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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, NHL revenues, relocation and expansion.

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Old
12-06-2004, 05:59 PM
  #76
Tom_Benjamin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scaredsensfan
Tampa's Payroll last year was 21st in the league... Doesn't that count as a bottom 3rd payroll team?
This is another good point. Exactly when is this payroll figure calculated? Is it actually money spent? Does Bondra count as a Capital or a Senator? does ther Canuck number include both Bertuzzi and Sanderson?

I've seen Tampa's payroll range from 18th to 21st.

Tom

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12-06-2004, 06:13 PM
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepper
A team like Edmonton can't really produce more revenues in the regular season, no matter what.
If Oiler fans won't pay more to see a good team then a mediocre one, I guess they don't care if the team is good or not. If so, who cares if the Oilers can't produce a good team? Their fans don't.



Quote:
Because it's gate driven league, smaller markets like Edmonton will be disadvantaged. There's no huge TV deal to balance it and that's why NHL needs hard cap more than any other league.
If it is a gate driven league, then why should the market size matter? Wouldn't the only thing that matter be how big the rink is?

If Edmonton can't compete because their rink isn't big enough, why should the rest of the NHL suffer because Edmonton doesn't have the infrastructure in place to support an NHL team?



Quote:
Yes but the difference is that bad teams would be bad simply because of bad management, not because they don't have the resources. I disagree about not being elite teams but that's something that we can only speculate about.
Name a team that's had a good management team which assembled a bad team because they didn't have the resources. Sather claimed he couldn't build a winner in Edmonton because he didn't have the resources. Then he went to New York and couldn't build a winner there either, even with the resources.

Quote:
You're really missing the point BIG TIME and it's very surpising since you're a fan of a team that recently almost went belly up just because of a system you're aiming at. Melnyk didn't buy the team so that he can keep spending millions of dollars of his own money to keep it successfull.
The Senators didn't have financial problems because of the "system". They had problems due to undercapitalization.

Melnyk bought the team because it will make him more wealthy then he was before he bought it. The Senators and the Corel Centre combined are a very lucrative venture.

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Old
12-06-2004, 06:32 PM
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudcrutch79
I do think it's a little harsh to label the Oilers fans as whiners, as some do.
Hey mudcrutch, I pretty much agree with the way you see things.

Oiler fans have the precedent setting case for whining - douggy weight. As a Sens fan, I surely understand and relate to the feeling, but what I am saying is we have to learn to look at that as the way of the game, accept it, and move forward. Its going to happen. There is a time to rebuild. If the Canadian dollar hadnt been so bad, the Oilers might have gone another year or two.

Look, when it comes to whining, Oiler fans dont hold a candle to the whining some of us had to listen to from many of my fellow Sen fans. It was intolerable. But understandable. Especially as we look back now, we realize we just hadnt developed yet, and going on a buying spree 4 years ago, trading away our young players of the time for a shot then, would have left us like the Capitals now.

How can we not learn from the Caps? Forget the Rangers, the Caps are the far more illuminating lesson I think. I remember the year they beat us and went on the finals. They were a great team. They had built that team. They had many years of struggles. Like us with the Leafs, they had the Pens. After reaching the finals, feeling one missing piece away, they get the best and most expensive player in the game and his favourite centre, and others like Oates, skyrocketing payroll, and of course they were annointed champs that summer while everyone decried the unfairness of the system. Like when Dallas got Guerin, young, Turgeon. Like when the Rangers signed everyone. Like when Colorado signed Selanne kariya. Always annointed the championship that summer. And then always losing. And no one learning. Its just a fluke they say.

Its only Cinderella teams they say. But its always Cinderella teams. I mean if only once a while a Cinderella team made it, then sure, but its never the Leafs, or Blues, or Flyers, or whatever big spender that goes against the champ. Its either the other top team, or a cinderalla.

And now the Caps have done the right thing. THey have a boatload of prospects and picks and they are going to start the franchise anew from scratch. The most pleasurable of all achievements. To start from scratch, and over years, grow and develop your own team to a championship. Caps fans are going to grow with a young team. And struggle. And complain. But they will get there. And what a start with Ovechkin. 5 years I say, look out. And Cap fans are going to have fun with that team. And cheap tickets for awhile too.

Because even with an owner like Leonsis, willing to spend whatever it takes, in hockey, you cant buy a champ.

Only the PTA would want 30 equal teams at all times.

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Old
12-06-2004, 06:42 PM
  #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mucrutch79
That said, is the threshold so low that it deprives the team of the opportunity to develop a Stanley Cup contender? I don't think so
I dont think so either, but hey the players are offering to lower lower it.

To look at it in financial terms, fans are actually asking, it seems to me, for the right to buy a $60mil team too, so they can compete with the big spender. But thats not the way you do it. The way to beat a $60-70mil team, is to develop a $35-45mil team thats better. And it can be done. Because the cheaper team will be in its prime while the more expensive team will be UFA age and older as a core.

And you cant buy the great $35-45mil team. You can only develop it.


You dont have the right to always keep your players. You have to win first.

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12-06-2004, 06:44 PM
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepper
A team like Edmonton can't really produce more revenues in the regular season, no matter what
This is what Sens fans said 4 years ago. Our tickets are already maxed out, they said. How can a family of four afford $100 tickets, the ysaid. No way can we charge more. We cant sell enough tickets because the arena is too far, the transpo is bad, the team sucks and wont spend money, excuse, excuse, excuse. Because were losing.

Winning changes everything. Now tickets are up to $180 on premium days. We have more sellouts. More playoff revenue. More money. Higher payroll. Dont give me this rich owner bit. They are all rich. When they are winning.

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12-06-2004, 06:49 PM
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkwild
This is what Sens fans said 4 years ago. Our tickets are already maxed out, they said. How can a family of four afford $100 tickets, the ysaid. No way can we charge more. We cant sell enough tickets because the arena is too far, the transpo is bad, the team sucks and wont spend money, excuse, excuse, excuse. Because were losing.

Winning changes everything. Now tickets are up to $180 on premium days. We have more sellouts. More playoff revenue. More money. Higher payroll. Dont give me this rich owner bit. They are all rich. When they are winning.
I do actually wonder about this one a bit-Edmonton and Ottawa have pretty comparable attendance. I don't know how much money is left in E-town, although I'm sure the OIlers would like to find out while oil is at $50+ US per barrel.

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12-06-2004, 07:07 PM
  #82
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According to the leaks from the PA, Edmonton made more money than Ottawa last year. Edmonton in fact is one of the top most profitable teams in the lague. Even Saskin would buy in if they let them.

A stat that doesnt resonate does it?

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12-06-2004, 07:24 PM
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudcrutch79
I do actually wonder about this one a bit-Edmonton and Ottawa have pretty comparable attendance. I don't know how much money is left in E-town, although I'm sure the OIlers would like to find out while oil is at $50+ US per barrel.
I think the three smaller Canadian cities are very comparable, with Calgary probably the best market. If Oiler fans really believed they have a winner - as Ottawa fans now do - I think they will get the same attendance at much higher prices. To suggest otherwise implies Oiler fans don't care whether their team is any good or not. I can't believe that.

Nichols was quoted in one of the papers as saying Oiler revenues were now $80 million Canadian. That's very nearly the league average with a mediocre team. Factor in a low payroll and they are one of the more profitable operations in the NHL. They have to be delivering a good return on the investment, particularly since the investors only put up $35 million in cash originally.

Surely a winner in Edmonton adds $30 million in playoff revenues, increased prices, higher attendance, more corporate sponsorships and increased ratings and broadcast revenues. How much more would an elite team generate in Edmonton?

None of the other costs in the operation go up to get this extra money. The team would get the same profits, the same return on investment if they spend all the extra money on player salaries. That would allow them a payroll in the $60 million range. (A better idea is a $50 million payroll and really fat profits to set against a rainy day, but that's my strategy. I would not spend $60 million on players today because $60 million teams are too old. I like $50 million teams.)

If they build a really good team, I think they will have the money to pay for it.

Tom

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12-06-2004, 09:38 PM
  #84
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Actually, Nichols said "in excess of $ 80 million"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom_Benjamin
I think the three smaller Canadian cities are very comparable, with Calgary probably the best market. If Oiler fans really believed they have a winner - as Ottawa fans now do - I think they will get the same attendance at much higher prices. To suggest otherwise implies Oiler fans don't care whether their team is any good or not. I can't believe that.

Nichols was quoted in one of the papers as saying Oiler revenues were now $80 million Canadian. That's very nearly the league average with a mediocre team. Factor in a low payroll and they are one of the more profitable operations in the NHL. They have to be delivering a good return on the investment, particularly since the investors only put up $35 million in cash originally.

Surely a winner in Edmonton adds $30 million in playoff revenues, increased prices, higher attendance, more corporate sponsorships and increased ratings and broadcast revenues. How much more would an elite team generate in Edmonton?

None of the other costs in the operation go up to get this extra money. The team would get the same profits, the same return on investment if they spend all the extra money on player salaries. That would allow them a payroll in the $60 million range. (A better idea is a $50 million payroll and really fat profits to set against a rainy day, but that's my strategy. I would not spend $60 million on players today because $60 million teams are too old. I like $50 million teams.)

If they build a really good team, I think they will have the money to pay for it.

Tom
The quote from Nichols is so good the NHL uses it in the CBA section of their website.

http://nhlcbanews.com/reaction/ownerquotes.html


I have no doubt about the ability of all Canadian teams to make money , either. I think the CBA and revenue issues for the Canadian teams had dwindled considerably when the CBA expired (and were overblown anyways, but that doesn't matter now that a lockout is in place). Ottawa, Edmonton, and Calgary were the ones crying wolf the loudest from about 1998 to 2002 , so they have to stay the course.

If the Oilers' fans (and a few more elements of Edmonton's media) would pressure Oiler management for results the same way the EIG is pressuring Gary Bettman for changes in the CBA, Edmonton would be a team that could not miss in a couple of years. And, yes, Edmonton Oiler fans would pay the piper....if not the current ones who are filling Rexall Place at relatively cheap ticket prices, the ones who would be ready to jump on the bandwagon with their wallets and purses wide open.

For a franchise that has had little playoff success in recent years and fills management positions with people who are as green as grass when it comes to hockey executive experience, the Oilers have run a pretty successful operation from the business end of things.

Using a low-investment/low-risk/ inexperienced-human-resources business module isn't likely to pay off very big, but the EIG has done a good job of protecting and enhancing their investment without improving their on-ice product to any appreciable degree (so far). An example is how the EIG is looking for protection from fluctuating currencies - they want to pocket all gains in the Canadian dollar , but also want complete insulation from down turns in the loonie....Jim Matheson touched on this in his Sunday, December 5th hockey roundup in the Edmonton Journal. The currency issue is huge for the EIG. Matheson quotes Cal Nichols as saying that they made money last year....." more because of the better Canadian dollar than we made on the outdoor game. but if the dollar goes back to 64 or 62 cents of the American, then what? We want a formula (salary cap) that will work all the time."

I'm not sure if the bracketed salary cap reference came from Matheson or Nichols, but a salary cap is the formula the EIG is pushing hard for. I still think it will be little or no better for the Oilers on the ice than the old CBA was. The only thing I can see a salary cap doing for the Oilers is putting enough downward pressure on all NHL payrolls so that the EIG can improve their margins, and , thus, profits. If a salary cap means one or two "quality" players can fit into the Oilers payroll structure, that is all fine and dandy. However, I'm not convinced that the NHL talent pool is so deep that a salary cap can redistribute the limited supply of elite hockey players to a significant degree. Salary cap or no salary cap, Edmonton isn't going to be an elite team now or ever without elite maanagement, elite player development, and elite (or elite/lucky) drafting....

The Forbes valuation of the team has gone from $68 million to $104 million in six years...I don't think an owner's equity increase of $ 36 million in six years on a $ 35- $37 million cash investment is too shabby.....

http://www.forbes.com/finance/lists/...&datatype=Misc

I think the EIG will continue to stick to a minimum risk/minimum investment business plan, and only try to build a championship-calibre team if there is enough raw drafted and developed talent in their system to take a real shot at becoming elite. For every rebuild that succeeds in the NHL, there has to be 4 or 5 that fail. Any rebuild that doesn't work in Edmonton is going to result in a quicker teardown even with a salary cap in place, which is absolutely fine by me.

It's relatively safe and easy for the EIG to make a profit in Edmonton with a full house paying moderate NHL prices for a team in the middle of the pack than it is to make the risks and sacrifices necessary to become elite. Cal Nichols may be much more charming than Harold Ballard and get along better with his employees and business associates, but I think his business plan for the Oilers is little different from the Toronto Maple Leaf business plan circa 1968-1991...

Matheson also mentioned how the mistrust about the numbers from the owners is a huge problem. The NHLPA says the Oilers have made "a profit of $ 9 million" , but clarifies that the actual figure is $ 8.7 million, and that is over the last six years. Matheson goes on to say they only made money...." because they got hefty expansion and Canadian currency revenue from the league.".....I guess that's what the fans are supposed to believe, what some of the fans actually want to believe, and that's how myths become truths in the NHL....

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12-07-2004, 12:14 AM
  #85
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in the first place, i would put an asterisk next to tampa because of the wacked out nature of last season. with the lockout coming it was an odd season and many of the usual suspects didnt make the kind of personel moves that they were known for down the stretch. even if we forget about that and give tampa full credit for a cup winning season, they are still by far the exception to the rule.

in fact should tampa win the next couple of cups they would now be solidly into the top 10 in payroll. so...give tampa all the credit you want as a bottom half of the league payroll team, but realize they were the only team to pull that off and with so many of their contracts expiring after the cup winning run, they are a very expensive team now and no longer qualify in the low budget catagory.

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12-07-2004, 12:24 AM
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txpd

in fact should tampa win the next couple of cups they would now be solidly into the top 10 in payroll. .
im confused ..

if TBY wins 3 cups in a row, you dont expect their players to get more expensive ? wouldnt it reason that the only way they can win 3 cups is if the have one of the best teams and wouldnt it be more expensive to have one of the best teams than to have one of the worst teams ?

do you suppose a better system would be to force TBY to trade their players before they get expensive and therefore wont win 3 cups ? thats what will happen with a hard cap.

dr

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12-07-2004, 01:20 AM
  #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackRedGold
If Oiler fans won't pay more to see a good team then a mediocre one, I guess they don't care if the team is good or not. If so, who cares if the Oilers can't produce a good team? Their fans don't.
Because there simply aren't enough people in the Edmonton area that are both capable AND willing to pay for those higher ticket prices!!

Toronto has loads of companies that will keep buying tickets no matter what the price is, same for Montreal and partly Ottawa. Edmonton is a much smaller city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackRedGold
If it is a gate driven league, then why should the market size matter? Wouldn't the only thing that matter be how big the rink is?
No, no and no. No offense but you don't even understand what small market means for crying out loud!

Edmonton doesn't have enough companies & people to fill the arena if the prices were the same as in Toronto or Montreal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackRedGold
If Edmonton can't compete because their rink isn't big enough, why should the rest of the NHL suffer because Edmonton doesn't have the infrastructure in place to support an NHL team?
It's not about the rink, sure a bigger rink would help but only a little.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackRedGold
Name a team that's had a good management team which assembled a bad team because they didn't have the resources. Sather claimed he couldn't build a winner in Edmonton because he didn't have the resources. Then he went to New York and couldn't build a winner there either, even with the resources.
Oilers are a good example. Look at the list of players they have had to trade/give up because they lacked resources. Weight, Guerin, Kurri, Gretzky, Messier, Carter, CuJo, Niinimaa, Mironov, Hamrlik etc.

Also good examples are Pens & Caps in the last few years, they have had to trade craploads of All-Star players away because they couldn't afford them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackRedGold
The Senators didn't have financial problems because of the "system". They had problems due to undercapitalization.
If the salaries weren't rising astronomically every year, Bryden could have continued operating the Sens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackRedGold
Melnyk bought the team because it will make him more wealthy then he was before he bought it. The Senators and the Corel Centre combined are a very lucrative venture.
Yes, under the new CBA. If Bettman wouldn't have promised him a new CBA, he wouldn't have bought the team most likely.

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12-07-2004, 01:26 AM
  #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkwild
This is what Sens fans said 4 years ago. Our tickets are already maxed out, they said. How can a family of four afford $100 tickets, the ysaid. No way can we charge more. We cant sell enough tickets because the arena is too far, the transpo is bad, the team sucks and wont spend money, excuse, excuse, excuse. Because were losing.

Winning changes everything. Now tickets are up to $180 on premium days. We have more sellouts. More playoff revenue. More money. Higher payroll. Dont give me this rich owner bit. They are all rich. When they are winning.
Ottawa market is much bigger than the Edmonton market. More companies, more people with cash to spend.

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12-07-2004, 01:36 AM
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkwild
According to the leaks from the PA, Edmonton made more money than Ottawa last year. Edmonton in fact is one of the top most profitable teams in the lague. Even Saskin would buy in if they let them.

A stat that doesnt resonate does it?
1) A leak from PA? lmao, that's about as credible as Stevie Wonder as an eyewitness. Sorry, nobody buys that.

2) Oilers probably made 2 or 3 million (after losing many times more in previous years) in profits last year when the whole league made hundreds of millions of losses. So being 'one of the top most profitable teams' in the current economic system is about as hard as being in better physical shape than Roseanne Barr.

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12-07-2004, 05:05 AM
  #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkwild
This is what Sens fans said 4 years ago. Our tickets are already maxed out, they said. How can a family of four afford $100 tickets, the ysaid. No way can we charge more. We cant sell enough tickets because the arena is too far, the transpo is bad, the team sucks and wont spend money, excuse, excuse, excuse. Because were losing.

Winning changes everything. Now tickets are up to $180 on premium days. We have more sellouts. More playoff revenue. More money. Higher payroll. Dont give me this rich owner bit. They are all rich. When they are winning.
And yet they are still losing money with an elite team and an arena that was given to them for a bucket of pucks. Maybe they should just fold Ottawa.

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12-07-2004, 08:25 AM
  #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepper
Because there simply aren't enough people in the Edmonton area that are both capable AND willing to pay for those higher ticket prices!!

Toronto has loads of companies that will keep buying tickets no matter what the price is, same for Montreal and partly Ottawa. Edmonton is a much smaller city.



No, no and no. No offense but you don't even understand what small market means for crying out loud!

Edmonton doesn't have enough companies & people to fill the arena if the prices were the same as in Toronto or Montreal.



It's not about the rink, sure a bigger rink would help but only a little.



Oilers are a good example. Look at the list of players they have had to trade/give up because they lacked resources. Weight, Guerin, Kurri, Gretzky, Messier, Carter, CuJo, Niinimaa, Mironov, Hamrlik etc..
sounds to me like you are saying EDM isnt big enough to be in the NHL.

dr

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12-07-2004, 08:34 AM
  #92
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Last I checked, Ottawa is only about 250K bigger than Edmonton.

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12-07-2004, 09:26 AM
  #93
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Count the number of businesses and the people living within 100kms which is the real market, now I'm not Canadian but I bet the number is substancially higher than in Edmonton.

Oh and Sens are losing money as well.

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12-07-2004, 09:31 AM
  #94
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Quote:
Oh and Sens are losing money as well.
First, neither the Sens or Oilers are losing money.

Second, just because a team states its losing money doesn't mean it is. Dont you ignorant fans understand sport teams owners? They ALWAYS are complaining about not having enough money. Thats how they justify increasing ticket prices, trading away overpaid players or getting new stadiums built. If the owners were being truthful about their financial status, they would not get 1/2 of what they get now from fans and markets willing to bow to their every demand. Granted ,a sports team is a huge deal to rpetty much every community, so they do have a lot of leverage in their whinings.

Even if the Sens 'lost money' this year, which I dont believe anyway, they made a good 20 million in profit in 2003. Boo hoo.

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12-07-2004, 10:10 AM
  #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scaredsensfan
First, neither the Sens or Oilers are losing money.

Even if the Sens 'lost money' this year, which I dont believe anyway, they made a good 20 million in profit in 2003. Boo hoo.
Oilers have lost lots of money in the last 5 years and I very much doubt that Sens made 20 millions in profits in 2003, Bryden would have never sold the team if he had gotten that much money.

Secondly, you really sound like you have absolutely no idea of the facts or the issues in general.

You just spew your opinions here without proving your claims in any way.

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12-07-2004, 10:17 AM
  #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepper
Count the number of businesses and the people living within 100kms which is the real market, now I'm not Canadian but I bet the number is substancially higher than in Edmonton.

Oh and Sens are losing money as well.
the corridor between Calgary and Edmonton is among the wealthiest in all of North America.

dont kid yourself, either EDM is a major league market or its not. if it isnt, why are we worrying ? if it is, then it has no problems.

i believe in EDM, why dont their own fans ?

DR

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12-07-2004, 10:22 AM
  #97
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Originally Posted by DementedReality
im confused ..

if TBY wins 3 cups in a row, you dont expect their players to get more expensive ? wouldnt it reason that the only way they can win 3 cups is if the have one of the best teams and wouldnt it be more expensive to have one of the best teams than to have one of the worst teams ?

do you suppose a better system would be to force TBY to trade their players before they get expensive and therefore wont win 3 cups ? thats what will happen with a hard cap.

dr
actually, youre not confused at all, dude. and you know it. there is no way that tampa can afford a $50m plus payroll. Cullimore is already gone. St Louis is not signed and very likely will not be with the team one way or the other. Khabibulin will be gone after this season, hockey or no hockey.

unless of course the new cba system holds down spending on the other elite teams and allows tampa to lose some players they cant afford without losing their elite status in the process.

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12-07-2004, 10:24 AM
  #98
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I'm not an Oilers fan, though I like the team.

Oilers are not a big market team, if only big market teams should survive we would have a 10 team league. Is that what you want?

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12-07-2004, 10:45 AM
  #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txpd
actually, youre not confused at all, dude. and you know it. there is no way that tampa can afford a $50m plus payroll.
Do you have inside knowledge of the Lightning's financial projections?

If not, how can you say this with certainty?

Quote:
Cullimore is already gone.
Ouch! The Tampa dynasty is broken up because they didn't resign Jayson freaking Cullimore.

Quote:
St Louis is not signed and very likely will not be with the team one way or the other.
Right. He's isn't an unrestricted free agent so he isn't going anywhere.

Quote:
Khabibulin will be gone after this season, hockey or no hockey.

Maybe he will and maybe he won't. It's too bad that no one in hockey thinks that John Grahame could be a great goalie.

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12-07-2004, 10:50 AM
  #100
DontTouchMyDonskoi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txpd
actually, youre not confused at all, dude. and you know it. there is no way that tampa can afford a $50m plus payroll. Cullimore is already gone. St Louis is not signed and very likely will not be with the team one way or the other. Khabibulin will be gone after this season, hockey or no hockey.

unless of course the new cba system holds down spending on the other elite teams and allows tampa to lose some players they cant afford without losing their elite status in the process.
look, even the rich COL team has to manage their roster. they have let many players go as UFA or in trade.

do you expect every team will keep every player as long as they choose ? every roster under goes change. maybe Cullimore didnt want to sign with TBY, isnt this his human right ?

secondly, why on earth do you think StLouis wont be back with TBY ? Just speculation on your part.

Khabi, again, if he is scheduled to be a UFA, so be it. Would you prefer a system where TBY cant sign him even if they wanted to (hard cap) ? WOuld you prefer a system where TBY knew Khabi was going to leave as UFA, but because of a hard cap, no other team would even offer a prospect to TBY in trade so they will lose him for nothing ?

It sounds like you want a system where teams dont have to make decisions on players and the players are signed for life to that team.

dr

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