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How would the NHL go about contraction

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03-26-2010, 02:22 PM
  #1
Roomtemperature
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How would the NHL go about contraction

They can't just say poof no more team there. The owner of that team would be angry. So if the NHL wanted to contract four teams they'd have to buy out 4 teams at 100 to 150 mil each. Deal with the arena leases and stuff like that. Legal fees because the owners losing the teams might not be happy. The PA would hate losing jobs so they would try to stop it. The NHL might have to pick up the existing contracts on the 4 teams. So it would be about 500 to 600 million or so to do it.

What would they gain from it? Not much. Instead of 27-30 being the worst in the league 22-26 would be and their attendance will suffer. Why would ratings go up enough for it to be worth it?

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03-26-2010, 02:37 PM
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The minute contraction is even on the horizon for NHL (which because the costs you list I don't think it ever would be), is the minute 4 Canadian cities should get franchises...

As long as Bettman is commish though, its obvious he will fight tooth and nail to keep the sun belt in the hockey equation.

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03-26-2010, 03:28 PM
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Roomtemperature
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I'm not talking about relocation we have enough threads on that. I'm talking about contraction to make the game more popular like some said in the days after the Olympics

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03-26-2010, 03:35 PM
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Confucius
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Personally I'd like to see the NHL contract the 6 Canadian teams. Then Thomson & JB can find a couple of more guys and form their own Canadian league. C'mon if Switzerland can have it's own league....

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03-26-2010, 03:55 PM
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kdb209
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roomtemperature View Post
They can't just say poof no more team there. The owner of that team would be angry. So if the NHL wanted to contract four teams they'd have to buy out 4 teams at 100 to 150 mil each. Deal with the arena leases and stuff like that. Legal fees because the owners losing the teams might not be happy. The PA would hate losing jobs so they would try to stop it. The NHL might have to pick up the existing contracts on the 4 teams. So it would be about 500 to 600 million or so to do it.

What would they gain from it? Not much. Instead of 27-30 being the worst in the league 22-26 would be and their attendance will suffer. Why would ratings go up enough for it to be worth it?
Of course, the League cannot just contract a team over the objection of it's owners. There are few grounds under the NHL Constitution for involuntarily terminating a franchise - violating the NHL Constitution, breach of contracts, failure to operate the team, gambling, etc. As such, the league would likely have to significantly over-pay and cover all other claims (leases, concession agreements, broadcast agreements, sponsorships, naming rights, etc) against the team and arenas.

It would be a very expensive proposition for little real gain - other than making some HFBoard posters happy.

If franchises were contracted, the league would have the option of assuming all SPCs and allocating them however they wish - dispersal draft, assigning to a new expansion team, etc) or allowing every player to become a UFA for breach.

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03-26-2010, 04:08 PM
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Buck Aki Berg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuelphMadHatter View Post
The minute contraction is even on the horizon for NHL (which because the costs you list I don't think it ever would be), is the minute 4 Canadian cities should get franchises...

As long as Bettman is commish though, its obvious he will fight tooth and nail to keep the sun belt in the hockey equation.
Yes, Bettman is in a dark room someplace with a large map, crossing off Edmonton and Ottawa, and putting gigantic circles around Albuquerque and Tulsa. Hand-wringing and maniacal laughing ensues.

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03-26-2010, 04:38 PM
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GuelphMadHatter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haymaker View Post
Yes, Bettman is in a dark room someplace with a large map, crossing off Edmonton and Ottawa, and putting gigantic circles around Albuquerque and Tulsa. Hand-wringing and maniacal laughing ensues.
Well of course... don't forget about Savannah too!

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03-26-2010, 07:16 PM
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Rhodes 81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuelphMadHatter View Post
Well of course... don't forget about Savannah too!
you mean savannah, georgia?

well it is one of the only cities that wasn't burned down by sherman during the civil war, so i bet they would be happy top embrace the north there.

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03-26-2010, 09:47 PM
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razorsedge
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Contraction will NEVER happen. The lockout was to help the smaller markets become finanancially more stable. If contraction was an option, the lockout would never have happened.

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03-26-2010, 11:19 PM
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Jeffrey93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haymaker View Post
Yes, Bettman is in a dark room someplace with a large map, crossing off Edmonton and Ottawa, and putting gigantic circles around Albuquerque and Tulsa. Hand-wringing and maniacal laughing ensues.
Don't forget the swinging chandelier...I'm on the fence as to whether he would be hand wringing or stroking a black cat.

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03-26-2010, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by razorsedge View Post
Contraction will NEVER happen. The lockout was to help the smaller markets become finanancially more stable. If contraction was an option, the lockout would never have happened.
I get what you mean...but it is always an option.

Who really thought the NHL would wind up having to buy one of it's teams out of bankruptcy? That little endeavour will probably end up being close to the same cost as contracting that team would have been. Actually...they could contract the Coyotes for dirt cheap now...lease gone....they own it....just have to buyout every player. All they need is one more team to do this to and we're down to 28, I'd say they missed their chance with picking up the Lightning for just over $100M.

Costs too much though, and you can even get some band-aid cash through relo-fees if need be. The league is in a lot of trouble...but not contraction level trouble. Although from what I have read that a member of the BOG stated....it was (or possibly still is) close to getting to that point.

I recall reading an article where, I want to say it was a BOG member anyway, it was said that up to 10 teams could fail very soon. I'm sure somebody else remembers what was said better than I do.

[Looked it up...a Bill Simmons article on ESPN stated a 'connected exec' of the NHL told him during the Coyotes bankruptcy hearings that "as many as 15 teams could fail in the next 2 years and he was dead serious"]

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03-27-2010, 12:39 AM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roomtemperature View Post
I'm not talking about relocation we have enough threads on that. I'm talking about contraction to make the game more popular like some said in the days after the Olympics
How exactly would contraction make hockey more popular? Maybe it's just me, but cutting off accessibility doesn't increase accessibility.

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03-27-2010, 12:47 AM
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Jeffrey93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
How exactly would contraction make hockey more popular? Maybe it's just me, but cutting off accessibility doesn't increase accessibility.
In theory it would increase the quality of the product in the remaining markets. Making it more popular in the remaining 28 markets while abandoning only 2. (or 26 and 4 or whatever)

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03-27-2010, 01:42 AM
  #14
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Originally Posted by Jeffrey93 View Post
In theory it would increase the quality of the product in the remaining markets. Making it more popular in the remaining 28 markets while abandoning only 2. (or 26 and 4 or whatever)
Basically, it's built on a lot of assumptions, namely:
- The NHL has not reached a "saturation point" with talent
- Ergo, there are more roster spots than there are quality players
- By reducing the number of roster spots by 46, 46 non-NHL players will go away and be replaced by better players
- This would improve the overall product
- More people in the remaining markets would watch the better overall product, regardless of whether it hurts their team or not

I don't buy any of it for a number of reasons. For one thing, I have a difficult time believe that there hasn't been a settling of the overall caliber of players over the last 10 years. For another, in a salary cap world, over time more and more quality players end up unsigned as a UFA, on waivers during the season, or being bought out in order to balance the finances. From a strictly talent standpoint, the league could add two more teams and the difference would be negligible.

The difference between a 6th defenseman on an NHL team and the #1 defenseman on an AHL team is usually extremely minor, and a team that has a huge gap between those players is normally one that's playing AHLers on the fourth line. There's very little difference between a fourth liner on an NHL team and a first-liner on an AHL team. For the most part, they're interchangeable and the reason they're in separate worlds is usually due to issues like salary, age, or something not at all related to on-ice talent.

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03-27-2010, 08:06 AM
  #15
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Firstly, there is NO CHANCE AT CONTRACTION in the current marketplace, or even looking down the road several years if the recession got even worse.

The chances of contraction is about the same as the NHL deciding to go helmetless again. The ONLY chance of contraction is if North America were to have a far, far worse recession, that lasts for the next many years. If that happened then the value of the franchises being contracted would be much less. And the owners would be going BANKRUPT of the franchises that get contracted. There would be NO VIABLE place to send the franchise. And the "buy out" of the franchise might be $50-60 million gathered from the other franchise owners and used to pay not the owner of the franchise that is contracted but the bank(s) that are owed the money from the now bankrupt franchise.

If this happened it would not be some clean contraction like let's subtract 2 or 4 teams. It would be a single team being contracted because it has failed utterly, and the economy is so bad that even moving it make no sense.

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03-27-2010, 08:10 AM
  #16
Sens Rule
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
Basically, it's built on a lot of assumptions, namely:
- The NHL has not reached a "saturation point" with talent
- Ergo, there are more roster spots than there are quality players
- By reducing the number of roster spots by 46, 46 non-NHL players will go away and be replaced by better players
- This would improve the overall product
- More people in the remaining markets would watch the better overall product, regardless of whether it hurts their team or not

I don't buy any of it for a number of reasons. For one thing, I have a difficult time believe that there hasn't been a settling of the overall caliber of players over the last 10 years. For another, in a salary cap world, over time more and more quality players end up unsigned as a UFA, on waivers during the season, or being bought out in order to balance the finances. From a strictly talent standpoint, the league could add two more teams and the difference would be negligible.

The difference between a 6th defenseman on an NHL team and the #1 defenseman on an AHL team is usually extremely minor, and a team that has a huge gap between those players is normally one that's playing AHLers on the fourth line. There's very little difference between a fourth liner on an NHL team and a first-liner on an AHL team. For the most part, they're interchangeable and the reason they're in separate worlds is usually due to issues like salary, age, or something not at all related to on-ice talent.
The 11th or 12th forward or 6th defencemen on NHL teams are now BETTER then they EVER HAVE BEEN since there were 6 teams. There is no problem with talent available and it would be a really, really stupid reason to contract teams.

Did anyone watch hockey 25 years ago? The lowest tier of players were HORRIBLE.

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03-27-2010, 08:44 AM
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NHL does not need contraction, they need a strong plan for relocation.
Bettman insists on having the NHL in bad markets for one reason, TV contract.
Atlanta and Miami are a joke
Phoenix has no business.
The Islanders should move to Brooklyn and tell Hempstead to get stuffed.

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03-27-2010, 06:06 PM
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razorsedge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffrey93 View Post
Actually...they could contract the Coyotes for dirt cheap now...lease gone....they own it....just have to buyout every player.
For dirt cheap? That would mean the ownership groups of the other 29 teams would have to eat the $140 million they spent buying the Coyotes out of bankruptcy, plus the money they lost during the season. I'm not sure how much money you got, but 140 million dollars is a lot of money, even to Billionares.

As long as there are still viable markets interested in having NHL teams (Winnipeg, Hamilton, Quebec city, maybe KC), contraction won't be considered.

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03-27-2010, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by razorsedge View Post
For dirt cheap? That would mean the ownership groups of the other 29 teams would have to eat the $140 million they spent buying the Coyotes out of bankruptcy, plus the money they lost during the season. I'm not sure how much money you got, but 140 million dollars is a lot of money, even to Billionares.

As long as there are still viable markets interested in having NHL teams (Winnipeg, Hamilton, Quebec city, maybe KC), contraction won't be considered.
What's cheaper? Contracting a team you own...or negotiating to contract a team somebody else owns? $140M is a lot of money....but to contract any other team it would no doubt cost more. They already own the team and the lease expires this year, so to contract it wouldn't cost them a dime more (aside from player contracts).

I never said it would be considered....and I agree with you about other interested markets, but the thread is about contraction not relocation.

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03-27-2010, 08:10 PM
  #20
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The trouble is that the NHL is looking to sell the Coyotes. They're not going to eat that 140 million, they're going to sell the team for at least that much.

Quite simply, contraction costs the NHL a ******** of money, scares advertisers and fans away from investing in a league that they will consider insecure and on the verge of collapse... Quite simply, it will never happen.

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03-27-2010, 09:43 PM
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Obviously, it won't happen. Would we like there to be 24 teams? Sure. Would the quality of the league be better to watch as fans? Yeah.

But there's absolutely zero business reasons for the NHL to contract. If the NHL was a single entity, with one owner controlling all of it... then it would. Because they could remove teams that aren't covering operating costs, the supply of players would be so great they could cut salaries, etc.

But it's not. The other owners aren't paying the operating costs for the other teams. They aren't going to "save money" if they eliminate teams. Under the current structure, revenue sharing would continue with the top half giving money to the bottom half... so while there might be a tiny amount of savings, the cost of buying up teams to contract would be greater than that savings.

The TV contract would go down with fewer large markets.

The overall number of different fans spending money on hockey would go down.

And the basic premise of "hockey would be better" doesn't mean jack, really. How many people do you know who DON'T watch hockey, but say they would if the teams had more depth?

You either "get it" or you don't. The people who don't watch hockey say "it's just a bunch of goons." Or "who cares about hockey, I'm not interested."

They aren't saying "Well, if my local team had another second line winger, a better fourth line, and an upgrade for their third D-pairing, I'd watch. But not with these guys who should be in the AHL."

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03-27-2010, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevFu View Post
Obviously, it won't happen. Would we like there to be 24 teams? Sure. Would the quality of the league be better to watch as fans? Yeah.

But there's absolutely zero business reasons for the NHL to contract. If the NHL was a single entity, with one owner controlling all of it... then it would. Because they could remove teams that aren't covering operating costs, the supply of players would be so great they could cut salaries, etc.

But it's not. The other owners aren't paying the operating costs for the other teams. They aren't going to "save money" if they eliminate teams. Under the current structure, revenue sharing would continue with the top half giving money to the bottom half... so while there might be a tiny amount of savings, the cost of buying up teams to contract would be greater than that savings.

The TV contract would go down with fewer large markets.

The overall number of different fans spending money on hockey would go down.

And the basic premise of "hockey would be better" doesn't mean jack, really. How many people do you know who DON'T watch hockey, but say they would if the teams had more depth?

You either "get it" or you don't. The people who don't watch hockey say "it's just a bunch of goons." Or "who cares about hockey, I'm not interested."

They aren't saying "Well, if my local team had another second line winger, a better fourth line, and an upgrade for their third D-pairing, I'd watch. But not with these guys who should be in the AHL."
Personally, I think that contraction is a break glass to save the league from folding scenario - only.

If it got to the point where it was 'that bad" there would be a better chance of serious relocation than contraction.

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03-28-2010, 01:26 PM
  #23
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You'll see expansion , not contraction. Get real.

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03-28-2010, 07:17 PM
  #24
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get a match and light the fuse

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