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NHL pain, WHA's Gain?

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09-24-2003, 08:26 AM
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Buffaloed
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NHL pain, WHA's Gain?

Bobby Hull, commissioner of the embryonic WHA seems to think so. He predicts the NHL will shut down for at least a year.


From tsn
Organizers of the new WHA hope to take advantage of NHL labour troubles by beginning play in the 2004-05 season. Hull said the league is even considering NHL cities like Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas and Edmonton because of the potential of cancelled NHL seasons. "We're not afraid to go there because there are not going to be any NHL teams in those places for a couple years,'' said Hull.

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09-24-2003, 09:50 AM
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discostu
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There's a few reason's I can see Bobby Hull making his comments. One is that he's trying to generate interest in the league. Comments like this are pretty bold, and fans in those cities may start to get excited about the prospect of still watching high-calibre hockey during a lockout. Even if they don't expand into those markets, he's increasing the exposure of the league. Plus, there is still the potential that they may be in those markets one year from now.

Second, is that he's giving the players more leverage. The best situation for him is that the NHL and NHLPA stay far apart in their discussions. He benefits from an extended lockout, or even a disbanding of the NHL if it ever gets that far (which I highly, highly, doubt). Also, if the presence of the league allows for a less owner friendly CBA because of the leverage that he provides, then there is increased potential that teams will contract, opening up new markets for the WHA.

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09-24-2003, 12:01 PM
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Hull is absolutely right. When the work stoppage happens (and it will) hockey fans will turn to the WHA. If the fans decide to stick with the WHA when the NHL comes back to life,well, that's a whole other story.

Who knows.It would be interesting to see if NHL stars can sign on with WHA teams...

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09-24-2003, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discostu
Second, is that he's giving the players more leverage. The best situation for him is that the NHL and NHLPA stay far apart in their discussions. He benefits from an extended lockout, or even a disbanding of the NHL if it ever gets that far (which I highly, highly, doubt). Also, if the presence of the league allows for a less owner friendly CBA because of the leverage that he provides, then there is increased potential that teams will contract, opening up new markets for the WHA.
It's a double-edged sword for the NHLPA. The WHA will have a $10 million salary cap, with one exemption for a marquee player. If the WHA is too successful it lends support to the NHL's position that some form of a cap is necessary.

In 1979 the original WHA dissolved and it's strongest teams joined the NHL. In the absence of a CBA, what's to stop the NHL from dissolving and joining the WHA where there's a salary cap in place? What's to stop this newly formed league from renaming itself the NHL?

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09-24-2003, 07:47 PM
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I don't think the WHA will be too succesful and I don't think many NHL guys will jump over there for even a year.

I'd be willing to bet that most NHLers could make more money in Europe for the year, than in the WHA.

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09-25-2003, 10:04 AM
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i am sure that the UFA can sign a contact and play with the WHA. Did not the Gretzky and Co did some type of promotion games in Europe last time during the lockout.

WHA will never fly though, because the owners in the NHL are the only people that afford the money that the players want. i mean NHL already have all the money generated tools like the office building, staff, arena and all the legal contact stuff. And any new league has to establish all of those things, and that is nearly impossible because it takes years before the NHL comes up with all of those thing. You can look at it as a Mortgage scenario.

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09-25-2003, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MVP
WHA will never fly though, because the owners in the NHL are the only people that afford the money that the players want. i mean NHL already have all the money generated tools like the office building, staff, arena and all the legal contact stuff. And any new league has to establish all of those things, and that is nearly impossible because it takes years before the NHL comes up with all of those thing. You can look at it as a Mortgage scenario.
So what if instead of starting new franchises in existing cities the WHA attempts to lure existing franchises into the new league. Existing teams with established infrastructures would make the WHA much more viable. I'm not sure what the legal ramifications of this would be. (Probably only the NHL and existing owners understand them fully.) But an owner who is racking up losses year after year might be tempted. This applies especially to those teams that were formed as "venue fillers" for the arenas on nights when there are no basketball games or concerts.

If half a dozen teams moved from the NHL to the WHA it would help almost everyone:
The WHA would have established organizations with proper backing. The existing teams would add credibility to the league.

The teams that move would cut their losses (and maybe even generate profits) while stilling filling the arenas fourty-odd nights a year.

The teams left in the NHL would see revenues increase due to fewer cuts in the TV revenue pie. Teams would be more likely to make the playoffs, also helping that. Plus, with 24 teams, the NHL could expand again and we know how those owners love their expansion fees.

Fans would not have to worry about their local team going bankrupt or moving. This would be at the expense of quality of play, though. But the tickets would be once again affordable.

The PHPA would likely be the organization dealing with the WHA. They would see their membership numbers rise along with average salary. They won't worry about a salary cap (at least for a while).

THe NHLPA...well, they would be the ones left out in the cold. Their average salary would probably go up, but total revenue would definitely go down.

The elite players would be paid as much as they are now, if not more. The ones who can't make the NHL grade would have to take a salary hit, though. But hey, those guys are overpaid as it is.


Methinks Mr. Hull should start talking to some current NHL owners. It might be in (almost) everyone's best interest.

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09-25-2003, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weary
So what if instead of starting new franchises in existing cities the WHA attempts to lure existing franchises into the new league. Existing teams with established infrastructures would make the WHA much more viable. I'm not sure what the legal ramifications of this would be. (Probably only the NHL and existing owners understand them fully.) But an owner who is racking up losses year after year might be tempted. This applies especially to those teams that were formed as "venue fillers" for the arenas on nights when there are no basketball games or concerts.

If half a dozen teams moved from the NHL to the WHA it would help almost everyone:
The WHA would have established organizations with proper backing. The existing teams would add credibility to the league.

The teams that move would cut their losses (and maybe even generate profits) while stilling filling the arenas fourty-odd nights a year.

The teams left in the NHL would see revenues increase due to fewer cuts in the TV revenue pie. Teams would be more likely to make the playoffs, also helping that. Plus, with 24 teams, the NHL could expand again and we know how those owners love their expansion fees.

Fans would not have to worry about their local team going bankrupt or moving. This would be at the expense of quality of play, though. But the tickets would be once again affordable.

The PHPA would likely be the organization dealing with the WHA. They would see their membership numbers rise along with average salary. They won't worry about a salary cap (at least for a while).

THe NHLPA...well, they would be the ones left out in the cold. Their average salary would probably go up, but total revenue would definitely go down.

The elite players would be paid as much as they are now, if not more. The ones who can't make the NHL grade would have to take a salary hit, though. But hey, those guys are overpaid as it is.


Methinks Mr. Hull should start talking to some current NHL owners. It might be in (almost) everyone's best interest.
I think you're on to something, I'd love to see the NHL cut down to even as few as 16 teams, that would mean that the NHL gets better but it would also free up alot of talent for a league like WHA and the european leagues. Spread the wealth!

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