Lockout IV: One likes to believe in the freedom of hockey (Moderated: see post #2)
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12-16-2012, 12:21 AM
Just shoot it Toby!!
Join Date: May 2007
Originally Posted by
The players don't owe the all mighty business owners the right to exploit their god given talent at whatever price they demand either.
There are very few people who can do what NHL players can do and therefore they are the attraction.
Would you pay to watch some 80 year old billionaire do anything? I would not. It is also worth noting that players in pro sports are no longer playing just for fun. They are basically treated like race horses. If they can be cobbled together with duct tape and chewing gum they are expected to play. Many have extreme health issues after their careers. Many die very young due to these issues.
If the owners aren't made to feel some pain with this lockout they will come back next time with another lockout. They will cry poor and it will never end. Personally I live in a hockey market. My team is a very successful business. Unfortunately they have plummeted as a result of a system designed to support unsuccessful ill advised businesses. As a fan I have been forced to accept rule changes that I don't like, parity that I see as a disease, and 2 lockouts in order to support rich morons who bought sunbelt hockey teams that will never garner more than casual interest. I am fed up.
To me it doesn't matter how 'rare' the skillset is. Some Olympic athletes have even rarer skillsets and most of these athletes make garbage for their 'god given talents'. It's about the sheer entertainment dollars that the NHL pulls in...or lack thereof, which should determine how much players 'deserve' to get paid.
Some like to argue that pro athletes are overpaid, perhaps EMTs or civil servants perform more important/dangerous duties and get paid less, etc. etc. I'm not going to go that route.
Instead I'll just say NHL players are overpaid simply because 1) the sport doesn't bring in the kind of entertainment dollars that justifies their premium pay, and 2) the next best-paying league, the KHL, pays a fraction of the salaries the NHL does.
If the NHL was the top dog in North American sports revenues, instead of bottom dog, then I'd say go ahead...pay the players whatever they like. But they aren't. Crap tv ratings, no traction in non-traditional markets, etc.
I find it shaky to argue that NHL players deserve to be paid a certain amount because they are akin to a rare, extremely desirable commodity....yet at the same time argue that there is casual or no interest in the commodity itself to a large portion of the populace.
As far as the 'danger pay' thing..no pro sport is in the top 10 as far as fatality rates (fishing, lumbering, mining and other laboring jobs have the highest rates), and I think post-career quality of life is probably better than you make it out to be as well.
Do professional athletes deserve to be well compensated? Sure they do. NHL players? Sure. But to what extent? For the reasons above, I'd say a $2 million average salary would be fine at this point.
That can go up in the future if the television ratings stop losing out to sitcom reruns, episodes of Honey Boo Boo, dog shows, and whatever else.
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