Thread: OT: NHL vs. NHLPA
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09-20-2012, 01:41 AM
  #76
Calculon
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I'm not going to choose a side in this because I find it a little hard to pick between billionaires owners and millionaire players fighting over how to divide revenues.

That being said, if I had to, I'm leaning towards the players because say what you want about the NHLPA or Fehr or whatever, their proposal looks to treat the disease and not just the symptoms as the NHL is trying to do.

But really, the only thing I'm interested in is seeing if the league is willing address the indisputable decline in the quality and entertainment value of the game over the last couple of years. I'll admit, my view is probably a little biased after having to endure Sutter's tepid and uninspiring tactics for the last little while, but even then, aside from the brilliant series between the Penguins and the Flyers these last playoffs, there's very little that stands out from an entertainment perspective. Honestly, these last couple of playoffs were some of the worst I ever seen; the games weren't just boring, they were borderline unwatchable. And if there's a silver lining to the lockout, it might just come in preventing the league from mimicking the style of hockey used by the Kings in their road to the Cup.

Obstruction is creeping back into the game mirroring pre-2005 lockout gameplay while refs are virtually letting everything go. It seems like most teams are now employing more conservative tactics. Rather than trying to score and playing aggressively, they hold back and wait until the other team makes a mistake and then try to capitalize. It's bad enough when one team does this, but when both do it, the product becomes simply unwatchable. I understand those kind of coaching tactics win games but they're just not fun to watch from a casual perspective. I see it in full effect in Phoenix; despite having some solid regular seasons and going deep into the playoffs, no one wants to watch their games. It's not the only factor in the organizations struggle to find an audience and make money, but it's certainly a reason.

The economics of the game are important and need to be addressed, but the product on the ice is just as valuable in attracting fans and growing the game. If the powers that be do nothing to address these problems, it won't matter if the split becomes fairer, fans will get bored and find other ways to be entertained.

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