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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.

Professor rips NHL for treating fans as stupid

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Old
11-20-2012, 05:30 PM
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinalera View Post
I think where they're really going to be hurting is the casual fan. You only get so many kicks at the can with a casual fan-and I'm thinking what's different from 04 is people weren't just coming the "great recession", people are STILL hurting, and those casual fans are seeing this sort of stuff go on again and say "why do I bother?"

I'll make a semi bold prediction: We'll see another lockout/labour situation (and we will) before we see the NHL get to 3.3 billion annual revenues-even with whatever "savings" the owners get in the next CBA. The NHL really shot themselves in the foot.

Will the fans comeback? Probably, particularly in Canada they'll be selling out arenas again-but the US, particularly in the "non traditional" markets? I think they're going to get bit hard.
This is really more like it. I was a casual/semi committed MLB until the strike that killed the Expos. I've never really gone back. With the NHL, I'll have a small chip on my shoulder whilst swilling $9 beersin my overpriced, beer soaked jersey.

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11-20-2012, 05:35 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by Canadian Guy View Post
Reading that hurt my eyes and reminded me of why I quit going to that University back in 2008.

This prof should stop for a second and consider that, even if he does not like it, there is a business side to the NHL. If you chose to be angry because you ignore it and don't want to hear about it, then it's your own damn fault.
Where did you transfer, and do you believe marketing professors at this subsequent university have a different viewpoint on the issue?

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Old
11-20-2012, 05:47 PM
  #28
Gobias Industries
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Does everyone remember that the league had agreed to a CBA seven years ago, has seen revenues go up, and are now convincing everyone they are in worse shape?

What kind of leadership is that?

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Old
11-20-2012, 05:52 PM
  #29
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Given we are spending months taking about it on a message board, trying to convince each people who have no input into the outcome - maybe was are that stupid.

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11-20-2012, 05:55 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
I think it's probably safe to say that all the regular posters on HF are Superfans. The battles that rage here are not Casual vs Super fans, but the latter on latter.

Personally, I'm in the "hate the NHL" mode because I've had something I enjoy taken away, and I don't believe the league has built a case that convinces me it was necessary THIS TIME. I'm not about to be happy that this is going on.


There was a psychological shift for me. During the last lockout, I think I was just disappointed, and the disappointment was greatly exacerbated by the length of the lockout, losing an entire season.

When there was a realization that there would be ANOTHER lockout, I felt like seven years was just too soon. I remember too much of the last lockout (at an emotional level). There is a feeling of greater disappointment, but more like betrayal than disappointment alone at losing something I enjoy.
Pretty much nailed it for me right there. I still have lockout fatigue from the last one. I kept thinking that it's totally unacceptable, especially for a paltry 7%. After following this lockout in as much depth as those of us who frequent the business board do I think another lockout after this one might give us all an extreme allergic reaction. If we lose a season over something so stupid it'll be very hard to feel good about supporting the NHL. If I had an alternative source for hockey in my area like the CHL or the USHL or the NCAA I might not even bother to spend any money on the NHL for years.

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Old
11-20-2012, 07:04 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by Gobias Industries View Post
Does everyone remember that the league had agreed to a CBA seven years ago, has seen revenues go up, and are now convincing everyone they are in worse shape?

What kind of leadership is that?
The kind of leadership that thinks its customers are stupid sheep.

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11-20-2012, 07:31 PM
  #32
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I agree with this professor. This lock-out cannot be justified at all. Record revenue during the financial crisis our lifetime, and then cry the poor house and shut the doors?

Would one more season operating while negotiating a new CBA hurt the season THAT bad?

I mean, the league is OK with hanging on to a bleeding coyotes even when guys like Basilli was willing to help the league, yet they can't keep playing during record revenues?

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11-20-2012, 07:31 PM
  #33
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I only got into hockey this past year - opening day 2011 was my first NHL game ever. The boy and I loved it and bought season tickets not long after that.

In March, I started playing. I figured it was my "plan B" if there weren't an NHL team to watch come 2012/13. I loved it and I now play 4 times per week. My daughter is playing. My husband is going with me tonight to try it for the first time.

We've also attended an ASU game (they are great this year, 18-0 so far!) and a Sundogs game. We're going to another Sundogs game this weekend.

The lockout has made me realize that I don't care as much as I did about watching NHL games. I have more fun playing than I do watching. And it's better for my health, it's doing great things for my physique and I've made a lot of friends on the ice.

So while I do have season tickets and I would happily go to games if they were happening, I'd also have that little bit of regret on nights when I had to miss my own ice time to go watch someone else play.

If there hadn't been a lock-out, I never would have reached that point. Which means that perhaps the lockout means no more season tickets for me.

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Old
11-20-2012, 07:36 PM
  #34
Connell McWilson
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To the poster who said the NHL is locking out "for the fans", I would've agreed with this statement if you were referring to the 2004-05 lockout. Back then, the NHL was on the verge of self-implosion and needed a radical economic adjustment: the salary cap and cost certainty, concessions that the NHLPA outright refused. As an Oilers fan, I was fully supportive of Bettman and the owners and their quest for a salary cap. I was sick and tired of seeing star players leave Edmonton for bigger markets because EIG don't have the resources to pay and retain star players. I'm sure fans of other smaller markets would agree. The league was going to death row had they retained the 2004 CBA.

This lockout isn't about the fans IMO. Bettman during the 2012 playoffs was announcing that the league reached record revenues and the popularity and strength of the league had never been better. It was all roses and lollipops until the NHL low-balled the players with a 57 to 43% rollback in HRR. Yes players are millionaires and well off, I understand that..but the way the owners orchestrated this whole CBA talks, they're equally guilty for the mess that this league is in right now.

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Old
11-20-2012, 08:05 PM
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue And Orange View Post
To the poster who said the NHL is locking out "for the fans", I would've agreed with this statement if you were referring to the 2004-05 lockout. Back then, the NHL was on the verge of self-implosion and needed a radical economic adjustment: the salary cap and cost certainty, concessions that the NHLPA outright refused. As an Oilers fan, I was fully supportive of Bettman and the owners and their quest for a salary cap. I was sick and tired of seeing star players leave Edmonton for bigger markets because EIG don't have the resources to pay and retain star players. I'm sure fans of other smaller markets would agree. The league was going to death row had they retained the 2004 CBA.

This lockout isn't about the fans IMO. Bettman during the 2012 playoffs was announcing that the league reached record revenues and the popularity and strength of the league had never been better. It was all roses and lollipops until the NHL low-balled the players with a 57 to 43% rollback in HRR. Yes players are millionaires and well off, I understand that..but the way the owners orchestrated this whole CBA talks, they're equally guilty for the mess that this league is in right now.
Even then, what lock-out is for the fans? Most fans only care about watching hockey. Only the superfans care about the ins and outs of the CBA and health of the game.

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Old
11-20-2012, 08:22 PM
  #36
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... well, heres a simple solution. No matter where you live, which team you grew up with or currently support, on behalf of LeafNation, Id like to invite all of you to give up on them and join our parade. The one planned for Bay Street every September that never happens, and will NEVER happen. EVER. See, when youve got nothing to sell but the very very very distant past like the Leafs, as a fan, you dont expect much of anything in the future, so your never really disappointed. MOD


Last edited by Fugu: 11-20-2012 at 10:37 PM. Reason: sigh
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Old
11-20-2012, 08:35 PM
  #37
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Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
I disagree with his view. The NHL is not doing this to the fans, they are doing what they need to do to survive financially. In fact, they are doing this FOR the fans - without significant changes, many teams people cheer for will not exist.

Fans who are offended, make me shake my head. Be offended at the players - every one of them is making good money. They are driven by greed, 18 NHL teams are driven by survival.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gobias Industries View Post
Does everyone remember that the league had agreed to a CBA seven years ago, has seen revenues go up, and are now convincing everyone they are in worse shape?
You see, that's the thing. The League is Not in bad shape at all financially. The League has been doing great, in general, and is in fact now risking what it has gained over the past several years (apparently with the idea that it will bounce back again just like it did after the last lockout, though it's a very big risk it's taking if there's another prolonged lockout). The problem has been made clear, if it wasn't at the beginning of this CBA negotiation fiasco, and that's that the owners screwed themselves over in the last CBA, giving up too much of the revenue pie to the players (too much for many teams to be able to stay above water financially. The money is there, revenues were great or at least very good for many teams, but the share of those revenues wasn't favoring the owners. The owners gave the players candy and now they're trying the take that candy away. And like spoiled children, as most humans tend to become if they're given too much too easily, the players don't want to give anything back.

Neither side seems to be seriously thinking about the fans, the paying customer, other than to think about what % of the paying customers' $ their side can manage to get. Beyond that, they're both taking the fans for granted.

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Old
11-20-2012, 08:35 PM
  #38
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People should stop taking this so personally. If the movie studios would have lockouts nobody would be like OMG these guys are selfish, what about the fans? Sports like any other things is one more form of entertainment and they'll run their business like they want to. Then they'll offer a product and it will be to us to judge if we like what we see and if we are interested in buying what they have to offer.

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Old
11-20-2012, 08:46 PM
  #39
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Neither side seems to be seriously thinking about the fans, the paying customer, other than to think about what % of the paying customers' $ their side can manage to get. Beyond that, they're both taking the fans for granted.
THIS


Regarding the OP - I agree with what he is saying but I wouldn't use the word 'stupid.' It's not that we're stupid because we will come back and watch the NHL again, it's because we're passionate about hockey, and seeing the best hockey being played. The NHL isn't banking on us being stupid they're banking on their product and the strong relationship that fans have with their respective teams. They understand this and I HATE the fact that they (NHL and NHLPA) are pulling strings with the fans dedication to fatten up they're pay checks.

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11-20-2012, 08:54 PM
  #40
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Originally Posted by LadyStanley View Post
http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/86...ague-eyes-fans

And Buccigross: NHL is forever tainted league in the eyes of fans
I encourage everyone to read this article. I think it captures how freakin' fed up fans are at this point.

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Old
11-20-2012, 08:58 PM
  #41
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Originally Posted by Meow View Post
This is one of the funniest pro-NHL owner propoganda post I've ever read. First of all, the NHL is not doing this "for the fans". The NHL is doing this to create more profit to take from the fans. The NHL actually made money in terms of profit as a whole and yet want to take more money. The fact is that if the NHL actually followed a smarter business model like other major leagues they could successfully redistribute the money to the bottom tier teams so that every franchise can survive.
So you think that the NHL should continue paying 57% of the HRR to the players, and instead the top teams should have to pay 50% of their profits to the other teams so they break even? And what happens next year when the cap goes up, and those losses increase? The 'haves' should have to pay 55%? No team would or should agree to that. I think RS needs to be drastically increased (5-6 times what they've proposed), but asking teams to pay a 50% tax to float the other teams is just plain stupid.

Quote:
The fact is that the reason why the NHL is like what it is today is because of the owners themselves. If the owners themselves didn't make the stupid decision to be greedy and go after players that they couldn't afford this would have never happened. But now because the profits aren't there for most franchises the owners are saying "wow, we screwed up so now we'll take your money we agreed to pay to you by contract". It's unbelievable. If you want a system where franchises can regularly compete with one another then you need a system where the top franchises have their money redistributed to the bottom franchises. It's that simple. But of course the greed of the owners wouldn't make that a possibility.
MOD
First off, the individual contracts are meaningless. Yes Minny's owner opening his mouth *****ing about the Parise/Suter contract right after he signed it was stupid. However that's all it was... him yapping. The CBA limits the players to only receiving 57%, so while some individual contracts seem completely out of wack, escrow ensures that the players (as a whole) only receive 57%, and that the league as a whole receives the remaining 43%.

As for your distribution of wealth theory... It's actually not that simple. That is one way of doing things... however that means the profits have to be there to distribute... and the way things were going (if you bothered to project it out), they eventually would not be. Player costs were/are too high. However even 50% will not correct things. It will hide things better for a while, but we'll eventually be in the same boat again. Even if you implement massive RS (say NFL style), that will only hide the problem - although it will do a much better job of hiding things than the 50% alone. The issue the NHL has is that they either need to share damn near everything they bring in, or they need a new system that doesn't base the cap on the average HRR (therefore screwing whomever is at the bottom - regardless of who that is).

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Originally Posted by sandysan View Post
So we should focus on what could happen ( the players walking out prior to the playoffs so that the owners who make it dont see their salary-free windfalls) but we should simply forget about the fact that the league locks out players as often as they do ?

It does take two sides, and over the long hall both sides should be expected to BOTH make concessions. This has not happened, the owners cry poor, the players disagree. the owners, under the guise of cost certainty, want the players to cover their markers, the players say no so the owners lock them out. Say they go 50/50 ? The precedent here is that if they say at the end of the next cba we need to go 60/40. they players will say no and the owners will lock them out. so seven years from now, its 60/40. 15 years from now its 65/35 ( and the weak sisters are still weak and crying poor).

I'm just wondering, how many times do the players need to cave before people abandon the notion that they are nothing but money grubbing illiterates ?
It's not a matter of what could happen. No league will go into a season without a CBA in place after what Fehr did in baseball. Look at the NBA and NFL. They both locked the players out. It's not a matter that the PA said we don't like this deal... its just that there's no deal in place. You want to play... we need to come to an agreement.

As for both sides needing to make concessions... I completely agree. But the players have to go to the table and ask for what they're looking for. The NHL has made it very clear what they're looking for. To date all the PA has done is said we want guaranteed contracts and fixed raises, but they've completely ignored the rest. Things do not work that way.

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Originally Posted by saskganesh View Post
Do also note that the owners also decided to put teams in "weak" markets.
It's been shown multiple times that the markets themselves are not the issue behind this lockout. Have a 3 team league (Toronto, Montreal, NYR) and use the same CBA as last year (57% of HRR for the cap). Eventually whomever is at the bottom is screwed due to their growth not matching that of the league. With those 3 teams it'll take forever to happen... but it will eventually happen. Yes Phoenix is likely a lost cause... but moving them doesn't solve the issue of this lockout. The system is broken. While I don't think that either side has truly proposed something that will fix it, the NHLs deal does do a slightly better job long term than the PAs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkGio View Post
I agree with this professor. This lock-out cannot be justified at all. Record revenue during the financial crisis our lifetime, and then cry the poor house and shut the doors?

Would one more season operating while negotiating a new CBA hurt the season THAT bad?
First off, revenue DOES NOT EQUAL PROFIT! Yes there's record revenue, but when it costs ~40m to run a team, plus player expenses, that doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room.

Secondly, even if they signed a 1 yr CBA the same as the last one (so the players could not strike), what would make the players negotiate in good faith? The NHL tried to get them to the negotiating table in Nov 11, Jan 11 and in June, and the PA wasn't interested. Why would the NHL extend the deal out a year? Time was never ever the issue here. Fehr had no interest in talking until the 11th hour... extending the CBA by 1 year would accomplish nothing other than a bunch of owners losing more money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkGio View Post
[2004]Even then, what lock-out is for the fans?
Teams not folding because they were paying 75% of their revenue to the players was to the fans benefit.

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Last edited by Fugu: 11-20-2012 at 10:51 PM. Reason: ...
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Old
11-20-2012, 08:59 PM
  #42
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Even then, what lock-out is for the fans? Most fans only care about watching hockey. Only the superfans care about the ins and outs of the CBA and health of the game.
True. You are right fans only care about watching hockey, particularly the NHL. It was a gamble the owners and Bettman were willing to take because the NHL was in dire straits.

Looking back at it, the owners did the right thing. There was a purpose behind the lockout and the owners achieved it.

This lockout, I don't see that clearly defined goal the NHL is looking for other than being greedy and pocketing more money for themselves despite the league hitting record revenues of 3.3 billion. To me, this is just a pissing match. I see nothing good coming out of this lockout, except a drop in attendance and tons of resentment from even the most hardcore fans of the game.

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11-20-2012, 09:00 PM
  #43
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You see, that's the thing. The League is Not in bad shape at all financially. The League has been doing great, in general, and is in fact now risking what it has gained over the past several years (apparently with the idea that it will bounce back again just like it did after the last lockout, though it's a very big risk it's taking if there's another prolonged lockout). The problem has been made clear, if it wasn't at the beginning of this CBA negotiation fiasco, and that's that the owners screwed themselves over in the last CBA, giving up too much of the revenue pie to the players (too much for many teams to be able to stay above water financially. The money is there, revenues were great or at least very good for many teams, but the share of those revenues wasn't favoring the owners. The owners gave the players candy and now they're trying the take that candy away. And like spoiled children, as most humans tend to become if they're given too much too easily, the players don't want to give anything back.

Neither side seems to be seriously thinking about the fans, the paying customer, other than to think about what % of the paying customers' $ their side can manage to get. Beyond that, they're both taking the fans for granted.
18 teams are in bad shape. 12 teams are in good shape. Saying the league is doing great because the revenues are high is completely ignoring reality. 18 teams are losing money. Probably 7 or 8 of them are losing enough that they would fold under the status quo.

Just because it has been a bad deal for the owners, does it have to remain that way? If 160 players don't want to be in the NHL anymore, I guess so.

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11-20-2012, 09:22 PM
  #44
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Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
18 teams are in bad shape. 12 teams are in good shape. Saying the league is doing great because the revenues are high is completely ignoring reality. 18 teams are losing money. Probably 7 or 8 of them are losing enough that they would fold under the status quo.

Just because it has been a bad deal for the owners, does it have to remain that way? If 160 players don't want to be in the NHL anymore, I guess so.
Ogopogo, if I'm remembering correctly, those numbers were discovered to be somewhat incorrect. They were Forbes estimates which ended up being slighted somewhat negatively. The actual numbers are almost the reverse, I think it was discovered to be something like 17 teams in the black and 13 in the red, or something like that. However, the point still remains that a number of those teams in the Red are so because of the way the revenue had been split between the players and the owners. Changing up that split in order to give the owners a bigger piece of the pie (the 50/50 number that's been endlessly mentioned) would put another bunch of those teams from the negative side into the positive side. The revenues are there (or at least were there), it's just that the players have been getting a 57% share.

Edit: But yes, "great" was an overstatement. The League has been doing 'fine'.


Last edited by MoreOrr: 11-20-2012 at 11:18 PM.
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11-20-2012, 09:27 PM
  #45
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Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
18 teams are in bad shape. 12 teams are in good shape. Saying the league is doing great because the revenues are high is completely ignoring reality. 18 teams are losing money. Probably 7 or 8 of them are losing enough that they would fold under the status quo.
Are you an insider or are you making this stuff up?

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11-20-2012, 10:01 PM
  #46
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I don't think that there is a good answer to this, but in your ideal world what would happen to the struggling franchises ? The league is predominantly gate driven and if ( and this is a big if) say league wide attendance drops 20%, how much you want to bet that the teams at the bottom will bear the brunt of this and the teams at the top will keep their ability to print money ?

So the fans taking a stand to show that we are not chumps directly contributes and exacerbates the differences between teams at the top and those at the bottom and would likely be the death knell for several current weak sisters, but this is worth doing so that the league thinks we are not chumps ? I though the intent was to try and shore up the weak markets, not accelerate their demise.
It's a tricky scenario, no doubt, but truth be told I'm more interested in the longterm health of the overall sport and league than I am in a few of the troubled teams. I've been a big defender of most southern teams and other teams with temporary issues, but the fear that a team or two might be lost, while a very real tragedy if it did happen, isn't enough to make me want to go ahead with the idea of a lockout every damn negotiating impasse when the CBA expires.

I hate to say it to Expos fans, but the two decades of labor peace that have come since their strike have not been diminished nearly enough by the loss of the Montreal market, which can be directly traced back to that in obvious ways.

That being said, if it's just a scenario where the haves keep on being haves and the have-nots have to move, that won't change much. I'm hoping for an across the board drop in attendance, viewership, and sales, from Toronto and Boston to Anaheim and Carolina. Standing up across the board and showing that we have a backbone and will hold grudges if they take away the game we love (at least at the highest caliber of its play) and won't just run back because we love the game more than we hate them. Baseball fans did just that, from the big market teams to the small. And that's what I want.

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11-20-2012, 10:17 PM
  #47
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MOD

Meanwhile they're outlining 40 million in players costs for each team as this outrageous cost for a business, when really 40 million for each team is really only eating up 33% of revenue. Clearly teams are spending more (57%).

Still, that's not bad considering your business model is based around your employees.

If you look here:

http://www.shrm.org/Research/Article...ngExpense.aspx

Health care services pay 52% of their operating expense on salaries. Makes sense because good health care = doctors & nurses.

Doesn't good hockey = good hockey players?

And since 3.3 billion in HRR is a net calculation, I still fail to see how player salaries are killing this league.
- Especially in the worst global economy since the great recession.
- Especially now, after 100 years of NHL operation.
- Especially after top teir players are making less than they were.

It seems to me someone has been listening to too much rap music from artist known as lil dramatic.


Last edited by Fugu: 11-20-2012 at 10:53 PM. Reason: OT
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11-20-2012, 10:18 PM
  #48
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Originally Posted by No Fun Shogun View Post
It's a tricky scenario, no doubt, but truth be told I'm more interested in the longterm health of the overall sport and league than I am in a few of the troubled teams. I've been a big defender of most southern teams and other teams with temporary issues, but the fear that a team or two might be lost, while a very real tragedy if it did happen, isn't enough to make me want to go ahead with the idea of a lockout every damn negotiating impasse when the CBA expires.

I hate to say it to Expos fans, but the two decades of labor peace that have come since their strike have not been diminished nearly enough by the loss of the Montreal market, which can be directly traced back to that in obvious ways.

That being said, if it's just a scenario where the haves keep on being haves and the have-nots have to move, that won't change much. I'm hoping for an across the board drop in attendance, viewership, and sales, from Toronto and Boston to Anaheim and Carolina. Standing up across the board and showing that we have a backbone and will hold grudges if they take away the game we love (at least at the highest caliber of its play) and won't just run back because we love the game more than we hate them. Baseball fans did just that, from the big market teams to the small. And that's what I want.
YES!

THat's what I've been saying. Hockey fans in big or small markets, regardless of whether this season is saved or not, we fans need to send a clear message that this fan-abuse after every CBA expiration must stop. Maybe, just maybe owners and players will think twice.

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11-20-2012, 10:57 PM
  #49
Fugu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clownquestion View Post
I only got into hockey this past year - opening day 2011 was my first NHL game ever. The boy and I loved it and bought season tickets not long after that.

In March, I started playing. I figured it was my "plan B" if there weren't an NHL team to watch come 2012/13. I loved it and I now play 4 times per week. My daughter is playing. My husband is going with me tonight to try it for the first time.

We've also attended an ASU game (they are great this year, 18-0 so far!) and a Sundogs game. We're going to another Sundogs game this weekend.

The lockout has made me realize that I don't care as much as I did about watching NHL games. I have more fun playing than I do watching. And it's better for my health, it's doing great things for my physique and I've made a lot of friends on the ice.

So while I do have season tickets and I would happily go to games if they were happening, I'd also have that little bit of regret on nights when I had to miss my own ice time to go watch someone else play.

If there hadn't been a lock-out, I never would have reached that point. Which means that perhaps the lockout means no more season tickets for me.
One thing that's often mentioned as a risk with lockout strategies is that fans may discover they have something else to do which they ultimately prefer to do. It's especially risky in newer markets like Phoenix where the team has been struggling to build a strong fan base.

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11-20-2012, 11:47 PM
  #50
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I can tell you one business who going to feel it soon is my Sat provider. With Netflix and the rest of the Internet the only reason we still have it was live event like you guess it NHL Hockey. I already downgraded to the bare minimum and now am considering cutting the cord permanently or at least until next September.


Last edited by madhi19: 11-21-2012 at 07:15 AM.
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