A team at the crossroads
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10-27-2003, 02:04 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Originally Posted by
normally, tanking a season would never be excused by the fans or ownership but this is a special case. Cal Nichols has allready said that there won't be an oiler team if the next cba doesn't allow them to compete. There are two possible scenarios
1 the new cba gives cost certainty and the oilers can compete - the oilers enter the season with a re-newed optimism in spite of a poor 2003-4 season with many great young players/prospects
2 the new cba caves to the players - the oilers enter the season up for sale and shedding all salaries just like pittsburgh
In both cases, season ticket sales will not be dependant on the success of this year's oilers. If the oilers trade away some veterans and the new cba allows them to compete, they may have some extra cash to go after some players because they will certainly be under the cap.
There is no way tanking a season should ever be excused by fans, regardless of the circumstances. Cal Nichols may not want to be a part owner, but there's nothing stopping other people from either buying in and taking over, or buying a larger share. He cannot and should not be making the gun-to-the-head threat like that.
In the case of your scenario #2, I'd give that about a 2% chance of happening. I don't think it can logically be considered as an outcome. Maybe that's just be, but I really think it is in effect an impossiblity, due to the positions of the parties involved.
Why would fans come back to a team that effectively took their thousands of dollars the year before and said "we're taking this money of yours, and not going to attempt to return it with a product, BUT, next year we will magically jump back into competitiveness and providing you with the best team we can"? Why would anyone buy that? Not only can't it work, it's just plain wrong. Who's to say they don't simply take a chunk of profit every year and keep us in the middle tier of the league saying "we have to recoup our losses" or "we need to remain responsible"? And a better question yet, what does this do to the players on the team??? Why should Ryan Smyth or Steve Staios or Ales Hemsky or Marty Reasoner want to stay on a team that would blow one of their productive seasons ON PURPOSE? You would lose the ENTIRE ROSTER in a matter of weeks, psychologically.
If they were to tank this season, I'd go as far as to say we'd be lucky if we made the playoffs in under three years, and made a conference final in under six. You cannot do that to a group of players, and suddenly expect them to believe there is a desire to win on behalf of the organization. Not only would free agents from other teams not want to sign here, but our RFAs and UFAs would basically tell management to shove it.
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