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Realistically....How many teams should be in the NHL?

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Old
12-29-2012, 06:08 AM
  #101
NORiculous
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I think that the league will grow as the population grows.

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12-29-2012, 06:12 AM
  #102
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Originally Posted by sandysan View Post
So if the NHL told vinik he could move his team to markam ( which would be a money printing machine) he would pass? Really ? He wouldn't move to a brand new arena with a 10x larger market where he has to spend zero seconds growing the game? Why?
Hes a Multi-Billionaire and makes a profit of the Arena regardless of how the Lightning does. IF he drops 10 million a year on the Bolts but makes 30 million a year in profit from the Arena why would he cancel out of a lease with about 20 years left? After dropping 45 million back into it to upgrade it even more? He would have to own the Markham team for about 20 years just to make it Viable....sorry Vinik and the Bolts is staying in Tampa.

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12-29-2012, 08:10 AM
  #103
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Hes a Multi-Billionaire and makes a profit of the Arena regardless of how the Lightning does. IF he drops 10 million a year on the Bolts but makes 30 million a year in profit from the Arena why would he cancel out of a lease with about 20 years left? After dropping 45 million back into it to upgrade it even more? He would have to own the Markham team for about 20 years just to make it Viable....sorry Vinik and the Bolts is staying in Tampa.
Why couldn't he own the arena in tam a and move tbebotbebolts in Toronto? I'm not saying that he should but the notion that a businessman would not go from a market where you have to sell the game to one where you don't have to worry about selling tickets, seems a little far fetched.

There are likely less than a dozen teams that are immovable. I fish vinik well, but Tampa ain't one of them.

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12-29-2012, 08:17 AM
  #104
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Originally Posted by Bourne Endeavor View Post
That depends on his present leasing agreement and the according penalties applied to relocating. Not to mention Hamilton is by no means a guaranteed "money printing machine." It could just as easily become Ottawa or worse given the relatively stiff competition for fan appeal.



No offense but I am almost certain if a California team were relocated, itself unlikely, Anaheim is the one to go. Last I recall San Jose garnered superior profit and excluding their inaugural season, are among the most consistent teams in the league. Anaheim's only history is a cup win that did not vault their status in terms of fiscal value. And seeing Pittsburgh and Long Island's legacy has not prevented relocation talks at some point. Anaheim is unlikely to be any different. Bit moot though, as I doubt any of the three move.
Markam is not hamilton. If you think that Toronto 2 would not be top 5 in the league right away, I don't think you understand the extent of demand for the game in Toronto.

I suspect that if the nhl added mark and Hamilton, all three would easily be top 10 in revenues.

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12-29-2012, 08:41 AM
  #105
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Originally Posted by Bourne Endeavor View Post
That depends on his present leasing agreement and the according penalties applied to relocating. Not to mention Hamilton is by no means a guaranteed "money printing machine." It could just as easily become Ottawa or worse given the relatively stiff competition for fan appeal.
I disagree: Hamilton would be closer to Toronto than Ottawa in terms of NHL viewing/ attendance. The NHL has even said so in court. I also think Ottawa's arena was built on the wrong side of town, but that's neither here, nor there.

Even so, Ottawa is a mid-market franchise that makes money; what's wrong with that?

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12-29-2012, 09:26 AM
  #106
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Originally Posted by sandysan View Post
Why couldn't he own the arena in tam a and move tbebotbebolts in Toronto? I'm not saying that he should but the notion that a businessman would not go from a market where you have to sell the game to one where you don't have to worry about selling tickets, seems a little far fetched.

There are likely less than a dozen teams that are immovable. I fish vinik well, but Tampa ain't one of them.
He doesn't own the arena, its a leasing agreement. Also he would owe the city huge chunks of money if he backed out.

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12-29-2012, 09:43 AM
  #107
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I actually think California should move a team. They have 3 teams in a non-hockey market, 2 should more than suffice. Who to remove? No idea. I'm obviously bias as I am a Ducks fan. But legacy-wise it would make sense to move the Sharks. They have had no cup success in their history, so no hame done here.
Cup or not, yours would be the team to move.

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12-29-2012, 09:51 AM
  #108
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Cup or not, yours would be the team to move.
I wouldn't move any of them, but I agree.

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12-29-2012, 10:06 AM
  #109
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Cup or not, yours would be the team to move.
For myriad reasons, not the least of which is that California isn't one hockey market, it's two.

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12-29-2012, 11:16 AM
  #110
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Originally Posted by sandysan View Post
Markam is not hamilton. If you think that Toronto 2 would not be top 5 in the league right away, I don't think you understand the extent of demand for the game in Toronto.

I suspect that if the nhl added mark and Hamilton, all three would easily be top 10 in revenues.
I think you don't understand the difference between the Leafs, and what an expansion franchise would be in that town. We're talking about all the difference between one of the most prestigious, historic and richest franchises in hockey, and a johnny-come-lately expansion team.

Hamilton and Markham have solid upside, but they have a huge hill to climb to get taken seriously in the GTA. Just because they have open seats and the Leafs don't does not mean they'll gain vast numbers of STH's who can't get Leaf's tickets. Could happen? Sure. But by no means guaranteed.

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12-29-2012, 11:58 AM
  #111
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Originally Posted by The CyNick View Post
Off the top of my head I got to 24:

Toronto
Toronto 2
Hamilton
Montreal
Quebec City
Ottawa
Edmonton
Calgary
Winnipeg
Vancouver
Detroit
Buffalo
Chicago
New York
New York 2
Boston
Philadelphia
Pittsburgh
Minnesota
Los Angeles
San Jose
Washington
Seattle
Colorado
I like the way you think. Expand in Canada and maximizes the strength of the NHL via the healthy remaining markets.

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12-29-2012, 12:01 PM
  #112
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I don't think so. Yes it is for market penetration but the fact that the other sports donthe same is circomstancial or at least it is not a primary objective. The NHL, as other sports, want a nation wide fan base for multiple reasons, such as TV deals and taping into every good and ok market available.
And the big TV deal didn't work. So the expansion was for nothing. Time to go back to a more down to Earth plan.

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12-29-2012, 12:03 PM
  #113
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Like dying, being buried and winding up forgotten about.

That's "down to earth."

The fact that we are not winning the competition for US entertainment dollars at the moment does not entitle the NHL to abandon its attempts to compete for those dollars. The only way to remain relevant as a league is to go through the growing pains involved with full national exposure in the United States.

The NBA, NFL and MLB went through those growing pains already, and we are still going through them. That's why they're ahead of us in their nontraditional markets. If we don't go through the same steps they did, and take the same risks they take, we don't wind up on the same planet as them revenue wise. Just a fact.

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12-29-2012, 12:27 PM
  #114
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Originally Posted by sandysan View Post
So if the NHL told vinik he could move his team to markam ( which would be a money printing machine) he would pass? Really ? He wouldn't move to a brand new arena with a 10x larger market where he has to spend zero seconds growing the game? Why?
I guess you didn't read my post - I listed the reasons he wouldn't want to move. But to add to them, beside his $45M out-of-pocket investment in the arena, he's got the leasehold rights to the building and takes in all the revenue it earns. Considering it's ranked 5th in the country and toward the top in the world, that would be giving up a lot. Since the county owns the building and the Lightning are the main tenant, if the team moves, Vinik loses the leasehold rights to the building and the $45M he put into it. Maybe he doesn't want to move his family to Canada. Maybe moving his business to Canada would be a logistical nightmare. I know this may sound absurd to some, but he loves this area, believes in it, wants to stay here (family and business) and wants to make this team a perennial contender.

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Originally Posted by sandysan View Post
There are likely less than a dozen teams that are immovable. I fish vinik well, but Tampa ain't one of them.
Well, it would be interesting to see how the league manages to force him to agree to it.

However, I feel fairly certain that moving the Lightning is a southern-market hating pipe dream. I'm not worried about it.

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12-29-2012, 12:29 PM
  #115
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I think you don't understand the difference between the Leafs, and what an expansion franchise would be in that town. We're talking about all the difference between one of the most prestigious, historic and richest franchises in hockey, and a johnny-come-lately expansion team.

Hamilton and Markham have solid upside, but they have a huge hill to climb to get taken seriously in the GTA. Just because they have open seats and the Leafs don't does not mean they'll gain vast numbers of STH's who can't get Leaf's tickets. Could happen? Sure. But by no means guaranteed.
there are people who want leaf tickets but still can't get them. And the leafs have sucked for so long there are literally tons of fans who would immediately switch allegiances as a big middle finger to the leafs.

A second team in Toronto need not be better than the leafs, but top 5 in revenues would be easy. There is not a better untapped market than Toronto 2. They would not be the sens.

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12-29-2012, 12:31 PM
  #116
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The problem of getting rid of 10 teams is that means you get hockey out of 10 markets which intern makes it harder to try make National US TV deals since the league comes off as a regional sport.
You also create 10 cities that make the base for a rival league. That league WOULD ALSO have a team in Toronto and Chicago.

My answer to the OP is 32.

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12-29-2012, 12:39 PM
  #117
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That's beside the point. How many of those fans are really going to go be die-hard fans of Markham or Hamilton just because they can't get in the building? They can still watch their own team on TV after all

The difference between this and the 3 NY teams is that each NY team has a real territory within the city, albeit a small one. Long Island and Jersey each take a different bite out of the city than MSG takes. So as small as the territory itself is, there's still a unique identity between Long Island, Manhattan and whichever New Jersey suburb the Devils play in. And the distinctions in the NY boroughs are cultural as well as geographic. You can tell the Bronx from Brooklyn from Manhattan from Long Island just from listening to the New Yorker talk, if you're familiar enough with the different dialects.

Markham has nothing like that level of distinctness. I never heard of Markham until someone started beating the same tired old second-Toronto-team drum they've been beating since the days of the WHA. And without it, the distinctness that allows someone from Long Island to identify with the Islanders just isn't there in Markham. The only reason not to look at Markham and say "Yeah, that's pretty much Toronto" is to justify expansion into the market.

I mean Hamilton I'd at least heard of. Hamilton has something of an identity that's separate from Toronto. But at least to this New England Yankee, even that's a stretch in terms of establishing a basis of distinctness that will allow Hamilton to create a real team and fan identity. Markham has no shot.

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12-29-2012, 12:43 PM
  #118
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This is such a loaded question, because the answer you give shows all your assumptions. I think:

- If you assume you have the most robust revenue sharing in pro sports and keep labor costs substantially lower per team, you could expand past 40 teams. Players might even appreciate this if it means their side gets more money on the whole.

- If you assume a 50-50 split and the same revenue sharing we have on the table now, you can probably sustain a 30 team league with some relocation.

- If you assume 57-43 for the players and the revenue sharing under the last deal, you probably need to contract 5-8 teams.

I don't personally care, because I don't buy into this theory that the talent is spread too thin. I think there are more talented players in the game today than in the 1980s - the base is just broader, the game has spread wider and development systems have progressed. At the same time, strategies have become more conservative. The NJ Devils and the trap didn't come about because of expansion. When the team with Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos and Vinny Lecavalier is playing the dullest trap in hockey, I say the trap didn't come about because we ran out of players who could play entertaining hockey. So you want a more entertaining game, you have to keep the rules ahead of suffocating strategies, not reducing the number of teams. If this theory of limited supply of entertaining players were true, then the playoffs would become more entertaining as you weed out untalented teams, not less. But every year, we see the most talented teams remaining relying on defensive, dull hockey in June and it has nothing to do with how good the players are.

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12-29-2012, 01:01 PM
  #119
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Originally Posted by haseoke39 View Post
This is such a loaded question, because the answer you give shows all your assumptions. I think:

- If you assume you have the most robust revenue sharing in pro sports and keep labor costs substantially lower per team, you could expand past 40 teams. Players might even appreciate this if it means their side gets more money on the whole.

- If you assume a 50-50 split and the same revenue sharing we have on the table now, you can probably sustain a 30 team league with some relocation.

- If you assume 57-43 for the players and the revenue sharing under the last deal, you probably need to contract 5-8 teams.

I don't personally care, because I don't buy into this theory that the talent is spread too thin. I think there are more talented players in the game today than in the 1980s - the base is just broader, the game has spread wider and development systems have progressed. At the same time, strategies have become more conservative. The NJ Devils and the trap didn't come about because of expansion. When the team with Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos and Vinny Lecavalier is playing the dullest trap in hockey, I say the trap didn't come about because we ran out of players who could play entertaining hockey. So you want a more entertaining game, you have to keep the rules ahead of suffocating strategies, not reducing the number of teams. If this theory of limited supply of entertaining players were true, then the playoffs would become more entertaining as you weed out untalented teams, not less. But every year, we see the most talented teams remaining relying on defensive, dull hockey in June and it has nothing to do with how good the players are.
I agree about the trap, it's very detrimental to the game. But here's the thing about the talent pool though is that for example less and less kids play hockey in Canada and Canada should be the the NHL's biggest source of talent. And we can't rely on Europe to save us given their small population. The idea that let's go keep having expansions there's always gonna be players to fill these teams' jerseys is science-fiction, especially considering the reality of hockey in 2012: less available talent, bad markets, bad US economy.

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12-29-2012, 01:01 PM
  #120
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That's beside the point. How many of those fans are really going to go be die-hard fans of Markham or Hamilton just because they can't get in the building? They can still watch their own team on TV after all

The difference between this and the 3 NY teams is that each NY team has a real territory within the city, albeit a small one. Long Island and Jersey each take a different bite out of the city than MSG takes. So as small as the territory itself is, there's still a unique identity between Long Island, Manhattan and whichever New Jersey suburb the Devils play in. And the distinctions in the NY boroughs are cultural as well as geographic. You can tell the Bronx from Brooklyn from Manhattan from Long Island just from listening to the New Yorker talk, if you're familiar enough with the different dialects.

Markham has nothing like that level of distinctness. I never heard of Markham until someone started beating the same tired old second-Toronto-team drum they've been beating since the days of the WHA. And without it, the distinctness that allows someone from Long Island to identify with the Islanders just isn't there in Markham. The only reason not to look at Markham and say "Yeah, that's pretty much Toronto" is to justify expansion into the market.

I mean Hamilton I'd at least heard of. Hamilton has something of an identity that's separate from Toronto. But at least to this New England Yankee, even that's a stretch in terms of establishing a basis of distinctness that will allow Hamilton to create a real team and fan identity. Markham has no shot.
Have you heard of foxborough ? Auburn hills ?

It doesn't matter that you haven't heard of markam, people in Toronto know where markam is and there are more than enough people who would pack that arena. Way more than long island. A worst comparison could not be made.

If the metric for a sustainable market is whether you have heard about it, may I suggest you get a little more acquainted with the largest and most profitable hockey market on gods green earth?
The only thing keeping another team out of this area is the leafs, not any question of the profitability of another team in Toronto.

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12-29-2012, 01:03 PM
  #121
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Although I'm sure it's pointless to say it... Tampa isn't going anywhere. Mr. Vinik just bought the team a couple of years ago, has invested $45+ million out of his pocket for arena improvements, moved his corporation to Tampa and moved his family here. There's no way he would agree to the team being relocated.
Tampa could be an exception, but it's history is troubling. They may be one of the southern markets that is okayish financially, but I still see it as a bubble team financially.

Hopefully Vinik has better success than all previous owners since he team's inception. I won't count those idiots from Bear Mountain.

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12-29-2012, 01:05 PM
  #122
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I think you don't understand the difference between the Leafs, and what an expansion franchise would be in that town. We're talking about all the difference between one of the most prestigious, historic and richest franchises in hockey, and a johnny-come-lately expansion team.

Hamilton and Markham have solid upside, but they have a huge hill to climb to get taken seriously in the GTA. Just because they have open seats and the Leafs don't does not mean they'll gain vast numbers of STH's who can't get Leaf's tickets. Could happen? Sure. But by no means guaranteed.
I think ant team added to the GTA. Would be an instant and perennial financial success. Yes the Leafs have loyalty, but in the greater NYC area can support three teams, Toronto is a slam dunk.

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12-29-2012, 01:10 PM
  #123
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the thinking that fewer teams would create better labor relations with the players is fatally and basically flawed. the players want more money and more jobs. reducing teams in the league and therefore significant nhl player jobs is a non-starter. you want to ditch 5 or more teams, forget about it.

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12-29-2012, 01:18 PM
  #124
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When the team with Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos and Vinny Lecavalier is playing the dullest trap in hockey, I say the trap didn't come about because we ran out of players who could play entertaining hockey.
I guess Stamkos' 60 goal season wasn't entertaining... I feel it is important to point out here that we only use the 1-3-1 in specific situations. There are many games when we don't use it at all. If we lose a couple of players to injury during the course of a game, we'll use it more. But it truly is the exception rather than the norm.

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Tampa could be an exception, but it's history is troubling. They may be one of the southern markets that is okayish financially, but I still see it as a bubble team financially.

Hopefully Vinik has better success than all previous owners since he team's inception. I won't count those idiots from Bear Mountain.
We were doing pretty well until OK Hockey came in. They simply demolished our team and set us back a decade as far as our financial situation, on-ice talent and cap situation. Now I believe we have no debt, season ticket sales were increasing (thanks, lockout, for hurting that), new sponsors coming on board. Mr. Vinik is intelligent enough to know that he has no business trying to run the team and has hired very good people (Yzerman, Leiweke, etc.) to take care of that for him.

These things will take some recovery time, but under Mr. Vinik we're on our way.

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12-29-2012, 01:21 PM
  #125
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Originally Posted by Dojji View Post
That's beside the point. How many of those fans are really going to go be die-hard fans of Markham or Hamilton just because they can't get in the building? They can still watch their own team on TV after all

The difference between this and the 3 NY teams is that each NY team has a real territory within the city, albeit a small one. Long Island and Jersey each take a different bite out of the city than MSG takes. So as small as the territory itself is, there's still a unique identity between Long Island, Manhattan and whichever New Jersey suburb the Devils play in. And the distinctions in the NY boroughs are cultural as well as geographic. You can tell the Bronx from Brooklyn from Manhattan from Long Island just from listening to the New Yorker talk, if you're familiar enough with the different dialects.

Markham has nothing like that level of distinctness. I never heard of Markham until someone started beating the same tired old second-Toronto-team drum they've been beating since the days of the WHA. And without it, the distinctness that allows someone from Long Island to identify with the Islanders just isn't there in Markham. The only reason not to look at Markham and say "Yeah, that's pretty much Toronto" is to justify expansion into the market.


I mean Hamilton I'd at least heard of. Hamilton has something of an identity that's separate from Toronto. But at least to this New England Yankee, even that's a stretch in terms of establishing a basis of distinctness that will allow Hamilton to create a real team and fan identity. Markham has no shot.
The viability of weather a market is successful is not dependant on weather anyone that lives nowhere near it has heard of the place.

Spending over 20 years in Markham, I can tell you though it may not have the same 'distinctness' as you suggest. It would still be considered a 2nd Toronto team much like NYI and NJ are part of the NY market.

Even if Toronto 2 is considered 2nd fiddle to the Leafs, it won't hurt them. Plus with Bell and Rogers owning MLSE, the TV ratings alone can justify. Much like MSG covers all 3 NY teams.

A 2nd T.O. Team will do just fine, whenever MLSE wants it

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