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The Business of Hockey Discuss the financial and business aspects of the NHL. Topics may include the CBA, work stoppages, broadcast contracts, franchise sales, and NHL revenues.

NHl announces they project more than 3.2 Billion in revenues

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Old
04-15-2012, 07:35 PM
  #51
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Originally Posted by DocBrown View Post
You can look at an increase in revenue of 300 million and take away positives, not ignorant at all.
Of course you can take away positives from increased revenues.

Why would you even say that?


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...I would argue your thought process is ignorant.
Which part specifically?

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04-15-2012, 10:29 PM
  #52
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Originally Posted by DocBrown View Post
Pretty easy, according to Ham Tigers Bettman is doing a bad job because there is a team in Florida, but not one in Hamilton. :eyeroll:
Huh? Perhaps you should read my posts rather than making stuff up and attributing it to me. How about we discuss the posts rather than the posters?


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The same people wanting a team out of southern markets are the same people clamoring for a team in Seattle because there is no NHL footprint? I don't get it.
I don't get it either. What people are you talking about?

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Part of the reason the NHL has grown is because the NHL was willing to gamble on teams in Nashville and San Jose. The only reason Florida has not been successful off the ice is because of on ice performance, same with Atlanta, and same with Columbus.
Agreed (other than it being the "only" reason). Has someone said otherwise?

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Meh. the NHL had stayed in the North US and Canada we'd be no where near 3.2 billion IMO.
Don't know about that., But profits would certainly be higher when you see the disparity of revenue between individual teams.


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04-17-2012, 12:34 AM
  #53
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There's been a lot more actual commercials, not just pieces on old players and whatever to kill time, on NHL Network (US) this season then I can ever remember. (I put US because I assume in Canada ads were actually purchased prior to just recently).

How much can extra advertising bought on NHL Network play into the increase?

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04-18-2012, 09:26 AM
  #54
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Dec 2011 article in the National Post.

"Thanks mostly to the stronger dollar, Canada’s seven franchises have a combined profit of $169-million. Despite a couple of financial powerhouses in the Rangers and Red Wings, the 23 American teams combine to lose $42.5-million."

http://sports.nationalpost.com/2011/...etting-richer/

Jan 2012 from the Star.

"The report, which was obtained by the Star from several league sources, suggests operating a club north of the border is much more lucrative for the NHL. Five of the top six-revenue generating clubs are based in Canada, with the New York Rangers being the lone team from the U.S. in that group."

http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey...h-is-in-canada

NHL revenues and profits would be higher with a well planned movement of failing teams like Phoenix (40 mm per year) into Canada. Hamilton, QC perhaps the newly oil rich Saskatoon area. Maybe a second team in Toronto and another team in Southern Ontario as opposed to Hamilton. Phoenix losses are pretty big for a 30 team league.

What other successful franchises would suffer such losses in a single location? What % of MacD's lose money? Apple Stores? I don't see that Bettman is a good manager. He's a good salesman with a plan that hasn't worked out. In fact it may be shown that the increase in revenues over the years closely mirrors the improvement in the loonie.

Growing revenues based on unpredictable events not in one's control is just dumb luck. Bettman's move into the south has done nothing yet but cost the league and it's most profitable teams money. The Phoenix phiasco being the most obvious example.

Changing point methodology to create the appearance of .500 hockey in response to a team's success linked to revenues in sunny states and goonery in the POs is just sacrificing the integrity of the game for a money losing proposition.

Perhaps buying time will work out for some teams but at what cost to the sport? No Olympic participation because of time differences and how poorly the US has done on international ice historically?

Surely there is a better, more patient way. Instant gratification is what messed up economies.

Just my rant.

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04-18-2012, 09:53 AM
  #55
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It's the disparity in profit/losses that is the most serious issue IMO, and I don't think that gets enough attention.

The CBA process is going to be a very interesting one.

My solution: reduce the players portion of 57%, and share the insanely lucrative Toronto market by giving Hamilton their dream.

I think Hamilton would add much more overall profit to the league than would be lost (if any) from Toronto

Works for me.

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04-18-2012, 10:43 AM
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalton View Post
Dec 2011 article in the National Post.

"Thanks mostly to the stronger dollar, Canada’s seven franchises have a combined profit of $169-million. Despite a couple of financial powerhouses in the Rangers and Red Wings, the 23 American teams combine to lose $42.5-million."

http://sports.nationalpost.com/2011/...etting-richer/

Jan 2012 from the Star.

"The report, which was obtained by the Star from several league sources, suggests operating a club north of the border is much more lucrative for the NHL. Five of the top six-revenue generating clubs are based in Canada, with the New York Rangers being the lone team from the U.S. in that group."

http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey...h-is-in-canada

NHL revenues and profits would be higher with a well planned movement of failing teams like Phoenix (40 mm per year) into Canada. Hamilton, QC perhaps the newly oil rich Saskatoon area. Maybe a second team in Toronto and another team in Southern Ontario as opposed to Hamilton. Phoenix losses are pretty big for a 30 team league.

What other successful franchises would suffer such losses in a single location? What % of MacD's lose money? Apple Stores? I don't see that Bettman is a good manager. He's a good salesman with a plan that hasn't worked out. In fact it may be shown that the increase in revenues over the years closely mirrors the improvement in the loonie.

Growing revenues based on unpredictable events not in one's control is just dumb luck. Bettman's move into the south has done nothing yet but cost the league and it's most profitable teams money. The Phoenix phiasco being the most obvious example.

Changing point methodology to create the appearance of .500 hockey in response to a team's success linked to revenues in sunny states and goonery in the POs is just sacrificing the integrity of the game for a money losing proposition.

Perhaps buying time will work out for some teams but at what cost to the sport? No Olympic participation because of time differences and how poorly the US has done on international ice historically?

Surely there is a better, more patient way. Instant gratification is what messed up economies.

Just my rant.
While the NHL short run revenues would jump by moving a few low-revenue US teams to hockey-mad Canada, I would be careful of turning hockey into a 'Canadian game played by crazy Canucks' even more than it already is in the US. The US is a much bigger market and I think that if the game can gain more traction in some locations, it would eventually be a net positive for the league. Most Americans can't locate Calgary on the map, so how excited can they get for a Calgary-US team game?

Don't forget more Canadian teams might cannabolize some of the existing Canadian profits (not by much though IMO).

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04-18-2012, 10:53 AM
  #57
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Originally Posted by Buttonwood View Post
Most Americans can't locate Calgary on the map, so how excited can they get for a Calgary-US team game?

With all due respect...So what? I hate that argument.

How do you expect to teach and sell a game like hockey if you are concerned with simple geographic knowledge?
To know and appreciate NHL is to know cities such as Calgary. If they can't spend a minute or two on Google to see where Calgary is, are they going to learn the game?

Sure there are a few factors involved in road attendance, but look at these road attendance numbers. It doesn't appear to be an issue.

http://espn.go.com/nhl/attendance/_/sort/awayAvg

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Don't forget more Canadian teams might cannabolize some of the existing Canadian profits (not by much though IMO).
How do you figure? All national TV revenue is split evenly across the league anyway.


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04-18-2012, 11:12 AM
  #58
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Originally Posted by Buttonwood View Post
While the NHL short run revenues would jump by moving a few low-revenue US teams to hockey-mad Canada, I would be careful of turning hockey into a 'Canadian game played by crazy Canucks' even more than it already is in the US. The US is a much bigger market and I think that if the game can gain more traction in some locations, it would eventually be a net positive for the league.
Yeah, we're on year 20 of that plan...

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04-18-2012, 11:51 AM
  #59
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Originally Posted by rj View Post
Yeah, we're on year 20 of that plan...
20?

I've been hearing that since the 70s.


http://wn.com/Peter_Puck__Equipment,...yers_episode_2



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04-18-2012, 12:16 PM
  #60
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Originally Posted by Hamilton Tigers View Post
With all due respect...So what? I hate that argument.

How do you expect to teach and sell a game like hockey if you are concerned with simple geographic knowledge?
To know and appreciate NHL is to know cities such as Calgary. If they can't spend a minute or two on Google to see where Calgary is, are they going to learn the game?

Sure there are a few factors involved in road attendance, but look at these road attendance numbers. It doesn't appear to be an issue.

http://espn.go.com/nhl/attendance/_/sort/awayAvg



How do you figure? All national TV revenue is split evenly across the league anyway.
I used Calgary because it is my hometown. (I live and work in Boston, which gives me a unique perspective on this matter, hence playing devil's advocate a bit) But a new team in Saskatoon would be a better example, it might be good for revenues in the short term, but it takes away from it being a 'Big Boys' top-4 sport in the US. People in Boston love hating on Toronto and Montreal (in a good way) but a Quebec City? Who cares? I think they would rather beat a bigger, easily recognizable US market. Hockey revenue is gate-driven (TV not-so-much) and intense geographical rivalries are great for the game. See, Philadelphia-Pittsburgh.

US revenues are what the League is concerned with, for obvious reasons, and while fans in Canada are more deserving, I think for long-term growth the NHL has to wise grow their US markets and not return to a regional sport. (Which I get is fine/desirable for some Canadians, but I think the sport can be much bigger in the US) A 1% increase of growth in Phoenix is like a 6% increase in growth in Quebec City, all else being equal. It's not necessarily right, but its business.

RE: cannalbolizing. I was referring to fans of existing teams losing fans to new teams. Again, not a huge factor (and surely a net positive for the league) but merchandise, ticket demand, regional TV deals might be impacted slightly. Why does Toronto look to keep a team out of Hamilton?

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Originally Posted by rj
Yeah, we're on year 20 of that plan...
True, but a plan is a plan. Some unnatural markets are just now seeing their kids taking up the sport, hopefully some will play at the NHL level, growing the game at the grass roots and reinforcing the growth. Pulling out now, would just mean a lot of wasted investment. Sure there has been failures like Atlanta, but there are also a number of successes.

It may have been a bad plan, but half-assing it is the worst thing for the league.

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04-18-2012, 12:27 PM
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Even if such concerns were warranted, adding one or two (or even 3) Canadian teams would not make that much of difference in terms of the games reputation of being very Canadian, but it probably would make a difference in substantial increased league revenue.

As long as the NHL can sustain most of their currently broad U.S. footprint , I wouldn't think that adding a couple of Canadian teams would hurt the NHL at all. It could only help. If anything, it would likely strengthen revenue sharing contributions.

U.S. TV will always have their Rangers, Bruins, Blackhawks and Flyers to focus on as they've been doing for several decades now.

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04-18-2012, 12:53 PM
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True, but a plan is a plan. Some unnatural markets are just now seeing their kids taking up the sport, hopefully some will play at the NHL level, growing the game at the grass roots and reinforcing the growth.
I play rugby. Rugby is as foreign to the southern United States as ice hockey is. I can take your post, make it look like this:

"Some unnatural markets are just now seeing their kids taking up the sport, hopefully some will play at the national team level, growing the game at the grass roots and reinforcing the growth."

And it'd be just as true as there's probably as many people playing rugby in North Carolina as there are ice hockey, but you're not going to sit and tell me rugby is a major sport or it's on the verge of being this successful nationally broadcast league are you? Now I consume hockey as a fan, otherwise I wouldn't be on this board, but I've never put on a pair of ice skates in my life and I doubt my kids will either. Ice hockey in non-traditional American markets is the same as the NFL having a game in London. Yeah, there's some people in Britain playing American football. None of them are going to be the starting linebacker for the Steelers, and I think the NFL (and the NHL in their case) know that.

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It may have been a bad plan, but half-assing it is the worst thing for the league.
How can you look at something like Phoenix and say they're half-assing it? This franchise has lost millions upon millions of dollars and the NHL have been bankrupting a city for three years in order to keep it there.


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04-18-2012, 01:25 PM
  #63
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Originally Posted by Buttonwood View Post
RE: cannalbolizing. I was referring to fans of existing teams losing fans to new teams. Again, not a huge factor (and surely a net positive for the league) but merchandise, ticket demand, regional TV deals might be impacted slightly. Why does Toronto look to keep a team out of Hamilton?
I think you are right to assume it has no impact. or so little the league does not need to care about it at all. if anything, it increases sales. you really didn't see a lot of people sporting NHL team hats, shirts, jerseys, flags, mugs, glasses, shot glasses, baby bottles or mits before the Jets showed up in WInnipeg. There wasn't a net loss in other teams income because that happened. but I'd bet the total sales of those items in Winnipeg would come close to the gate revenue that the Jets managed this year. Heck, the 50-50 draw at the final home game was over $100,000.

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04-18-2012, 01:40 PM
  #64
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Originally Posted by Hamilton Tigers View Post
Even if such concerns were warranted, adding one or two (or even 3) Canadian teams would not make that much of difference in terms of the games reputation of being very Canadian, but it probably would make a difference in substantial increased league revenue.

As long as the NHL can sustain most of their currently broad U.S. footprint , I wouldn't think that adding a couple of Canadian teams would hurt the NHL at all. It could only help. If anything, it would likely strengthen revenue sharing contributions.

U.S. TV will always have their Rangers, Bruins, Blackhawks and Flyers to focus on as they've been doing for several decades now.
You may be right. I just think the NHL is at cross-roads in the US now. It's at near US-team capacity, highly entertaining (but devasting) NHL playoffs, great parity, and a new CBA that can potentially iron out (or magnify) some of the business issues afflicting small market teams. The game can make strides here, or it can go back to being a 4th/5th/whatever sport nationally. I think the 3 Canadian markets are 'aces up the sleeve' (good options) to the NHL at this point, in the cases of Atlanta and potentially Phoenix, but I think the NHL's goal should be to remain strong in as many American markets as possible, opposed to chasing slightly more lucrative (in the short term) markets in Canada. I think it will look bad in the US.

@rj
In some markets kids do start playing hockey. Then they move from a consumer of the sport (where demand can fade) to part of the sport (where, regardless of their ability, they will likely support the sport for life). I agree this boost is small is some markets, but it does exist and does tend to accumulate. Was it worth the 20 year investment? No in some cases, but justified in markets like SJ and Dallas.

I agree with the specific example of Phoenix, but in a general sense I don't think the NHL vacating the south just yet. But you might have a better perspective on that than I.

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04-18-2012, 02:02 PM
  #65
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You may be right. I just think the NHL is at cross-roads in the US now. It's at near US-team capacity, highly entertaining (but devasting) NHL playoffs, great parity, and a new CBA that can potentially iron out (or magnify) some of the business issues afflicting small market teams. The game can make strides here, or it can go back to being a 4th/5th/whatever sport nationally.
Agreed, but the league needs to have realistic expectations, and i think those are that the NHL will never be the equal of NFL or MLB, and being regional in the U.S. is ok, and that doesn't mean no hockey in the south.

Quote:
... I think the NHL's goal should be to remain strong in as many American markets as possible, opposed to chasing slightly more lucrative (in the short term) markets in Canada. I think it will look bad in the US.
But why do you see those two as mutually exclusive? I see adding a couple more strong Canadian teams as complementary to the strengthening the league and further anchoring their U.S. pursuits. I think viable U.S. teams in the south is good for the league and the game.

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@rj
In some markets kids do start playing hockey. Then they move from a consumer of the sport (where demand can fade) to part of the sport (where, regardless of their ability, they will likely support the sport for life). I agree this boost is small is some markets, but it does exist and does tend to accumulate. Was it worth the 20 year investment? No in some cases, but justified in markets like SJ and Dallas.
Perhaps expectations need to be tempered a little. Again, I like the NHL having a presence in the south but they've got to be better at times in terms of getting proper owners to meet the challenges. How likable are the Preds right now, both on and off the ice. I love them! Panthers too. I hope the fans see more value in that entertainment and accordingly I hope the team can increase their ticket revenue.

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I agree with the specific example of Phoenix, but in a general sense I don't think the NHL vacating the south just yet. But you might have a better perspective on that than I.
Different perspective, yes. Not better. Most of these perspectives here on this board are great (as long as we maintain, respect and civility while disagreeing).

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04-18-2012, 02:06 PM
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@rj
In some markets kids do start playing hockey. Then they move from a consumer of the sport (where demand can fade) to part of the sport (where, regardless of their ability, they will likely support the sport for life).
And hockey is about as large doing that down south as rugby is now. And again, you're not going to tell me rugby is going to be this huge sport in 10 years are you? Heck, lacrosse is a lot larger than hockey once you leave New England and the upper Midwest. Are you trying to tell me the National Lacrosse League will be larger than the NHL come 2032 due to greater participation numbers?

Quote:
I agree with the specific example of Phoenix, but in a general sense I don't think the NHL vacating the south just yet. But you might have a better perspective on that than I.
First, I don't consider San Jose the basis of what we're discussing. Those are: Dallas, Phoenix, Anaheim, Atlanta, Carolina, Nashville, Florida, Tampa Bay.

I'm not saying the NHL should vacate the South. But if you have a team that's been in existance for ~20 years, doesn't make money, is only niche level in the market, and has no prospects of making money...it's not a question of whether the NHL gives up or not, it's a statement of at some point you run out of people willing to own the team and lose money on it "waiting".

You want to grow hockey in non-traditional markets? We have these things called "minor league teams" and they should be doing "God's work" spreading the game to all these people. The Carolina Hurricanes for example nominally represent "Carolina" but are really just a Raleigh-Durham team. I don't know what effect they have to get people to play the game in cities like Fayetteville, Wilmington, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Asheville, Florence, Charleston, Columbia, the two Greenvilles, Spartansburg, etc. Most of these markets though have minor league teams or college club teams, and they are what you should be focusing on as these players teach the game to kids, something I don't think Eric Staal really does because he's busy being an NHL player and that takes up all his time. An NHL team provides little beyond marketing toward growing the grassroots after you go outside the main market. The minors though can reach their tentacles out much further. It's not like there's an ice rink in every town for people to play on, far from it.


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04-18-2012, 02:10 PM
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I play rugby. Rugby is as foreign to the southern United States as ice hockey is. I can take your post, make it look like this:

"Some unnatural markets are just now seeing their kids taking up the sport, hopefully some will play at the national team level, growing the game at the grass roots and reinforcing the growth."

And it'd be just as true as there's probably as many people playing rugby in North Carolina as there are ice hockey, but you're not going to sit and tell me rugby is a major sport or it's on the verge of being this successful nationally broadcast league are you? Now I consume hockey as a fan, otherwise I wouldn't be on this board, but I've never put on a pair of ice skates in my life and I doubt my kids will either. Ice hockey in non-traditional American markets is the same as the NFL having a game in London. Yeah, there's some people in Britain playing American football. None of them are going to be the starting linebacker for the Steelers, and I think the NFL (and the NHL in their case) know that.
I'd say that Stefan Noesen disagrees with you pretty strongly. Likewise, Casey Wellman may have just had a shot and failed, but he has 41 NHL games under his belt. Jason Zucker has had his NHL debut, and is looking to be a quality player in the long term.

Successful "non-traditional market" teams have had a strong response in youth level play and development. That's a lot of what has made the Stars and Sharks successful.

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04-18-2012, 02:30 PM
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I'd say that Stefan Noesen disagrees with you pretty strongly. Likewise, Casey Wellman may have just had a shot and failed, but he has 41 NHL games under his belt. Jason Zucker has had his NHL debut, and is looking to be a quality player in the long term.
Mr. Noesen played juniors for the Plymouth Whalers at 16.

Mr. Wellman played high school hockey in Michigan.

And Jason Zucker left for Ann Arbor, Michigan, at 16.

They did rudimentary-level play at home but when it came time for them to play hockey like a man, they left and went to the traditional hockey markets to learn that. Just like guys in rugby do from the same places. Actually, if the best you can do for California is two 14-year-olds, considering California is the hotbed of American rugby, there's far larger top-level talent development for rugby (as in guys getting pro contracts in Europe) than that from that state so it follows according to the thinking of a couple people on this thread, rugby union must be a far larger sport than ice hockey in the state of California. Although we do not know if the reason Zucker and Wellman started playing hockey was due to the presence of the Kings/Sharks/Ducks or not.


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04-18-2012, 02:45 PM
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Mr. Noesen played juniors for the Plymouth Whalers at 16.

Mr. Wellman played high school hockey in Michigan.

And Jason Zucker left for Ann Arbor, Michigan, at 16.

They did rudimentary-level play at home but when it came time for them to play hockey like a man, they left and went to the traditional hockey markets to learn that. Just like guys in rugby do from the same places. Actually, if California only has 2 14-year-olds in your example considering California is the hotbed of American rugby, there's far larger top-level talent development for rugby (as in guys getting pro contracts in Europe) than that from that state so it follows according to the thinking of a couple people on this thread, rugby union must be a far larger sport than ice hockey in the state of California.
Unless you're going to try argue that you don't develop and "learn to play" until 16, that's not a legitimate response. They grew up and learned to play hockey in their non-traditional markets. Sure, some of them left and went to the NTDP or CHL, but by that logic, Crosby is a Minnesota product and dozens of Minnesota products don't count from their home state. With a player like T.J. Oshie, you can argue he's not a Washington bred player, but with these players, that's not the case. Of course they didn't play major junior or semi-pro in their birth areas. There's not that kind of team there yet because there's not enough support. But your claim was "Yeah, there's some people in Britain playing American football. None of them are going to be the starting linebacker for the Steelers, and I think the NFL (and the NHL in their case) know that." Well, there's people in California, Texas, and Las Vegas playing hockey, and they're likely to end up as starting players for NHL teams.



If you're going to try claim that because I only listed two California kids off the top of my head (and one of them didn't even play in Cali, but in Nevada instead) that there are exactly 0 other California kids who might make the NHL, you might as well pack up and cut your losses already.

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04-18-2012, 02:57 PM
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Also entering the debate- Owen Nolan born in Northern Ireland and Robin Regehr born in Brazil, and spent his early childhood in Indonesia. My favourite is former Winnipeg Jet Don Spring from Maracaibo, Venezuela.

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04-18-2012, 03:02 PM
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As a Canadian I stand to gain nothing from American expansion. So why should I support it?

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04-18-2012, 03:10 PM
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As a Canadian I stand to gain nothing from American expansion. So why should I support it?
I don't understand.

Assuming you're in Saskatchewan, what would you gain from teams in QC, Hamilton or Toronto 2?

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04-18-2012, 03:12 PM
  #73
Buttonwood
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Agreed, but the league needs to have realistic expectations, and i think those are that the NHL will never be the equal of NFL or MLB, and being regional in the U.S. is ok, and that doesn't mean no hockey in the south.

Agreed, hockey will never be the All-American sport. However, it can be an excellent substitute. Fast, team-orientated, intense, and skilled. But marketing the league is a complete aside to this.

But why do you see those two as mutually exclusive? I see adding a couple more strong Canadian teams as complementary to the strengthening the league and further anchoring their U.S. pursuits. I think viable U.S. teams in the south is good for the league and the game.

Assuming the league wants to max out at 30 team. If we want to expand into Canada, that is another conversation, 32 teams might be viable. Would a team in Hamilton cancel out a southern money-trap until the market became stronger, if at all? Or should the new just give up on that market? Again, its a choice between a Canadian market that will max out revenues quickly vs. an American market with much more potential plus the recognition as a 'national' sport in the US, which offers more lucrative TV deals.

Perhaps expectations need to be tempered a little. Again, I like the NHL having a presence in the south but they've got to be better at times in terms of getting proper owners to meet the challenges. How likable are the Preds right now, both on and off the ice. I love them! Panthers too. I hope the fans see more value in that entertainment and accordingly I hope the team can increase their ticket revenue. [B]

Different perspective, yes. Not better. Most of these perspectives here on this board are great (as long as we maintain, respect and civility while disagreeing).

Agreed.
@rj You conveniently left out the part where I said it was a small boost. If there was a National League rugby/lacrosse team in NC, I'd imagine those who played would be more likely to support the team financially than those who just enjoyed the product. In hockey's case, those kids who can play are often very well off too. But I understand not many kids play, but those that do can have a positive impact on the game in the area through support and in some cases personal achievement, like you said at the minor-league, grass roots level.

On a general level, there is no right answer. The viability of all markets should be taken on a case by case basis, but I hope that NHL can succeed in most of the US markets, where the potential for growth is the biggest. It would be nice to capture some low hanging fruit in Canada, but I think/hope the NHL can continue to growth the game south of the border.

Plus those Canadian baby-boomers are heading south soon! Coyotes win the Cup in 2023!

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04-18-2012, 10:51 PM
  #74
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True, but a plan is a plan. Some unnatural markets are just now seeing their kids taking up the sport, hopefully some will play at the NHL level, growing the game at the grass roots and reinforcing the growth. Pulling out now, would just mean a lot of wasted investment. Sure there has been failures like Atlanta, but there are also a number of successes.

It may have been a bad plan, but half-assing it is the worst thing for the league.[/QUOTE]

As long as teams win, sure. But for a lot of them, as soon as the winning stops, so does the support. Look at Colorado.

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04-19-2012, 12:48 AM
  #75
Grand Volcan
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True, but a plan is a plan. Some unnatural markets are just now seeing their kids taking up the sport, hopefully some will play at the NHL level, growing the game at the grass roots and reinforcing the growth. Pulling out now, would just mean a lot of wasted investment. Sure there has been failures like Atlanta, but there are also a number of successes.

It may have been a bad plan, but half-assing it is the worst thing for the league.
As long as teams win, sure. But for a lot of them, as soon as the winning stops, so does the support. Look at Colorado.
That applied to the canucks back in the 90s, but now it seems like the fans are rabid enough to pay for long-term mediocrity if it ever comes to that.

You just need to give it time. Colorado was a brand new team with no hockey history, so it's not surprising that the attendance would drop once they become bad.I have no doubts that Denver will once again embrace the avalanche with more support then before once the team becomes consistently decent.

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