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12-01-2012, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by HatTrick Swayze View Post
Or ideally the end game is to share revenue to build a diverse league which allows you to land a big national TV deal. You're not getting the NBC sports deal (let alone something bigger) with 10 teams.

We can argue until about whether HOCKEY can actually do that until we're blue in the face. But that is the end goal and why the owners are doing everything they can to prop up expansion teams.

Soccer tried that strategy. The MLS is one big co-op with all the revenue shared. This did not work out well for the MLS because, with rare exceptions, the teams can't bid for top-end players. Granted Europe has a culture of soccer, and the US doesn't, but at the same rate, the US also doesn't have a culture of hockey either. If we didn't have the best players from all over the world, hockey would become a very, very minor sport, probably less than soccer (at least most American kids play soccer... very few play hockey).

We are already seeing some Russians return to the KHL for parts (or all) of their careers. We are told that they are moody or bad people. Bulls--t. They just have the option of making more money without having to go to a foreign land 5,000 miles away.

If the Central Europeans create a joint league for the Swedes, the Finns, the Germans, the Austrians, the Swiss, the Czechs and the Slovaks, there's no reason why players won't move there. The quality of a 20-team Central European League would be excellent. If you take the best 50-75 players in Sweden, Czech Republic, etc. and create 2-3 teams out of them, these squads will be very good. Essentially, it would be the All-Star squads from these nations creating a league of their own.

If some NHLers migrate there, the two leagues could potentially become competitive. At that point, even if the NHL is a little better, it won't be able to tell players, "come play on our third line for $2M instead of playing in your home-country for $5M because we are so much better." Quite simply, the NHL won't be that much better to make up for the loss of money (and the fact that Europeans have to move 5,000 miles to a place with a different language and culture). I can even see some American-born players moving to Europe for the extra money.

This is why the NHL should stop with this crap where they are forcing salaries to go down, even as European salaries are skyrocketing. Just as with any company, if you want to keep the best talent, you can't just talk about how great your company is, you have to pay the people like they are the best. The goal for NHL owners should be to raise revenue. To make things more even, they can introduce the luxury tax. But to constantly bump down salaries in a sport that completely depends on having the world's best players (because there's no culture of hockey here unlike other major sports) will eventually blow up in these people's faces.

Last edited by Beacon: 12-01-2012 at 11:38 PM.
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