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11-14-2003, 04:35 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Ottawa
Country: Tahiti
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Hi Tom,

Let's say I accept your premise, your thoughts on the CBA (and I do like many). How does that help the Edmonton Oilers survive?

You're a Canucks fan. I'm a Sens fan. Let's not think about what is best for our team. Let's not be selfish. Let's figure out what is best for the Oilers. Just for a few minutes.

The Oilers have a great winning tradition. They have won accolades in the past. They are a small market team in a Canadian market that is crazy about hockey. If the Oilers can't make it, then there's a half dozen other teams in the smaller market US that probably shouldn't deserve to make it either, take away the currency exchange differential and municipalities building them free arenas.

So, well... short of contraction or letting a half dozen teams disappear, what's good for Edmonton? The status quo? We are told the Oilers are just hanging on by their nails until a new CBA is negotiated in 2004. We've seen them trade good players for less expensive players a few years now, just hanging in there until a new CBA corrects the situation.

I'd say that definitely... something needs to be done. If player payroll can grow at a faster rate than revenue, do we just throw up our arms and keep blaming owners or do we admit that maybe there may be some factor underwhelmingly in favour of the players side while negotiating contracts if that 'player payroll' can expand greater than revenues under the current free market conditions. It's nice to see the system working for the players after so many years of getting shafted, but the new point does Edmonton survive?

If your new NHL does not include the Edmonton Oilers, then that's where we part ways. I think even the NHLPA sees the continuing healthy existence of the Oilers as good for hockey and the players.

So what is an objective fan to think? I look at guys like Jagr, Bure, Yashin etc...playing the system and winning... and I know there is problem with owners giving in that has nothing to do with the fairness of the CBA, how it is constructed. But something has to give. From the owners and the players.

What those things are, is up to debate here....but I still want to see the Oilers survive past 2004...I'm not sure they can.

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