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1997 expansion approval

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Old
12-20-2012, 10:57 AM
  #26
leeaf83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
If you're looking for blame to go around on expansion, I suggest looking no further than the group of shortsighted clowns who insisted that the NHL remain at six teams (and no further west or south of Chicago) while everyone else was rapidly expanding or relocating across the United States. And then while backfilling in the middle, the NHL still sat on its hands. And yet we're supposed to laud them and call them "builders".

I'm sick and ******* tired of basically being told to apologize for existing.
So your rational is that the owners 30 years prior took too long on expanding and that makes an illogical expansion okay? It's a valid enough point that telling other fans they do not deserve a team is not constructive. And nobody's telling you that you need to apologize. I'll use the analogy of a near bankrupt family purposely having another child; not the baby's fault for being born, but rather the parents for doing it.


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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Really?





Really?
So if my point is so ludicrous, please find me one move made by any other league which was as damaging to the sport as the 97 expansion was on hockey?

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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
I would argue that the existing teams had some responsibility beyond pocketing the expansion fee to add teams that were set up for success, and not failure. And maybe the owners that bought into the expansion teams didn't do a very good job with due diligence or with understanding the pressure points of running NHL teams.

For starters, adding teams that quickly put a massive strain on talent supply levels. If you consider that an average player takes five years to develop, from the point he's drafted to being NHL-ready, what does it say to add that many teams in about a decade? Where were they going to get players? They have to build up development programs, farm teams, a draft record.... and do this while they're already operating as an NHL team.

If you then factor that it seems fans in newer US markets are mainly attracted by a record of winning (at least initially), how the heck were these teams going to compete at THAT level? They'd need a good 10-15 yrs just to become a regular old NHL team.
And of course at the time there was no salary cap, they were already seeing teams having trouble competing in the free agent market, 5 of the 6 canadian teams as well as long island were in financial trouble. So without money how did they plan on attracting free agents?

New Jersey was rumoured to be off to Nashville at the time of their cup in 1995 and Pittsburgh nearly did drop bankrupt 2 years later. There were plenty of holes in the existing league to even consider expansion. The early 90's expansion was logical, no franchise had relocated in 15 years, the league had 10 years of continuity (the 21 franchises in 1990 were the same 21 in 1980) and the league was healthy.

It's been brought up that the main reason Columbus is unsuccessful is the on ice product and that is valid as they did have a string of sellouts early on. But that being the case, you should acknowledge that perhaps the only reason Nashville isn't in the same boat is having good on ice success since the lockout. Also more teams in the league gives a higher probability of consecutive non-playoff seasons.

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12-20-2012, 11:08 AM
  #27
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Originally Posted by KingsFan7824 View Post
I do agree that there are owners that took the easy expansion money, and then just left teams to live or die.
If NHL owners were concerned with the "health" of their sport, they wouldn't pocket expansion fees. They would collect them (as proof the owners have the financial ability to own a team) but then put them in a trust and use the funds to help struggling franchises.


Quote:
Look no further than the alignment. Look at the SE division, as one example. Washington has been around since the mid 70's, but they get pushed out of what was considered one of the better divisions in hockey, the Patrick division. They get put with a relocated Whaler team, and what was at the time 3 recent expansion teams. That's taking the expansion money 3 times over, getting rid of the Hartford Whalers, a WHA team that was never really wanted by some NHL teams from day 1, hiding them all in one basement, and throwing Washington to the curb so that, in part, Toronto could move east.
As a Wings fan, when Chicago and St. Louis were struggling, we had 36 games a year against Nashville, Columbus, Wirtz's Hawks and the Blues... Almost half your regular season against terrible hockey teams. It was great for your regular season record... but who wants to watch it?


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Those big teams in the northeast corridor, to me, are most at fault. They got the money, got away from the teams in the south that gave them the money(until the playoffs, but I guess you can't have everything), have their great compact travel divisions, and screwed pretty much every team in the Western Conference with a poor alignment. Two divisions that span 3 time zones. A conference that spans 4 time zones.
Quote:
One thing though, just in general. Fans telling other fans that they shouldn't have a team, be it by relocation, or contraction, or no expansion, isn't very constructive. Since fans have no say in those things, you work with what is. There are 30 teams, where they currently exist, now make it work.
The league isn't even trying to make it work.

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12-20-2012, 11:10 AM
  #28
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I don't want every or nearly every team in the league in the playoffs. It gives me qualms to see more than half of the league make the first round every year as it is, because I grew up with baseball where the playoffs are reserved for the chosen few, nor everyone and their grandma.

Nashville has had their share of mediocricy. The fans have proven they'll come as long as the team isn't openly indifferent to them. I'd say Nashville is one of the success stories of the 1997 expansion at this point.

They needed to do a better job of making sure ownership in Atlanta was stable. That's their only real mistake in that expansion.

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12-20-2012, 11:19 AM
  #29
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Just a question to consider.

Let's start in 1993.
What kind of shape would the NHL be in today IF;

We expand to Colorado instead of Florida
Minnesota doesn't move to Dallas
Quebec doesn't move to Colorado.
Winnipeg doesn't move to Phoenix
Hartford doesn't move to Carolina
We expand to Dallas instead of Nashville
We expand to Hamilton instead of Atlanta
We expand to Milwaukee instead of Columbus
We expand to Seattle instead of Minnesota

The rapid southern expansion was a failure. That's not even debatable at this point.

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12-20-2012, 11:21 AM
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Bob View Post
Just a question to consider.

Let's start in 1993.
What kind of shape would the NHL be in today IF;

We expand to Colorado instead of Florida
Minnesota doesn't move to Dallas
Quebec doesn't move to Colorado.
Winnipeg doesn't move to Phoenix
Hartford doesn't move to Carolina
We expand to Dallas instead of Nashville
We expand to Hamilton instead of Atlanta
We expand to Milwaukee instead of Columbus
We expand to Seattle instead of Minnesota
My guess is better, but not by as much as some would like to believe. Although, better is better in the long run.

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12-20-2012, 11:24 AM
  #31
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Originally Posted by Dojji View Post
I don't want every or nearly every team in the league in the playoffs. It gives me qualms to see more than half of the league make the first round every year as it is, because I grew up with baseball where the playoffs are reserved for the chosen few, nor everyone and their grandma.

Nashville has had their share of mediocricy. The fans have proven they'll come as long as the team isn't openly indifferent to them. I'd say Nashville is one of the success stories of the 1997 expansion at this point.

They needed to do a better job of making sure ownership in Atlanta was stable. That's their only real mistake in that expansion.
Nashville is subsidized by their city council aren't they?
So the only way Nashville is a success is if we have lockouts every 6 years to reduce hold back salary growth and if taxpayers fund their operation.

Nashville has done a nice job building in a sustainable way. But I don't think I'd call Nashville a success.

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12-20-2012, 11:31 AM
  #32
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Originally Posted by Captain Bob View Post
Nashville is subsidized by their city council aren't they?
So's about 2/3 of the league in some way or another, including three of the four western canadian teams.

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12-20-2012, 11:34 AM
  #33
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Originally Posted by Dojji View Post
So's about 2/3 of the league in some way or another, including three of the four western canadian teams.
That's no way to run a league. It's an abomination and you know that.

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12-20-2012, 11:36 AM
  #34
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Originally Posted by Dojji View Post
So's about 2/3 of the league in some way or another, including three of the four western canadian teams.
But the western canadian teams are profitable, right?

Thanks to template legislation organizations like ALEC, cities across the US are finding themselves in the same predicament.

City funded cash-cows are getting cut everywhere you look.

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12-20-2012, 11:42 AM
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Bob View Post
Just a question to consider.

Let's start in 1993.
What kind of shape would the NHL be in today IF;

We expand to Colorado instead of Florida
Minnesota doesn't move to Dallas
Quebec doesn't move to Colorado.
Winnipeg doesn't move to Phoenix
Hartford doesn't move to Carolina
We expand to Dallas instead of Nashville
We expand to Hamilton instead of Atlanta
We expand to Milwaukee instead of Columbus
We expand to Seattle instead of Minnesota

The rapid southern expansion was a failure. That's not even debatable at this point.
It's definitely debatable. Until the new CBA is signed where those franchises will have the opportunity to make money, no one can say for sure.

This hindsight attitude as if everyone but the NHL knew better gets old.

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Old
12-20-2012, 11:53 AM
  #36
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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
It's definitely debatable. Until the new CBA is signed where those franchises will have the opportunity to make money, no one can say for sure.

This hindsight attitude as if everyone but the NHL knew better gets old.
Well the problem is, people said the southern expansion was stupid back in 1994.

So calling it hindsight is BS.

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12-20-2012, 11:57 AM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
It's definitely debatable. Until the new CBA is signed where those franchises will have the opportunity to make money, no one can say for sure.

This hindsight attitude as if everyone but the NHL knew better gets old.
So ignore the franchise locations and just look at the numbers;

league grows from 21 teams to 26 teams within the previous 5 years.
Lockout 2 years prior nearly nixes a season, league accepts a bad CBA for them to avoid it
4 franchises relocate in the past 5 years. 8 are currently in financial trouble

do you honestly believe there wasn't enough evidence at the time that extending the bad CBA for 4 years and bringing in 4 more teams would be a bad move for the NHL?

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12-20-2012, 12:00 PM
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leeaf83 View Post
So ignore the franchise locations and just look at the numbers;

league grows from 21 teams to 26 teams within the previous 5 years.
Lockout 2 years prior nearly nixes a season, league accepts a bad CBA for them to avoid it
4 franchises relocate in the past 5 years. 8 are currently in financial trouble

do you honestly believe there wasn't enough evidence at the time that extending the bad CBA for 4 years and bringing in 4 more teams would be a bad move for the NHL?
Looks to me like the players have been the biggest cause of the problems in the NHL for a long time. I really don't see how those markets are the fault of the NHL when they weren't even given a chance to prosper.

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12-20-2012, 12:19 PM
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Bob View Post
Just a question to consider.

Let's start in 1993.
What kind of shape would the NHL be in today IF;

We expand to Colorado instead of Florida
Minnesota doesn't move to Dallas
Quebec doesn't move to Colorado.
Winnipeg doesn't move to Phoenix
Hartford doesn't move to Carolina
We expand to Dallas instead of Nashville
We expand to Hamilton instead of Atlanta
We expand to Milwaukee instead of Columbus
We expand to Seattle instead of Minnesota

The rapid southern expansion was a failure. That's not even debatable at this point.
You think that expansion can just be pulled out of the air; you need potential owners who are willing and able to put forth appropriate plans and dollars to support a team in those cities. And those cities need to provide appropriate arenas. And to not move teams that you don't think should be be moved, you need owners who are willing to keep those teams there.

Seattle, in addition to not having potential owners also didn't have an arena at that time, and is still in the process to actually get one. The SuperSonics pulled out of the Key, could you have imagined an NHL team playing there.

In Milwaukee, it's still debatable if the metro area is large enough to support another professional league franchise.

In Hartford and Winnipeg, those owners moved or sold those teams because they found better digs a or there was simply no one else who wanted to put up the money to keep the teams there. The same likely goes for Quebec City, though honestly I don't know or remember exactly what happened there.

And yes, if you want to make the Phoenix comparison, on that I'll totally agree with you... that team should've been moved long ago. But then, the NHL has had Balsillie as an option to sell to; MLSE (the big NHL money-maker who everyone here holds other teams up to comparison) almost certainly opposed a relocation to Hamilton; and on top of that the City of Glendale didn't want the team moved.

So most of your supposed "the League could've done better" is nothing more than pie in the sky. And no matter where it is that expansion actually took place, League revenues have grown tremendously, and virtually every franchise is worth much much more today than it was in 1993.


Adding in this: Now, were all expansions truly successful,... Probably a solid claim can be made that, No, they weren't. But in the effort to grow the League, the serious misses haven't outdone the successes. And when I say "success", I mean in the sense that the NHL footprint has in fact grown, and there has been growth in the League wealth almost everywhere. It's just that player salaries have outstripped the revenue growth in many cities.


Last edited by MoreOrr: 12-20-2012 at 12:38 PM.
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Old
12-20-2012, 12:51 PM
  #40
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
We're a bit past the Six Team debate by 1997 though, aren't we.

I think you're approaching this the wrong way, the feeling of needing to apologize for existing. Isn't the question more so about how the 1990's expansion was seemingly set on autopilot? Another way to look at it would be to ask what responsibility lay with the owners/league at that time to enable a successful expansion.

Yes, it does seem that some fans turn on each other for the mismanaged implementation by the league, but aren't there some legitimate economic questions brought up by the OP?

Did the league botch the implementation of that round of expansions?
I don't see how the 1997 expansion was set on autopilot. Atlanta, Nashville, and Columbus all proved that they could support hockey, which was allegedly a newfangled novelty in all these markets.

What the NHL could not have foreseen was:
- Craig Leipold going out of his way to alienate the local corporate base
- Time Warner feeling some idiotic urge to merge with AOL, which forced the sale of the Thrashers to ASG
- Columbus hiring Doug MacLean, then keeping him around for 7 years of on-ice mediocrity. I maintain that when Scott Howson took over as GM in 2007, the amount of actual young NHL talent in the system was on the same level as Minnesota after the 2000 draft

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12-20-2012, 12:53 PM
  #41
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
I would argue that the existing teams had some responsibility beyond pocketing the expansion fee to add teams that were set up for success, and not failure. And maybe the owners that bought into the expansion teams didn't do a very good job with due diligence or with understanding the pressure points of running NHL teams.

For starters, adding teams that quickly put a massive strain on talent supply levels. If you consider that an average player takes five years to develop, from the point he's drafted to being NHL-ready, what does it say to add that many teams in about a decade? Where were they going to get players? They have to build up development programs, farm teams, a draft record.... and do this while they're already operating as an NHL team.

If you then factor that it seems fans in newer US markets are mainly attracted by a record of winning (at least initially), how the heck were these teams going to compete at THAT level? They'd need a good 10-15 yrs just to become a regular old NHL team.
If this were true, then Nashville and Minnesota had absolutely no business making the playoffs before 2007. But that's not what happened. Look at Ottawa, which was absolutely horrid for its first five years and then suddenly erupted into contenders seemingly overnight. And so on.

When expansion in 1997 was done, the United States had just taken the World Cup, and Detroit was about to win a Stanley Cup with a roster absolutely loaded with Europeans. The idea of a "shrinking talent pool" meant absolutely nothing when new pools were being opened and supplying NHL talent every day.

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12-20-2012, 12:58 PM
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Bob View Post
Just a question to consider.

Let's start in 1993.
What kind of shape would the NHL be in today IF;

We expand to Colorado instead of Florida
Minnesota doesn't move to Dallas
Quebec doesn't move to Colorado.
Winnipeg doesn't move to Phoenix
Hartford doesn't move to Carolina
We expand to Dallas instead of Nashville
We expand to Hamilton instead of Atlanta
We expand to Milwaukee instead of Columbus
We expand to Seattle instead of Minnesota

The rapid southern expansion was a failure. That's not even debatable at this point.
- Minnesota doesn't move to Dallas. The NHL remains in a rapidly dying market that had zero interest in supporting the North Stars, revisionist history aside.
- Quebec doesn't move to Colorado. Patrick Roy never gets traded to that team, so they continue to be an emerging team that never gets over the hump. The coming downfall of the Canadian dollar forces the sale of Sakic, Forsberg, and Nolan, and in their place a young Milan Hejduk and Chris Drury are forced into the lineup too soon and never develop into anything. As the dollar plummets and the team flounders, fans begin to stay away in large numbers.
- Winnipeg doesn't move to Phoenix. The NHL remains in a rapidly dying market that had zero interest in supporting the Jets, revisionist history aside.
- Hartford doesn't move to Carolina. The NHL remains in a rapidly dying market that had zero interest in supporting the Whalers, revisionist history aside.
- Expand to Dallas, Hamilton, Milwaukee, and Seattle. Dallas is quickly swamped and fails to gain a foothold in the market. Hamilton plays in an arena without the standard revenue streams, and despite a grassroots following, they hemorrhage money every year and are never able to improve. Milwaukee discovers that, with Patrick Roy having been traded to Chicago (since he wasn't going to Quebec), capturing any of the Chicago spillover market is impossible. Seattle doesn't care, as the Mariners are contending every year for the World Series, the Sonics are an excellent NBA team, and the Seahawks start showing signs of life.

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12-20-2012, 01:00 PM
  #43
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The OP brings up a lot of good point and I'd take it even further: NHL expansion and relocation during the 1990's and the year 2000 was a haphazard mess.

The leadership of the league had moneybags in their eyes. Between the expansion fees and the opportunity to get a American national TV deal, the NHL expanded too quickly for its own good. Quality of play dropped, as 9 new teams were added in a decade. Ownership due diligence was overlooked and the pool of capable candidates dwindled. Of the 9 expansion teams in this period and 4 relocated ones, the vast majority (8-10, depending on the definition) were located in so-called "non-traditional" markets which has proven to require heavy influx of capital to gain market share (capital that has, in time, exceeded the expansion fees generated). Revenue sharing was and continues to be limited, forcing newer teams to build out of their own cash-strapped pockets.

Ten years after the end of this venture, the NHL has yet to reassess. The league has yet to look at which markets succeeded, despite the odds, and which failed. By extension, of those that failed, which are capable of being turned around with solid ownership? What can the league do going forward to help teams continue to gain market share?

The NHL has had a comedy of errors in their attempt to get a "national footprint" across the United States in search of a large TV contract that never came. Until it fixes the problems associated with that, these lockouts will continue to be common place (they may anyways, if one looks at the ultra-rich NFL as an example).

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12-20-2012, 01:13 PM
  #44
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Originally Posted by leeaf83 View Post
So your rational is that the owners 30 years prior took too long on expanding and that makes an illogical expansion okay? It's a valid enough point that telling other fans they do not deserve a team is not constructive. And nobody's telling you that you need to apologize. I'll use the analogy of a near bankrupt family purposely having another child; not the baby's fault for being born, but rather the parents for doing it.
No, it's a case of the family being able to support the new kid just fine, but then looking the other way when the other siblings start abusing him. Maybe they have the neighbors (hockey media, in this case) join in, just for fun. And if anything ever goes wrong in the family, no matter what it is, it must be the fault of the new kid.

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So if my point is so ludicrous, please find me one move made by any other league which was as damaging to the sport as the 97 expansion was on hockey?
Not addressed to me, but I believe I already did so.

The NHL's stubborn refusal to move beyond a six-team league while everyone else was going from coast-to-coast and then filling in the gaps forever relegated the NHL to third-class status. The NHL had the chance to be first into Cleveland; they didn't want to do it. The NHL had the chance to be second into St. Louis; they didn't do it. They had the chance to be first into Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, Houston, Dallas, Miami, Atlanta, Nashville, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Minneapolis...nope, let everyone else go there.

The ONLY American cities in the NHL that have an extremely large fan base are not the ones who have had a hundred years of success, but those where they entered the market early and stayed. New York had the Rangers and Americans before the Giants established themselves in the NFL or the NBA even existed. Detroit had the Red Wings before the NFL arrived, Chicago had the Blackhawks a few years after the Bears came in (but before they were on solid footing), and Boston had the Bruins way before pro football or basketball arrived. Everywhere else? Third or fourth into the market.

THAT is why the NHL is in the position that it's in. A group of shortsighted buffoons who could read piles of Superman comic books and never figure out Clark Kent's secret identity were the ones who did this. Blaming Atlanta, Nashville, and Columbus (because be honest, Minnesota is above reproach) for the state of the league today is absurd and about as dishonest as you can get.

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12-20-2012, 01:15 PM
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Looks to me like the players have been the biggest cause of the problems in the NHL for a long time. I really don't see how those markets are the fault of the NHL when they weren't even given a chance to prosper.
so it's the players fault the NHL signed off on the disastrous 1997 expansion and extended the CBA?

Glad we could clear that up.

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12-20-2012, 02:24 PM
  #46
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Originally Posted by leeaf83 View Post
So if my point is so ludicrous, please find me one move made by any other league which was as damaging to the sport as the 97 expansion was on hockey?
With about 2 seconds' thought, MLB's steroid policy before 2005.

A couple more seconds' thought... baseball's color barrier until Jackie Robinson.

And of course, coming back to hockey: the NHL pulling out of Atlanta, Colorado, Kansas City, Oakland and Cleveland in a span of 6 years. If the NHL had committed to those regions while they had the chance, rather than permitting a helter-skelter retreat back to traditional markets, four of the 1990s expansion markets would be approaching 40 years of tenure by now.

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12-20-2012, 02:48 PM
  #47
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Originally Posted by KingsFan7824 View Post
I do agree that there are owners that took the easy expansion money, and then just left teams to live or die. Look no further than the alignment. Look at the SE division, as one example. Washington has been around since the mid 70's, but they get pushed out of what was considered one of the better divisions in hockey, the Patrick division. They get put with a relocated Whaler team, and what was at the time 3 recent expansion teams. That's taking the expansion money 3 times over, getting rid of the Hartford Whalers, a WHA team that was never really wanted by some NHL teams from day 1, hiding them all in one basement, and throwing Washington to the curb so that, in part, Toronto could move east.

Those big teams in the northeast corridor, to me, are most at fault. They got the money, got away from the teams in the south that gave them the money(until the playoffs, but I guess you can't have everything), have their great compact travel divisions, and screwed pretty much every team in the Western Conference with a poor alignment. Two divisions that span 3 time zones. A conference that spans 4 time zones.
Excellent point, in my opinion. This hasn't stopped either. The most recent attempt at realignment, brought on by a relocation no less, managed to produce a division that had SE teams flying over the Atlantic Division to nestle up to NE Division teams? Are you ****ing kidding me?

If we can't make travel easy on everyone, let's make sure that the newest teams along with the most far-flung are the only ones who deal with it.

Quote:
One thing though, just in general. Fans telling other fans that they shouldn't have a team, be it by relocation, or contraction, or no expansion, isn't very constructive. Since fans have no say in those things, you work with what is. There are 30 teams, where they currently exist, now make it work.
I concur. I think it's great when people discover that hockey is an incredible sport, and the best on the planet (as many of us believe). Isn't it a good thing for everyone when there are more believers?


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Originally Posted by Dojji View Post
You're speaking out of a presumption that that expansion has failed. I think that that's a bit of a tough statement to defend. It's not like franchises have never had a tough road or needed to relocate before.
It's no presumption, Dojji. Tampa's ownership history was beyond a bad joke. Look at the founding owner history. You cannot make that stuff up. Several failed/bankrupt owners who tried to use NHL teams as real estate development vehicles (Ottawa, Phoenix, Florida namely). A team currently owned by the NHL-- post-lockout of 2004, and the holy capped CBA. Another team moved from a massive US market to a small Canadian city. Isles and NJD in fine messes of mostly their own doing, although the Isles were punished by the Wirtz rule of the last CBA. Boot Del Biaggio ownership mess in Nashville, which put a very good man on the brink thanks to the acts of two NHL governors who enabled that franchise sale ( Freeman in Nashville, and Leipold and Lieweke on the BOG side).


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Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
When expansion in 1997 was done, the United States had just taken the World Cup, and Detroit was about to win a Stanley Cup with a roster absolutely loaded with Europeans. The idea of a "shrinking talent pool" meant absolutely nothing when new pools were being opened and supplying NHL talent every day.
What drove the RFA offer sheets and massive contract boom, starting right around 96-97 years?

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12-20-2012, 03:12 PM
  #48
Cynicaps
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
And of course, coming back to hockey: the NHL pulling out of Atlanta, Colorado, Kansas City, Oakland and Cleveland in a span of 6 years. If the NHL had committed to those regions while they had the chance, rather than permitting a helter-skelter retreat back to traditional markets, four of the 1990s expansion markets would be approaching 40 years of tenure by now.
And replacing those markets with four small Canadian markets and two US markets which already were served by multiple teams. As much as some people think John Ziegler did the right thing by retrenching the game to where they knew it could work, all six of those markets were not lost causes and could've survived under modern circumstances.

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12-20-2012, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
What drove the RFA offer sheets and massive contract boom, starting right around 96-97 years?
I think more than the talent, it was a group of owners not caring if they ran good businesses. You had Walmart heirs owning two franchises and two owners trying to hurt each other through contracts. Even the "rich" franchises were just that way because of market size, not because they were ran well.

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12-20-2012, 03:44 PM
  #50
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
What drove the RFA offer sheets and massive contract boom, starting right around 96-97 years?
Stupidity.

What we saw was owners in larger markets basically waging economic warfare against smaller markets. And then on the other side, we saw stupidity in the front office as well. Philadelphia signed Chris Gratton to that obscene offer sheet (costing them four first-rounders), and Tampa threw them right back for Mikael Renberg and Karl Dykhuis.

Even Karmanos signing Fedorov to the offer sheet was something like this, although there was also the personal feud element with Ilitch.

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