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Should the Oilers fold?

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Old
12-02-2003, 05:19 PM
  #1
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Should the Oilers fold?

I am not a financial expert on how the NHL is run, nor do I pretend to be. That is why I posted this here.

A question was asked elsewhere, "Don't most fans think there are too many teams anyway?" "Fewer teams, better hockey". It was also said that since the Oilers need a new CBA to compete, then the NHL should say goodbye to the NHL in Edmonton. The fact is though, is almost every other team in the NHL needs a new CBA to compete.

Help me out here, should the Oilers fold? We've sold out 10 of 12 homes games at Rexall so far, and 57,000 sat in bitterly cold weather for hours to watch the Heritage Classic. If the NHL can't work here, good luck to other NHL cities that are not Toronto and Montreal.

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Old
12-02-2003, 05:22 PM
  #2
Joe T Choker
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The NHL needs the Oilers like the Oilers need the NHL, too much tradition involved to fold this franchise, even though they're struggling, the new CBA has to be more generous to the Canadian franchises, without the Canadian franchises survival what is the use of the NHL, so no the Oilers should not forld.

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Old
12-02-2003, 05:25 PM
  #3
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Well, Canadian teams like Ottawa and Vancouver are so successful right now, and God bless them, I am really happy for their success, and I'm happy their fans are happy, but it was implied that since the Oilers can't be successful like Ottawa and Vancouver, and need a new CBA to survive, then they should fold, which I thought was utter foolishness, because as any Sens or Canucks fan will tell you, it takes patience to build a winner. I am happy that they are reaping the rewards of their patience. Just because Edmonton isn't at the top of the standings doesn't mean we should be moved. Our fans really love the NHL and only think a small change in salaries in necessary for not only the Oilers, but the whole league, to thrive as it once had.


Last edited by Oilers Hockey: 12-02-2003 at 05:30 PM.
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Old
12-02-2003, 05:32 PM
  #4
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Should they fold up shop? NO!

Will they? I hope not. They may not have the big fan base like Vancouver and Toronto, but Edmonton fans are like the fans in Nashville and Columbus - maybe a little smaller in number, but loyal and vocal. You deserve to keep your team...fight for them!

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Old
12-02-2003, 05:38 PM
  #5
elphy101
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I don't think that is a concern right now. The Oilers for the first time in years actually stand to make a profit. However if their is not significant change in the CBA several teams will fold. Not just the Oilers. The Oilers are one of the stronger small-market teams.

The NHL teams lost somewhere between 123 Million(Forbes) and 300 Million(NHL owners). If that does not change, teams will fold, it's as simple as that.

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12-02-2003, 05:42 PM
  #6
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It's an excellent question, but I don't have an answer. Oilers fans have been promised changes after this season, and I think most of us are hanging in hoping the NHL has a level playing field afterwards. Our building is almost full, and the Oilers have done a terrific job getting outside revenue streams. I think the Oilers have maxed out t.v. revenue.

Still, it's hard to punish New York or Vancouver or Toronto or Boston if Edmonton can't compete, whatever the reason. Why should New York's fans support Edmonton's Cup bid by seeing their hard earned cash get sent west?

It's a tough question to answer. I think the best solution is to have divisions ala English football.

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Old
12-02-2003, 05:45 PM
  #7
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Personally, the only thing I'd like to see fold are "fans" who want to tear down NHL franchises like lemonade stands.

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12-02-2003, 05:52 PM
  #8
Vlad The Impaler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
Still, it's hard to punish New York or Vancouver or Toronto or Boston if Edmonton can't compete, whatever the reason. Why should New York's fans support Edmonton's Cup bid by seeing their hard earned cash get sent west?
It seems awkward at first but that's not really how this should be seen. You are thinking of NHL franchises as purely competing businesses. They are not.

The NHL is in many ways a *single* entity, while in other ways teams are indeed competing and individual.

There could be very good reasons for the bulk of franchises to help weaker franchises. It is done all the time in other business models. Don't think for a second that any help the weaker franchises *may* (it's not done yet) receive after the next CBA is charity. It won't be. If it happens, it will be seen as being in the interest of the league if the league has a good plan and vision.

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Old
12-02-2003, 06:38 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trottier
Personally, the only thing I'd like to see fold are "fans" who want to tear down NHL franchises like lemonade stands.
Same here. NO WAY should the Oilers fold. I'm sure Oiler fans don't want them too, so who cares what anybody else thinks (or wants)?

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Old
12-02-2003, 06:42 PM
  #10
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Hell no.

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Old
12-02-2003, 06:57 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kira
Should they fold up shop? NO!

Will they? I hope not. They may not have the big fan base like Vancouver and Toronto, but Edmonton fans are like the fans in Nashville and Columbus - maybe a little smaller in number, but loyal and vocal. You deserve to keep your team...fight for them!
As much as I loathe the Oilers, they have a pretty loyal following for the most part. Nashville and Columbus aren't "traditional" hockey markets, but they seem to be making a go of it. That being said, if the NHL decided to contract the Oilers before a team like Nashville or Columbus I'd be very, very disappointed.

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Old
12-02-2003, 07:11 PM
  #12
Darth Vitale
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No way in hell should the Oilers be shut down. They have one of the greatest franchise histories / traditions in the NHL, they have great fans, and an exciting (if defensively weak) team to watch every game.

Gary Bettman should fold.

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12-02-2003, 07:16 PM
  #13
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No, I don't want to us lose another Canadian team.

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Old
12-02-2003, 07:22 PM
  #14
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The question isn't "should" they fold, the question is "will" they fold. Spokesman Cal Nichols has as much admitted in the press that the Edmonton Investors Group is nothing more than an ad-hoc coalition set up on a temporary basis and their financial stake is not intended to be long term in nature. Add to that the decrepid condition of their aging facility with no modern revenue-producing replacement anywhere close to being on-stream, their future is tenuous at best (favorable new CBA or not).

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Old
12-02-2003, 07:28 PM
  #15
elphy101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bicycle Repairman
The question isn't "should" they fold, the question is "will" they fold. Spokesman Cal Nichols has as much admitted in the press that the Edmonton Investors Group is nothing more than an ad-hoc coalition set up on a temporary basis and their financial stake is not intended to be long term in nature. Add to that the decrepid condition of their aging facility with no modern revenue-producing replacement anywhere close to being on-stream, their future is tenuous at best (favorable new CBA or not).

The league lost at least 123 Million last year. The Oilers lost 2 Million of that. They are not that badly off. Several other NHL teams would fold before the Oilers. Their facility has been renovated twice in the last 10 years. It's not top of the line but it's enough to keep the Oilers in operation.

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Old
12-02-2003, 08:32 PM
  #16
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if the oilers fold because of the financial climate of the nhl does not allow them to compete, then i pray death to the entire league.

the oilers are one of the most exciting teams in the league (not the best) but the product they serve on the ice, keeps the fans tuned in. in a league full of clutching, grabbing, trapping etc. the oil have played the same way they played since their inception in 1979, the only problem is that money became bigger than the game itself, not allowing the oilers to keep their stars that allowed them to win so many games.

in 2004, the financial side of hockey must be fixed so all teams can play on a level playing field, if that does not happen, then i pray death to the nhl. i can't live without my oilers, but if they go, then i hope that the entire league implodes in it's own stupidity and greed.

it looks like bobby hull's revived wha is going to start in 2004, and they are aiming to find solutions that plague the abismal state of hockey in the nhl. let's hope that the cba brings some new life in to the nhl and allows all 30 teams to compete.

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Old
12-02-2003, 08:45 PM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trottier
Personally, the only thing I'd like to see fold are "fans" who want to tear down NHL franchises like lemonade stands.
Agreed....I don't see what the sudden obsession with teams folding is about....no team 'should' fold.....whether or not they have to remains to be seen...hopefully it will not come to that for any franchise.....

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Old
12-02-2003, 08:49 PM
  #18
Other Dave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mowzie
if the oilers fold because of the financial climate of the nhl does not allow them to compete, then i pray death to the entire league.
And *that* is the $64k question. Is it

a) the financial climate of the NHL that does not allow them to compete,

or

b) the Oilers' dismal drafting record through the '90s that does not allow them to compete?

Assuming that the notion that the Oilers don't 'compete' is accepted as a given. Since when does a team that makes the playoffs six of the last seven years (and MADE the playoffs 20 times in the past 24 years) qualify as a team that isn't allowed to compete?

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Old
12-02-2003, 09:28 PM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Other Dave
And *that* is the $64k question. Is it

a) the financial climate of the NHL that does not allow them to compete,

or

b) the Oilers' dismal drafting record through the '90s that does not allow them to compete?

Assuming that the notion that the Oilers don't 'compete' is accepted as a given. Since when does a team that makes the playoffs six of the last seven years (and MADE the playoffs 20 times in the past 24 years) qualify as a team that isn't allowed to compete?

Other Dave
bad drafting aside, even if we did draft shane doan's instead of steve kelly's, we wouldnt be able to keep our stars when they reach the peak of their careers, because financially, the oilers dont have the power that teams in bigger markets do. oilers are in the nhl's smallest market, and have consistently had the lowest ticket prices. they have had scratch and win lotteries the past 2 years. the heitage classic was one of the most successful events in hockey history. so don't tell me that they haven't put forth the effort.

my point is that the oilers represent what 29 other teams should be going after. remember a few years back when gary bettman quoted "now let's go play oilers hockey", he said this because he realized that the organization as a whole is a prime example of what the league needs.

whats killing hockey is signing holik and kasperitis to 7 and 9 million dollar contracts, signing lapointe for 5 million while letting bill guerin go because you dont want to give him what he's worth. giving chris gratton a $10 million dollar signing bonus, this is whats wrong with hockey, you are seeing the death of hockey in its early stages because of the highly irresponsible use of money around the league. now your seeing teams handcuffed with J. Jagr's. C. Joseph's, P. Turgeon's, P. Brisbois', and it is all coming full circle. if teams were more conscious and more responsable to start, then the climate would not be so bad.

The league has dug its own grave, and if they dont turn it around quick then the only channel thats gonna have hockey is spike tv, right after slamball.

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Old
12-02-2003, 09:59 PM
  #20
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Ottawa can compete in this climate, through smart drafting, trading, asset management et al, why can't Edmonton? Explain.

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12-03-2003, 02:36 AM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voodoo Daddy
Ottawa can compete in this climate, through smart drafting, trading, asset management et al, why can't Edmonton? Explain.
Ottawa declared bankruptcy last season. Please explain.

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Old
12-03-2003, 03:51 AM
  #22
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I find it kind of weak to take a parts of a post out of context, put them in an off-topic forum and try to use the responses to back up your argument elsewhere.

You were hoping to put only your side of your argument here, have most people agree with you and then reply to the original post in the Business of Hockey forum (where this topic really belongs) and say look at all the people who think you are wrong!

The real argument went something like this.

Small market teams like Ottawa can compete in the current CBA. If Edmonton can't compete in the current CBA like Ottawa, a market with similiar demographics, and the only way that they can compete is to eliminate dominant teams and make every team mediocre, why should the fans around the league have to put with mediocre hockey so that Edmonton can compete?

Who wants a league where an average team win the Stanley Cup year after year?

If the choice is between having 30 mediocre teams or a league where every team has a chance to be really good, what choice do you make?

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Old
12-03-2003, 04:08 AM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bohologo
Ottawa declared bankruptcy last season. Please explain.
Always happy to help out.

Ottawa declared bankruptcy protection (and was immediately purchased) because the franchise was saddled with egregious debt *to start with*. Except for debt that was incurred *before* this CBA came into effect, Ottawa has generated satisfactory profits.

And they should make a killing this year.

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Old
12-03-2003, 04:33 AM
  #24
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The whole concept of what teams "should" fold is pretty confusing. There's two perspectives it can be looked at. One, is looking at it from the team in question (in this case Edmonton), the other is looking at it from the perspective of the league.

Should the owners of Edmonton fold? If they do, they likely will lose their entire investment. If they are losing money right now, then it is something that does need to be considered. Rather than continuing to invest more money, do they want to cut their losses. As others have said, the Oilers probably didn't lose that much money in recent years, and there's an opportunity for a new financial climate coming due to the expiration of the CBA. The Oilers would be foolish to fold-up shop at this time, when they have an opportunity to improve their financial situation in the near future. If the Oiler's ownership still felt that even with the changes that a new CBA will bring, that their franchise still won't make money for them, then they should close up shop. Any business will stay in operation as long as they feel that over the long run, the money coming in will outweigh the money going out.

The other perspective to look at it is from that of the league. Should the league fold any team? It makes little sense to, as doing so will likely requiring the league to purchase that franchise from the existing ownership. Given the state of the league, if they do want to contract teams, they're better off doing it naturally, and revoking franchise rights of any team that declares bankruptcy again. Essentially, it doesn't make sense for the league to pick and choose who to fold. If a market truly isn't viable, then eventually, barring a very generous owner, it will fold on its own.

As for how all of this relates back to the new CBA, if a team is relying on the new favourable CBA for its survival, it will not be willing to accept a deal that will see it's demise. The question then becomes, how many teams are in this situation. If you're like me, and believe, for the most part, that the league does need help, then the owners will be fairly powerful in their negotiations (although not as powerful as they're posturing), as these survival mindset owners will form a powerful voting block, and that we will see significant changes in the CBA. I also do not think that the CBA holds all the answers, and that some owners may still find themselves in a bad situation after all is said and done, and may have to consider folding operations, but that will need to be figured out after a new CBA is in place.

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12-03-2003, 04:54 AM
  #25
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This question shouldn't even be asked.

The Oilers need the NHL like the NHL needs the Oilers. You think Wayne-O would let them fold?

He'd sell the 'Yotes in a heart beat and buy the Oilers if it seemed like it was going to happen.

Anyway... with a profit sharing in place post-CBA, the Oilers will be able to have a healthy bottom line. Too bad they don't have someone like Brian Burke who is doing a good job of the bottom line (in my opinion).

The Oilers should consider hiring Jeff Gorton from Boston (their Asst. GM) or even Dean Lombardi but my choice would be Gorton. He is instrumental in the Bruins drafting and their free agent signings and ultimately he has learned some good penny pinching moves from Boston and I think he'd help out a team like Edmonton more than hurt it.

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