. So, do you really think that the Devils brass cares that the River Rats, then Lock Monsters, then L-Devils, now Albany Devils are perennial losers?

With regard to your first paragraph, no, we are never going back to 1998, but it doesn't change sabrefan's or my opinion that the league was much better then than it is now.

However, I do wonder what kind of roster an AHL team could field if they didn't have to pay the NHL affiliation fee and paid for their own players in a league with a salary cap. The main reason why signing high priced players long term is because currently NHL teams are paying their salary in a system with no salary cap. Put in a salary cap and, voila, salaries for such players will go down and could be signed for multiple seasons, where, gasp, there could actually be some continuity on an AHL roster instead of the local fans wondering who is going to be on their team next year.

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