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Markham Arena II

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Old
04-29-2012, 12:08 PM
  #151
Confucius
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Originally Posted by berklon View Post
Zero impact?

Many hockey fans in Southern Ontario can now travel less to see a game by going to Markham, and don't have to deal with border hassles. Plus this new team would have games televised in Southern Ontario (unlike the Sabres) - which can turn a few Sabres fans into Toronto2 fans and will give future generations more reason to be Toronto2 fans (instead of Sabre fans).

People don't pay attention to invisible territorial lines.

Much like a team in Hamilton, you can bet the Sabres will also feel threatened about a team in Markham.
Apparently Buffalo is a hockey crazed town, have 16.500 season ticket holders and 1,000's on a waiting list. They don't need Markham's fans. As JMRowe says there is no way Hamilton or the rest of western Ontario is going to support a Markham team. So there should be no problem between the Sabres and Markham.

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04-29-2012, 12:08 PM
  #152
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Faced with these kind of difficulties in the past, the solution has been found to form a league, going right back to the formation of the NHL in 1917.

The true future of hockey depends on strong fan base following, and the ability to watch games live. That means the teams need to be located in places where the fans live, and the average fan need to be able to afford to go to the games.

In Europe, all the larger countries have their own independent leagues, and support them by attending the games. Why can that not be a model for us in Canada?

Markham
Hamilton
London

That alone has the potential to develop into a new league. Remember there is a large arena in Saskatoon as well.

The WHA tried to go head to head with the NHL back in 1972, and it failed. But it lasted far longer than a number of the NHL owners of the day suspected it would. Only one of the success stories of the WHA has had a continuous existence in the same market - the Oilers.

Then of course there are the minor leagues, but all they all seem like third or fourth tier leagues and are predominantly NHL farm teams. I recognize for the time being, that's the way it is.

So in pondering a future hockey landscape I am just asking why is it the NHL or nothing for pro hockey fans in Canada? If you are perfectly content to only watch hockey on tv, this might not matter to you. But for those of us who enjoy going to actual games across the Canada, the season is over. And its too soon.

I look forward to the day when there is an alternative that we can attend.
Look around Canada take the Chl yes there are some very good markets but many the support is sub par look at ahl and semi pro not great support look at college poor support so no non nhl league would not work.

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04-29-2012, 12:23 PM
  #153
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Originally Posted by Patrick2 View Post
Faced with these kind of difficulties in the past, the solution has been found to form a league, going right back to the formation of the NHL in 1917.

The true future of hockey depends on strong fan base following, and the ability to watch games live. That means the teams need to be located in places where the fans live, and the average fan need to be able to afford to go to the games.

In Europe, all the larger countries have their own independent leagues, and support them by attending the games. Why can that not be a model for us in Canada?

Markham
Hamilton
London

That alone has the potential to develop into a new league. Remember there is a large arena in Saskatoon as well.

The WHA tried to go head to head with the NHL back in 1972, and it failed. But it lasted far longer than a number of the NHL owners of the day suspected it would. Only one of the success stories of the WHA has had a continuous existence in the same market - the Oilers.

Then of course there are the minor leagues, but all they all seem like third or fourth tier leagues and are predominantly NHL farm teams. I recognize for the time being, that's the way it is.

So in pondering a future hockey landscape I am just asking why is it the NHL or nothing for pro hockey fans in Canada? If you are perfectly content to only watch hockey on tv, this might not matter to you. But for those of us who enjoy going to actual games across the Canada, the season is over. And its too soon.

I look forward to the day when there is an alternative that we can attend.
But it is NHL or bust in Canada. It isn't about watching any level of live hockey.

Take Winnipeg. They had a nice little team going in the AHL. They were very successful, with multiple deep playoff runs (though never winning the Calder Cup). But average attendance was in the 6-8k range during the regular season.

Bring back the Jets though, more than double the ticket price, and suddenly they sell out every single night.

I could go watch an Oil Kings game very easily living in Edmonton. But I'd prefer to sit at home and watch a Jets game.

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04-29-2012, 12:31 PM
  #154
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Delete due to stupidity.

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04-29-2012, 01:14 PM
  #155
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Originally Posted by Yukon Joe View Post
But it is NHL or bust in Canada. It isn't about watching any level of live hockey.
I agree with you. That is because what I am talking about doesn't exist yet.

Having all the teams located only in Canadian markets would be a key to making the whole thing work.

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04-29-2012, 01:21 PM
  #156
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I agree with you. That is because what I am talking about doesn't exist yet.

Having all the teams located only in Canadian markets would be a key to making the whole thing work.
In all the secondary Canadian markets? Why would anyone care about this league when there are 7 (or soon maybe 8) Canadian teams in the NHL?

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04-29-2012, 01:31 PM
  #157
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Originally Posted by berklon View Post
Zero impact?

Many hockey fans in Southern Ontario can now travel less to see a game by going to Markham, and don't have to deal with border hassles. Plus this new team would have games televised in Southern Ontario (unlike the Sabres) - which can turn a few Sabres fans into Toronto2 fans and will give future generations more reason to be Toronto2 fans (instead of Sabre fans).

People don't pay attention to invisible territorial lines.

Much like a team in Hamilton, you can bet the Sabres will also feel threatened about a team in Markham.
I think it would have near zero impact (or so little impact that it may as well be zero). The vast majority of those Canadian season ticket holders are from the Niagara region, and quite frankly I can't see forgoing a quick trip across the border, for the hassle of a long trip to Markham (and all the miserable traffic that goes with it.)

Hamiltonians sure as hell won't support a team in Markham for the simple reasons 1) it too far a trip, 2) it's Markham. It won't matter if they dress themselves up as Toronto or Ontario, it's still freak'n Markham...

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04-29-2012, 01:31 PM
  #158
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The true future of hockey depends on strong fan base following, and the ability to watch games live. That means the teams need to be located in places where the fans live, and the average fan need to be able to afford to go to the games.
... then you were born about 125 years too late my friend. The NHL was very much a gate-driven league, still is to a large degree, however, with the advent of radio, television, the internet, wireless technology; the sophistication of merchandising, concessions, multi-purpose buildings & so on, free land, tax breaks, subsidies etc the old model you suggest is completely impracticable. An antique. A relic. There is simply no way an All Canadian League or even a hybrid enjoining some north-eastern & Pacific NW locations in the US could compete for talent, the loyalties of fans to teams with now deep historical roots to cities, regions.

The Patricks PCHA originally just had the 3 teams of Vancouver, Victoria & New Westminster, adding Seattle & Portland. They supplemented that league with 3 barnstorming womens teams, the Vancouver Amazons, Victoria Kewpies & Seattle Vamps. Then there was the WCHL, also a better than good brand of hockey, teams in Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon & Moose Jaw. Followed by the PCHL, teams in Victoria, Vancouver, New Westminster, Edmonton, Calgary & Saskatoon; San Diego, Pasadena, Hollywood, Fresno, Oakland, Portland, Tacoma & Seattle, followed by the WHL etc...

...all of this early on when the Stanley Cup was a "Challenge Cup", not the trophy the NHL "claimed" for itself and in doing so, shut down Lord Stanley of Prestons' original intent. Indeed, in the 50's, Clevelands AHL franchise "Challenged" the NHL to a Stanley Cup winner take-all when they were shut down in demanding a place in the league, other "Challenges" considered over the intervening 50+ years, including threatened lawsuits over the NHL's claim on the Stanley Cup itself.

So no, Im afraid were just stuck with what we've got. Some form of Relegation wouldnt work well either, as you'd actually lose key markets in a Premier Division through incompetence (imagine the Leafs, likely in about Division 3, "Big Game against the Moose Jaw Warriors tonite at the ACC boys") of ownership & management/coaching or what have you... an idea whose time has long since passed. Since the demise of the WHA in 1980, the very punishing clauses gifted to the in-bound teams through Amalgamation virtually guaranteeing their insolvency, there have been a couple of half hearted attempts to revive a WHA type alternative, Bobby Hull even "signed" as Official Ambassador, the teams owned by the league itself, a sort of bizarro world of Juniors, minor leaguers & the odd over the hill NHL'r, but really, sounds like something straight out of the old Senior A system, a Whitby Dunlops or Flamborough Motts Clamato's type dealeo. Slapshot....

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04-29-2012, 02:14 PM
  #159
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Time marches on. What is reality today will not be the reality of next year or 5 or 10 years from now. There will be change.

As I recall, there was a time when people said putting a man on the moon would never happen. As I was growing up "the Berlin Wall will never come down", and the internet of today was the stuff of science fiction.

Hockey is an entertainment product and a business. It has evolved a whole lot and will continue to do so. In North America its heart and soul is in Canada and the northern states, and yet there are teams in so many unnatural hockey markets. Its all because of the NHL vision, which apparently most of us are buying into. Or are we? Hard to tell when there isn't a choice.

In Canada we are underserved with the slate of "higher level" choices in the present day, and I look forward to some time in the future when the potential movers and shakers who have the capability to make a difference, actually present the alternative.

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04-29-2012, 02:22 PM
  #160
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.... and yet there are teams in so many unnatural hockey markets. Its all because of the NHL vision, which apparently most of us are buying into. Or are we? Hard to tell when there isn't a choice.
Plenty of people here aren't buying into that. You can witness this phenomenon in just about every Phoenix thread, which invariably devolves into Sun Belt vs. Canada.

You have to explain how the league you are proposing would survive without the biggest Canadian markets. The WHA didn't succeed, and they had Edmonton and Winnipeg (and Quebec). If I understand correctly, you are proposing a league that would at best have a couple of decent-sized Canadian cities and several other much smaller ones. Or are you proposing to have teams competing in NHL cities with NHL teams? Try as I might, I can't picture a scenario where anyone would care about this league.

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04-29-2012, 03:40 PM
  #161
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I think it would have near zero impact (or so little impact that it may as well be zero). The vast majority of those Canadian season ticket holders are from the Niagara region, and quite frankly I can't see forgoing a quick trip across the border, for the hassle of a long trip to Markham (and all the miserable traffic that goes with it.)

Hamiltonians sure as hell won't support a team in Markham for the simple reasons 1) it too far a trip, 2) it's Markham. It won't matter if they dress themselves up as Toronto or Ontario, it's still freak'n Markham...
I agree no Hamiltonian in there right mind would make the 2 hour trip Markham to see a hockey game not to mention people in Hamilton will fell like they got screwed over for the good of Toronto (GTA.) kind of like what the province is doing to the people of Niagara are going threw with the slots & casinos in the region .


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04-29-2012, 04:01 PM
  #162
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All that Rouston wants in my opinion is an arena to play to concerts , trade shows , ect. not to mention other big time events such IIHF. World Juniors , WWE . pay per views , MMA. , Juno awards , ect. . But I don't think an NHL. team is going to happen with havving to pay huge teritory fee to the Leafs not mention the cost of the team its self it would be more trouble than its really worth to any prospective owner & would just make more economic sense to put a team in Hamilton because it would be cheaper & any prospective owner would see a much quicker return on his investment . All I think this has done was give the city of Hamilton a wake up call to get things movving on renovatting Copps Coliseum & get prospective owners lined up before this arena in Markham gets bulit .

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04-29-2012, 04:20 PM
  #163
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Originally Posted by Patrick2 View Post
Hockey is an entertainment product and a business. It has evolved a whole lot and will continue to do so. In North America its heart and soul is in Canada and the northern states, and yet there are teams in so many unnatural hockey markets. Its all because of the NHL vision, which apparently most of us are buying into. Or are we? Hard to tell when there isn't a choice.
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You have to explain how the league you are proposing would survive without the biggest Canadian markets. The WHA didn't succeed, and they had Edmonton and Winnipeg (and Quebec). If I understand correctly, you are proposing a league that would at best have a couple of decent-sized Canadian cities and several other much smaller ones. Or are you proposing to have teams competing in NHL cities with NHL teams?
As Ugmo points out.... you'll have to be a lot more specific in terms of what it is that your proposing Patrick. If an alternate to the NHL, then youd' have to present a game that was at minimum on par with their caliber of talent & play, and thats beyond impracticable unless you had billions in backing, this new league owning the teams themselves, collectively, no Cap or if there was one, something that was about $20M more per team than the NHL's.

Basically, All out War, right out of the box, from the word go. Not like the WHA who signed Hull, guys whose expiry dates were past due, underage Juniors as per the Ken Linesman challenge to the Draft etc. Youd be looking at taking the NHL right out with a smaller, more compact new era type situation, going head-head with the Habs, Leafs, NY, Chicago, Boston & Detroit, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton & Vancouver if regionalized. Maybe, and thats a BIG maybe, 2-3 of those franchises will sell out, but not many. If its just a glorified minor league with big league pretensions, forget it.

Youd have to usurp the NHL's domination as being the "best league in the World", and they sure wouldnt be going down without a fight, one that could destroy the game for everyone if it looked like they might lose. You couldnt compete. Your not going to get top dollar for tickets, broadcast rights etc with teams in places like Halifax, Moncton, Regina... no way, not happenin.

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04-29-2012, 04:58 PM
  #164
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All that Rouston wants in my opinion is an arena to play to concerts , trade shows , ect. not to mention other big time events such IIHF. World Juniors , WWE . pay per views , MMA. , Juno awards , ect. . But I don't think an NHL. team is going to happen with havving to pay huge teritory fee to the Leafs not mention the cost of the team its self it would be more trouble than its really worth to any prospective owner & would just make more economic sense to put a team in Hamilton because it would be cheaper & any prospective owner would see a much quicker return on his investment . All I think this has done was give the city of Hamilton a wake up call to get things movving on renovatting Copps Coliseum & get prospective owners lined up before this arena in Markham gets bulit .
Its fine to have a plan to have concerts and events the thing is you still have to bid for them its not a matter of making a call and getting what you want.

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04-29-2012, 10:48 PM
  #165
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As Ugmo points out.... you'll have to be a lot more specific in terms of what it is that your proposing Patrick. If an alternate to the NHL, then youd' have to present a game that was at minimum on par with their caliber of talent & play, and thats beyond impracticable unless you had billions in backing, this new league owning the teams themselves, collectively, no Cap or if there was one, something that was about $20M more per team than the NHL's.

.
OK I'll go to the most radical possibility. The Canadian teams form their own league, and guides its own expansion. The Stanley Cup returns to becoming a challenge cup between the American league - presumably NHL and whatever the Canadian league is called.

Before you dismiss me as a delusional goofball, please understand I've read some interesting files in the Hockey Hall of Fame archives, with interesting results. For example, the NHL "lock on the Stanley Cup" is not legally as solid as you might think. Red Dutton in a letter to Cooper Smeaton on 29 June in 1966 says

"the 1965-66 National Hockey League guide on page 26 it states in the second paragraph that <the Stanley Cup> is under the exclusive control of the National Hockey League. I am a little concerned regarding the obligations in the event that there is a future expansion of the National League to include European teams and in the event that the Canadiens and Toronto should discontinue to be a member of the National League. This does not appear to be probable but is not impossible ...."

I would agree with Mr. Dutton on both counts. The answer is not as clear cut as the NHL would like you to believe.

In a head to head final series you might expect that the teams with the deeper pockets are going to prevail, which means expect an American victory the more often than not. But hockey is a team game, and there have been plenty of examples of teams loaded with stars who did not win it all.

Change is needed for the good of the game.

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04-30-2012, 12:09 AM
  #166
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Before you dismiss me as a delusional goofball, please understand I've read some interesting files in the Hockey Hall of Fame archives, with interesting results. For example, the NHL "lock on the Stanley Cup" is not legally as solid as you might think. Red Dutton in a letter to Cooper Smeaton on 29 June in 1966 says

"the 1965-66 National Hockey League guide on page 26 it states in the second paragraph that <the Stanley Cup> is under the exclusive control of the National Hockey League. I am a little concerned regarding the obligations in the event that there is a future expansion of the National League to include European teams and in the event that the Canadiens and Toronto should discontinue to be a member of the National League. This does not appear to be probable but is not impossible ...."

I would agree with Mr. Dutton on both counts. The answer is not as clear cut as the NHL would like you to believe.
If I recall correctly there are trustees of the Cup who have ceded the awarding of the Cup to the NHL but have a backup plan should there ever be a cancellation of the playoffs again. So technically I guess the trustees could decide "nah we hate the NHL lets do something else with the cup"

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04-30-2012, 12:34 AM
  #167
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But it is NHL or bust in Canada. It isn't about watching any level of live hockey.

Take Winnipeg. They had a nice little team going in the AHL. They were very successful, with multiple deep playoff runs (though never winning the Calder Cup). But average attendance was in the 6-8k range during the regular season.

Bring back the Jets though, more than double the ticket price, and suddenly they sell out every single night.

I could go watch an Oil Kings game very easily living in Edmonton. But I'd prefer to sit at home and watch a Jets game.
MTS Centre was set up for only approx. 9000 seats for the Moose...continually had the best attendance in the AHL.

I agree that people want the NHL or bust.

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04-30-2012, 01:45 AM
  #168
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OK I'll go to the most radical possibility. The Canadian teams form their own league, and guides its own expansion. The Stanley Cup returns to becoming a challenge cup between the American league - presumably NHL and whatever the Canadian league is called.

Before you dismiss me as a delusional goofball, please understand I've read some interesting files in the Hockey Hall of Fame archives, with interesting results. For example, the NHL "lock on the Stanley Cup" is not legally as solid as you might think. Red Dutton in a letter to Cooper Smeaton on 29 June in 1966 says

"the 1965-66 National Hockey League guide on page 26 it states in the second paragraph that <the Stanley Cup> is under the exclusive control of the National Hockey League. I am a little concerned regarding the obligations in the event that there is a future expansion of the National League to include European teams and in the event that the Canadiens and Toronto should discontinue to be a member of the National League. This does not appear to be probable but is not impossible ...."

I would agree with Mr. Dutton on both counts. The answer is not as clear cut as the NHL would like you to believe.
The NHL slowly assumed control of the SC in 1917 from the ashes of the NHA & then became de-facto proprietor of the Mug in 1926 post "Challenge Era" after several decades of change at the amateur & professional levels, all of which blurred the lines of Lord Stanleys intent. In 1947, the Stanley Cup Trustee's ceded ownership to the NHL, re-drafting the clauses. Cleveland of the AHL requested a "Challenge" in the 50's (rejected) as did the WHA in the 70's (also rejected).

During the 2004-05 lockout, a number of fans banded together in Ontario called the "Wednesday Nighters", filing suit in Supreme Court suggesting the Trustees' had over-stepped their bounds in relinquishing ownership to the NHL, and that the Stanley Cup should be awarded regardless in a Challenge format between the top Senior Amateur Teams in Canada if the league was unable to complete or play a season.

The league agreed to this, however by the time it was settled, play had resumed. Another idea floated at the time was to have the top womens teams compete for the Stanley sans an NHL season, lead by then Governor General of Canada Adrienne Clarkson. Instead, the "Clarkson Cup" was created, as the idea of having women playing for what had always been the exlusive domain of men & wasnt well received by fans, let alone the NHL.

The current trustee's of the Stanley Cup are Scotty Morrison, former Chairman of the HHOF & long time Referee/Director of Officiating and Brian O'Neil, long-time NHL Executive, both well up there in years. Strictly ceremonial appointments. Since Gary Bettmans arrival, we have witnessed the loss of historical touchstones with the re-naming of conferences & divisions to generic Eastern & Western, Pacific & so forth, many of the traditions of the game including rule changes instituted that have all eaten away at the fabric of historical precedences & traditions, how the game is played, officiated etc.

Make no mistake, this league could care less about its history, tradition, a silver cup. If a challenge was made to the leagues claims on the Stanley Cup if they do lose a season & these Wednesday Nighters decide to stake their claim on the SC, the league would invoke an injunction & appeal. If they lost the appeal? Theyd simply relegate the chalice to the dustbin of history, and come up with a new Trophy, grafting every single winners name since 1917 onto & into its bowl, stem & stern.

Finally, Im afraid I dont share your optimism that any of the Canadian based teams would opt out of the NHL & into some new "hybrid" league. If they did, it would be a declaration of War on the NHL, with whatever franchise values Forbes pins on them plummeting to depths they wouldnt dream of inviting upon themselves. Sure, the systems busted, its dysfunctional, but its the best weve got. Lets look at ways it can be fixed rather than blowing it all up sky high shall we?.


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04-30-2012, 06:27 AM
  #169
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interesting tidbits... did Li let the cat out of the bag in a way ?

""The Town of Markham has met with NHL brass, including Commissioner Gary Bettman, in advance of its decision early Friday morning to approve plans for a NHL-calibre arena, a town councillor who opposes the deal revealed on Friday.

“I don’t want to get Mr. Bettman in trouble, but we met with him,” Councillor Jim Jones said, speaking of a 2010 meeting between Markham municipal representatives and NHL officials.

“We are being advised not to talk about that,” said Joe Li, a Markham regional councillor who voted against the financing deal for a $325-million, 20,000 seat stadium.

“But anyone would understand,” he explained, “spending that kind of money just for culture and entertainment? Come on. We won’t even break even.”"

full article: http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/04...bettman-talks/

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04-30-2012, 04:28 PM
  #170
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OK I'll go to the most radical possibility. The Canadian teams form their own league, and guides its own expansion. The Stanley Cup returns to becoming a challenge cup between the American league - presumably NHL and whatever the Canadian league is called.

Before you dismiss me as a delusional goofball, please understand I've read some interesting files in the Hockey Hall of Fame archives, with interesting results. For example, the NHL "lock on the Stanley Cup" is not legally as solid as you might think. Red Dutton in a letter to Cooper Smeaton on 29 June in 1966 says

"the 1965-66 National Hockey League guide on page 26 it states in the second paragraph that <the Stanley Cup> is under the exclusive control of the National Hockey League. I am a little concerned regarding the obligations in the event that there is a future expansion of the National League to include European teams and in the event that the Canadiens and Toronto should discontinue to be a member of the National League. This does not appear to be probable but is not impossible ...."

I would agree with Mr. Dutton on both counts. The answer is not as clear cut as the NHL would like you to believe.

In a head to head final series you might expect that the teams with the deeper pockets are going to prevail, which means expect an American victory the more often than not. But hockey is a team game, and there have been plenty of examples of teams loaded with stars who did not win it all.

Change is needed for the good of the game.
So the Canadian league can have the Stanley Cup, and the American league can have all the good players because Regina sure as hell ain't having a $60 million payroll.

We can be the SPL to the American EPL how fantastic.

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04-30-2012, 04:51 PM
  #171
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i realize this may be hard for some of the canadian fans to realize, but the NHL needs the united states just as much as it needs canada

and no league will ever be able to compete with the NHL

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04-30-2012, 05:02 PM
  #172
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Originally Posted by theaub View Post
So the Canadian league can have the Stanley Cup, and the American league can have all the good players because Regina sure as hell ain't having a $60 million payroll... We can be the SPL to the American EPL, how fantastic.
I believe the op is talking about blowing it all sky-high, the Canadian franchises ceding from the league altogether (Habs, Leafs etc). Therefore, a Regina, Halifax etc could have a $60M payroll provided all of the teams were owned by the league itself. A form of commercialized socialism if you will whereby the winner of an 8-12 Team Canadian league would be able to "Challenge" for the Stanley Cup against the NHL league winner annually.

Frankly, I cant see it flying at all, as fans in Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver or wherever else rather like the idea of a unified North American league, with rivalrys against a Detroit, Chicago, LA or San Jose etc things one looks forward to & have come to appreciate as all being part n' parcel of the natural order of things.... not to mention that the Jets, Flames et al would be about as likely to opt out of the NHL, walk from their investments in the clubs theyve built up over the years for "the good of the game" in Canada. Its doing just fine as it is thanks very much. Anarchy. A utopian ideal for many. But hey, not like we havent heard it before round these parts.

Edit Note; and ya, thats damn straight right there what youve said nds90. Absolutely. Collectively the leagues a lot stronger, its a 2 way street, good for the game that kids in Florida, Texas, SoCal & the South are picking up sticks...


Last edited by Killion: 04-30-2012 at 05:08 PM.
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04-30-2012, 05:09 PM
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wjhl2009fan
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Originally Posted by nds90 View Post
i realize this may be hard for some of the canadian fans to realize, but the NHL needs the united states just as much as it needs canada

and no league will ever be able to compete with the NHL
Would you agree there are weak markets?

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04-30-2012, 05:14 PM
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TwistedWrister90
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Originally Posted by wjhl2009fan View Post
Would you agree there are weak markets?
of course. the nfl, nba, and mlb have weak markets too. doesn't mean some ridiculous new league needs to be formed for football, basketball, or baseball

there are more nhl teams in the us than canada bc there are more places to put teams. the us has 10x the population of canada. there isn't some anti canadian conspiracy going on around the nhl like so many canadians seem to believe

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04-30-2012, 10:50 PM
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theaub
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
I believe the op is talking about blowing it all sky-high, the Canadian franchises ceding from the league altogether (Habs, Leafs etc). Therefore, a Regina, Halifax etc could have a $60M payroll provided all of the teams were owned by the league itself. A form of commercialized socialism if you will whereby the winner of an 8-12 Team Canadian league would be able to "Challenge" for the Stanley Cup against the NHL league winner annually.
Sounds exactly like the SPL to me. You have your Celtic/Rangers in Toronto/Montreal/Vancouver who carry the league and then a bunch of jobbers who can compete for fourth place.

But hey it might get the Leafs into the playoffs

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