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Could expansion lead to shorter schedule?

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01-30-2013, 11:21 AM
  #1
Frozen North
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Could expansion lead to shorter schedule?

I was just thinking how the shortened schedule this year has added a playoff-like urgency to the regular season. The importance of every game is magnified. If the NHL decides to expand by 2 teams, could the schedule be shortened to increase the importance of regular season games? Would the increased revenue from two extra teams balance out removing, say, 20 games from the schedule? This would also allow for better travel scenarios (which could improve on-ice performance) and inclusion of schedule breaks for the Olympics, All-Star game, etc.

Leave the season length the same, but drop the number of games per team down to 62 games. Thoughts?

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01-30-2013, 11:30 AM
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Grand Volcan
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Why would the league want less money?

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01-30-2013, 11:33 AM
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MartysBetterThanYou
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This would not fly with some smaller teams who depend strongly on gate revenue to ensure profitability. TV deals in small markets do not get the type of money they do in big ones. Gate is at least comparable most places. This would hurt smaller teams while not affecting larger teams that much.

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01-30-2013, 11:35 AM
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Frozen North
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Would the increased revenue from two extra teams balance out the money lost from having less games? It would basically be the league saying, "instead of just adding two extra teams and making a bunch more profit, we are going to improve the on ice product and break even."

Yeah...probably not gonna happen...but could be something to think about.

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01-30-2013, 11:39 AM
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BnGBear1970
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frozen North View Post
Would the increased revenue from two extra teams balance out the money lost from having less games? It would basically be the league saying, "instead of just adding two extra teams and making a bunch more profit, we are going to improve the on ice product and break even."

Yeah...probably not gonna happen...but could be something to think about.
So you think that the raw gates from the extra two teams would not only balance out the change in splitting such things as major sponsorship money and television deal from 30 to 32, but also slashing 20 games, or 10 home dates from everyone's schedule?

There's a simple answer here: if the league expands, we're more likely to see 84 games than 62 unless it's a labor season.

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01-30-2013, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BnGBear1970 View Post
So you think that the raw gates from the extra two teams would not only balance out the change in splitting such things as major sponsorship money and television deal from 30 to 32, but also slashing 20 games, or 10 home dates from everyone's schedule?

There's a simple answer here: if the league expands, we're more likely to see 84 games than 62 unless it's a labor season.
Valid points. In a perfect world, the money saved by reduced team travel & expenses, lower player salaries (less games = less salary), and increased tickets sales (better on-ice product) would cancel the losses out.

Obviously, we don't live in a perfect world. Just fun to think about the possibilities of a shorter season...

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01-30-2013, 11:48 AM
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The schedule will eventually be 84 games; but I hope it Never increases beyond that.

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01-30-2013, 11:53 AM
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The purpose of expansion would be to make more money. Not divide the same money more ways.

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01-30-2013, 12:21 PM
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If they go with their 4 conferences of 8 teams. I could see a season of 76 games but with an extra round in the playoffs.

4 x against own conference (7 teams)= 28 games
2 x the rest of teams (24 teams) = 48 games
76 games

Playoffs could go like this:

All within the same conference
Qualification Round:

seed 4 vs seed 5 (best of 5)

Round 1
Seed 1 vs winner of 4-5 (best of 7)
2 vs 3 (best of 7)

Round 2

The two teams together in a best of 7

All teams remaining
Round 3

Best remaining against the last in points standing

Stanley Cup Final

The 2 teams remaining

So 20 teams out of 32 makes the playoffs. More playoffs money and more meaningful games in the season.

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01-30-2013, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agalloch View Post
If they go with their 4 conferences of 8 teams. I could see a season of 76 games but with an extra round in the playoffs.

4 x against own conference (7 teams)= 28 games
2 x the rest of teams (24 teams) = 48 games
76 games

Playoffs could go like this:

All within the same conference
Qualification Round:

seed 4 vs seed 5 (best of 5)

Round 1
Seed 1 vs winner of 4-5 (best of 7)
2 vs 3 (best of 7)

Round 2

The two teams together in a best of 7

All teams remaining
Round 3

Best remaining against the last in points standing

Stanley Cup Final

The 2 teams remaining

So 20 teams out of 32 makes the playoffs. More playoffs money and more meaningful games in the season.
Yes, by all means, let them make the Regular Season more meaningless, allow more teams to make the Playoffs and have a "Qualification Round". Isn't the Regular Season enough to decide which teams qualify for the Playoffs? And isn't half the League making the Playoffs already enough teams?

Keep expanding the Playoffs and the number of teams making the Playoffs, and soon many fans will tune in only to watch the Playoffs, reducing even further again the meaning and value $ of the Regular Season.

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01-30-2013, 12:31 PM
  #11
Agalloch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoreOrr View Post
Yes, by all means, let them make the Regular Season more meaningless, allow more teams to make the Playoffs and have a "Qualification Round". Isn't the Regular Season enough to decide which teams qualify for the Playoffs? And isn't half the League making the Playoffs already enough teams?
I know what you mean but I would not be surprised if the NHL take that road. Playoffs games will always sell and tickets are more expensive than regular season games.

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01-30-2013, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agalloch View Post
I know what you mean but I would not be surprised if the NHL take that road. Playoffs games will always sell and tickets are more expensive than regular season games.
Another way to do it would be to just make the Regular Season equal the Playoffs. After a certain number of games, throughout the long Regular Season, teams just gradually get knocked off of the Regular Season schedule.

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01-30-2013, 01:29 PM
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If the league is nothing more than the profit-driven monster that some gleefully tout it to be, why isn't the season 100 games? 150 games? Why is there an offseason at all? Let's just play year-round. Yay money!

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01-30-2013, 01:31 PM
  #14
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I still think they should do a full league playoff

Top seed in each of the eight team conferences has 2 game advantage in first round and 1 game advantage in round two
Next 2 seeds in each conference has a 1 game advantage in first round only
And seeds 4 and 5 are full 7 game series

This makes regular season still important... Makes pushing for winning the conference that much more important- you still fight for a better opponent in postseason... The better the team is, the better their chances

Still gives perimeter teams a chance even if unlikely

Could even expand to top 2 has 2 game / 1 game advantage, conf winner gets the banner

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01-30-2013, 01:58 PM
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Joe T Choker
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4 divisions - 8 teams per division ... 7 x 4 ... 2 times the other divisions - 76 games (home & home with teams in the same seed as you are (for draft purposes)
divisional playoff (less travel)

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02-03-2013, 03:36 PM
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Jaymond Flurrie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frozen North View Post
lower player salaries (less games = less salary)
I'd like to have more info on this. For example were NHL salaries cut when league went from 84 to 82 games?

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02-03-2013, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Aki Berg View Post
If the league is nothing more than the profit-driven monster that some gleefully tout it to be, why isn't the season 100 games? 150 games? Why is there an offseason at all? Let's just play year-round. Yay money!
My thoughts exactly. Reducing the number of games should be a gradual goal of the league.

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02-03-2013, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Jaymond Flurrie View Post
I'd like to have more info on this. For example were NHL salaries cut when league went from 84 to 82 games?
No (nor were they increased when the schedule was increased from 80 to 84 games) - but there was no cap and HRR linkage in 1995.

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02-04-2013, 03:14 AM
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Lately I've been thinking about what the league would be like if it was a 32 game schedule with two games per week played Friday thru Sunday (maybe Thurs to accommodate Saturday games). It would never happen short of the current league collapsing, but somehow I have a feeling that something like this is where they would go if starting the league from scratch.

Obviously, that's a lot of revenue they would be turning away, but think of the benefits:

Player salaries- I would imagine the players would be willing to take some kind of a cut if it meant a longer offseason, two games per week, and a weekly schedule that paralleled an NFL season. Especially if the weekend games were always guaranteed to be a home and home. Consequently, the only travel would be for eight weekends per year with a one day break between a road-and-road played at two locations of close proximity. Clearly, they wouldn't take less than half of what they're making now. But perhaps 70-80%?

Television Deal This would have to be the driving force. The idea is that each regular season game would take on the urgency and significance close to that of an NFL regular season game. Games would be much more accessible. Much easier to literally watch every single game of the season.

Superior Product More intense. Less injuries. Less fatigue. The intensity of the average regular season would look a lot closer to a current playoff game. The playoff season wouldn't drag in to the summer heat. Look out NCAA March Madness. Here come the NHL playoffs.

Ticket prices Maybe the worst part for the average fan, pricing would go through the roof with the added importance of each game. Corporations still have the same amount of money to dump on suites and club level tickets. If the intensity, media coverage, and sheer entertainment value of the product goes through the roof, maybe most of them don't think twice about dishing out roughly the same premium for 16 home games as opposed to 41.

Global possibilities Not that there aren't other huge barriers to overcome, but a weekend schedule would make an integrated European division much more feasible in the future. The first league that finds a way to create a truly global product is going to amass some huge rewards for all of its headaches.


Fun to think about. I get tripped up a little bit on the playoffs. I'm not okay with a one and done scenario. Maybe if it was done similar to the Olympics with a preliminary round. Four best-of-three series would be really weird. I guess best-of-five would be workable. No law that says you couldn't keep the format the same. Is it okay to have a playoff season that's potentially almost as many games as the regular season?

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02-04-2013, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sushinsky4tsar View Post
Ticket prices Maybe the worst part for the average fan, pricing would go through the roof with the added importance of each game. Corporations still have the same amount of money to dump on suites and club level tickets. If the intensity, media coverage, and sheer entertainment value of the product goes through the roof, maybe most of them don't think twice about dishing out roughly the same premium for 16 home games as opposed to 41.
I don't think ticket prices would go much higher in your scenario. Teams generally charge as much as they can get away with as it is; having fewer games doesn't have an effect on the amount of disposable income the fans have.

I would be worried about ticket scarcity in markets like Toronto and New York, or any other market with a large corporate base. With just 16 home dates, all on prime nights, regular fans could easily get squeezed out of the building as corporations swoop in and grab all the tickets they can.

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02-04-2013, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frozen North View Post
Would the increased revenue from two extra teams balance out the money lost from having less games? It would basically be the league saying, "instead of just adding two extra teams and making a bunch more profit, we are going to improve the on ice product and break even."

Yeah...probably not gonna happen...but could be something to think about.
Only thing better than money is more money. No. They wouldn't be capitalizing on their revenue stream.

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02-04-2013, 08:58 AM
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League revenues might balance out, but shortening the schedule would have no benefit to the teams that already exist. So it would never pass the BoG.

In other words, not a chance.

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02-04-2013, 10:56 AM
  #23
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In the short term, the revenue from the split expansion fees could/might offset the loss of gate revenues from having less games, but the options aren't mutually exclusive. The NHL can have it's cake and eat it to in this scenario. If (and this is a BIG if) the league were to expand it would still keep the 82 game schedule.

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02-04-2013, 10:58 AM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Aki Berg View Post
I don't think ticket prices would go much higher in your scenario. Teams generally charge as much as they can get away with as it is; having fewer games doesn't have an effect on the amount of disposable income the fans have.

I would be worried about ticket scarcity in markets like Toronto and New York, or any other market with a large corporate base. With just 16 home dates, all on prime nights, regular fans could easily get squeezed out of the building as corporations swoop in and grab all the tickets they can.
32 games is far to short, 60 or so would be just about right.

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02-04-2013, 12:13 PM
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So, what I'm getting is that the people posting in this thread are hockey fans who don't want to watch hockey.

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