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Do we really WANT all the current NHL franchises to stay?

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Old
02-14-2004, 08:23 AM
  #1
ObeySteve
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Do we really WANT all the current NHL franchises to stay?

Let's face it: The main point about a new CBA is going to be to do whatever the NHL can to keep all 30 teams where they are: Whether through a salary cap that brings players salaries down, or equal sharing in revenues among the franchises.

But do we necessarily want all the current franchises in their current locations to stay existing? If a franchise is struggling financially, it simply proves that a hockey team can't survive in that area....especially for franchises like Carolina and others in the area, when everyone knows there will never be a stable fanbase there.

Every other major sports organization (except maybe modern-day NFL) has a set-up where that you simply have to make the profits to stay alive, or move. It's as simply as the theory behind Darwinism: The fittest franchises will stay where they are, and the weaker ones are going to have to find a way to evolve on their own, move, or die out. Maybe the NHL wasn't destined for 30+ franchises.

It looks to me that the big NHL franchises are going to be extremely hurt by almost any new CBA proposal, simply because a few of the weak franchises need whatever it takes to keep them alive.

(I wasn't sure if this should simply be in the NHL Talk forum or Business of Hockey, so if a mod thinks that this should be in BoH, just move it for me. Thanks.)

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02-14-2004, 09:33 AM
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littleHossa
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Ya, if you're the fan of that particular franchise you want it to stay. If I lived in Pittsburgh I would rather see the Flyers fold than us. It's really easy to say that there shouldn't be NHL in places like Carolina, Florida, Anaheim etc when you don't live there.

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02-14-2004, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littleHossa
Anaheim etc when you don't live there.
I personally think, if Disney sells the Ducks, it would only be a matter a time before the Ducks are on the move...

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02-14-2004, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ObeySteve
Let's face it: The main point about a new CBA is going to be to do whatever the NHL can to keep all 30 teams where they are: Whether through a salary cap that brings players salaries down, or equal sharing in revenues among the franchises.

But do we necessarily want all the current franchises in their current locations to stay existing? If a franchise is struggling financially, it simply proves that a hockey team can't survive in that area....especially for franchises like Carolina and others in the area, when everyone knows there will never be a stable fanbase there.

Every other major sports organization (except maybe modern-day NFL) has a set-up where that you simply have to make the profits to stay alive, or move. It's as simply as the theory behind Darwinism: The fittest franchises will stay where they are, and the weaker ones are going to have to find a way to evolve on their own, move, or die out. Maybe the NHL wasn't destined for 30+ franchises.

It looks to me that the big NHL franchises are going to be extremely hurt by almost any new CBA proposal, simply because a few of the weak franchises need whatever it takes to keep them alive.

(I wasn't sure if this should simply be in the NHL Talk forum or Business of Hockey, so if a mod thinks that this should be in BoH, just move it for me. Thanks.)
Say good bye to the Oilers then.

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02-14-2004, 09:40 AM
  #5
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littleHossa: The whole point is fan interest is too low and the franchises in those cities are too unstable. If we want to talk about a few teams in particular: Pittsburgh, Carolina, Florida and Nashville are dragging the league down with them.

With less teams, there would be better offense, defense and goaltending on each team, which would end up meaning better match-ups and more scoring. History proves this. In 1992-93, the last season the league had 24 teams, the top 10 scorers all had at least 123 points. Since then, only 3 players (Gretzsky, Lemieux and Jagr) have scored more than 122 points.

Less teams is going to mean better on-ice product, plain and simple.

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02-14-2004, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littleHossa
Ya, if you're the fan of that particular franchise you want it to stay. If I lived in Pittsburgh I would rather see the Flyers fold than us. It's really easy to say that there shouldn't be NHL in places like Carolina, Florida, Anaheim etc when you don't live there.

No, it's not really easy to say that. It doesn't matter if you live in Pittsburgh or Philly. Philly has always had a solid fanbase even when they were doing bad in the early 90's. We never have deserted our team. My view is that if the franchise is suffering then it's the people who choose not to come to the game and support the team that leads to the demise of a franchise. Penguins have Mario and two Stanley Cups, so why have they detoriated so rapidly? Some places in this league are not hockey hotbeds. Well, get them out of there if they aren't. It's that simple. If it was Philly in that position, I would look at it the same way. If no one wants to support them and what not, then you deserve to have it taken away from the town.

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02-14-2004, 09:48 AM
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18 teams would fold, no one would by them, why would you, under the current system you would still lose money.

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02-14-2004, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ObeySteve
littleHossa: The whole point is fan interest is too low and the franchises in those cities are too unstable. If we want to talk about a few teams in particular: Pittsburgh, Carolina, Florida and Nashville are dragging the league down with them.

With less teams, there would be better offense, defense and goaltending on each team, which would end up meaning better match-ups and more scoring. History proves this. In 1992-93, the last season the league had 24 teams, the top 10 scorers all had at least 123 points. Since then, only 3 players (Gretzsky, Lemieux and Jagr) have scored more than 122 points.

Less teams is going to mean better on-ice product, plain and simple.
You don't need high scoring games for there to be a better on-ice product. If there is alot of action, and exciting game and it is a 2-1 game, people will be very happy. I find no more drama in hockey then i do in 0-0 playoff hockey games all night.

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02-14-2004, 09:56 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triggrman
18 teams would fold, no one would by them, why would you, under the current system you would still lose money.
Since when are 18 teams severly under a huge financial threat?

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02-14-2004, 09:59 AM
  #10
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The good old established überfranchises sure had no problem taking money from expansion. Seems to me the fans of those teams should be grateful that the new cities helped provide for their expensive habits for a while.

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02-14-2004, 10:00 AM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ObeySteve
littleHossa: The whole point is fan interest is too low and the franchises in those cities are too unstable. If we want to talk about a few teams in particular: Pittsburgh, Carolina, Florida and Nashville are dragging the league down with them.

With less teams, there would be better offense, defense and goaltending on each team, which would end up meaning better match-ups and more scoring. History proves this. In 1992-93, the last season the league had 24 teams, the top 10 scorers all had at least 123 points. Since then, only 3 players (Gretzsky, Lemieux and Jagr) have scored more than 122 points.

Less teams is going to mean better on-ice product, plain and simple.
Interesting that the 2 of the 3 players you named were from a team that you want to fold. Since when is rebuilding all that bad. Remember when Boston was just awful, they drafted Thorton. They rebuilt to a playoff team. Why can't the pens do the same thing. And also the rangers haven't made the playoffs in 7 years, should they fold. This team is just coming outta backrupcy it isn't the new owners killing the team, its the old owners. Let the pens rebuild and get out of bankrupcy.

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02-14-2004, 10:10 AM
  #12
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Originally Posted by go kim johnsson
I personally think, if Disney sells the Ducks, it would only be a matter a time before the Ducks are on the move...
Possibly, though one reason Disney hasn't yet found a buyer (besides the CBA looming) is that they insist on a buyer who will keep the franchise in Anaheim. Disney has very close ties to the city, so it wouldn't be good for them to sell to someone who will leave the Pond (which is not owned by Disney) without a tenant. The Maloofs have been rumored as a buyer, and some thought they might move the team to Vegas (which I have to admit would be kind of cool), but from what I hear they're looking into buying the Pond as well, which makes it sound like they'd like to keep the Ducks where they are.

If it comes down to it, the franchises that should fold if such a thing happens have to be the ones not only bleeding financially now, but ones who even when they're selling out can't make ends meet. If the financial problems of a particular team stem from a lack of on-ice success rather than an inadequate market, then it's up to that team's management to make things better. Whereas a team that might be slightly better off profit wise but is maxed out in attendance and such, that's a less attractive team to keep around though they might be better in the short term.

Given the above, the fact is if it comes down to dropping some teams, the most sensible thing financially is to dump a bunch of the small market Canadian teams before anyone else is even considered. Of course, the emotional and traditional issues are another matter entirely.

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02-14-2004, 10:26 AM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ObeySteve
Since when are 18 teams severly under a huge financial threat?
According to Levitt's report, 18 teams lost 5 million or more last year. I'm not sure I'd call that huge financial threat, but if nothing about the system changes, I 'd say it probably is. Things are not going to get better for ownership. 12 teams lost 10 million or more. I think that's closer to the number you'd probably lose.

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02-14-2004, 10:45 AM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ObeySteve
littleHossa: The whole point is fan interest is too low and the franchises in those cities are too unstable. If we want to talk about a few teams in particular: Pittsburgh, Carolina, Florida and Nashville are dragging the league down with them.
Are you f-ing kidding me? How is FLA dragging the league down with them. If you go by that, then the lighting and sharks would've been contracted 5 years ago.

FLA is one of the teams that has the least losses and are gathering higher attendance and TV ratings lately.

littlehossa is completely right. It's really easy to say goodbye to a team when you don't live there. Anaheim, sadly, looks like it's the first to move. Carolina shoud've never moved from Hartford. The franchise has really suffered IMO in CAR. No team is dragging the league down with them. PIT just flat out sucks and will stay that way for a while, even with Ovechkin.

Stop talking about contracting other teams especially when you don't live there. Watch. If the panthers start to make a playoff push to catch MTL and/or the NY Islanders, expect to see the attendance at 18000+ ever night. If FLA wins, people come. It's not the same in other markets, but it's like that in SFLA. Stop talking about contracting the canadian teams too. They should recieve help if they deseperatly need it as there should be a couple more CAN teams in the league i.e. Halifax, Regina, Quebec CIty, not Winnipeg (I heard what they said on ESPN about Winnipeg and no players even want to go up there.

Contraction should be the last possible action taken and FLA is potentially the safest under the CBA as only a couple guys are signed beyond this year and the payroll is low. NYR, WAS, TOR, DET, etc... are the teams in trouble if a CBA goes through with a salary cap etc......

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02-14-2004, 11:36 AM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ObeySteve
With less teams, there would be better offense, defense and goaltending on each team, which would end up meaning better match-ups and more scoring. History proves this. In 1992-93, the last season the league had 24 teams, the top 10 scorers all had at least 123 points. Since then, only 3 players (Gretzsky, Lemieux and Jagr) have scored more than 122 points.

Less teams is going to mean better on-ice product, plain and simple.
Not necessarily, it just means that third liners that check the other team's first line will be better, which might mean less production from the first lines.

Back in 1992-93, the reason there was so many goals was that many NHL defensemen were pylons, as well as most teams not using defensive systems (like the trap) and goaltenders being a lot inferior back then (than today).

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02-14-2004, 12:27 PM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swflyers8
No, it's not really easy to say that. It doesn't matter if you live in Pittsburgh or Philly. Philly has always had a solid fanbase even when they were doing bad in the early 90's. We never have deserted our team. My view is that if the franchise is suffering then it's the people who choose not to come to the game and support the team that leads to the demise of a franchise. Penguins have Mario and two Stanley Cups, so why have they detoriated so rapidly? Some places in this league are not hockey hotbeds. Well, get them out of there if they aren't. It's that simple. If it was Philly in that position, I would look at it the same way. If no one wants to support them and what not, then you deserve to have it taken away from the town.
I think you are over-simplifying the issue. It takes time to establish a fan base. Die hard fans are made overnight. It typically takes time to establish the fanbase, which is greatly helped by having a competitive team.

I also think saying that a team had fan support when ticket prices were a fraction of what the were today isn't a fair comparison.

If the Flyers (or Avs, Wings, Stars, etc) were icing an AHL level franchise because that's all they could afford, do you think the fan support would still be there with the current ticket prices?

I'm exempting the Canadian franchises, because they are typically supported as well as the local population can afford to.

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02-14-2004, 01:01 PM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freudian
The good old established überfranchises sure had no problem taking money from expansion. Seems to me the fans of those teams should be grateful that the new cities helped provide for their expensive habits for a while.
Thank you, people seem to always forget that in these conversations. Now that the expansion teams exist, the League has an obligation to help them ALL be successful. If the "big boys" had a problem with that, they shouldn't have taken the expansion fees in the first place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swflyers8
No, it's not really easy to say that.
Disagree. It obviously is VERY easy to say some other town doesn't "deserve" an NHL franchise since we see it all the time on these boards.

Quote:
My view is that if the franchise is suffering then it's the people who choose not to come to the game and support the team that leads to the demise of a franchise.
So, to give an example, you blame the demise of the Blackhawks on the fans? You're putting the cart before the horse IMO.

I've seen a few Penguin broadcasts, and I may be wrong, but their "cheap" ticket deals still seem to be around $30 a ticket. You'd have to be pretty hardcore to pay that kind of money to see your team lose game after game. I really can't blame Pens fans, the team really has a lot of nerve asking for that kind of money. (Again, if I'm wrong about the ticket prices, I apologize, I'm going from memory)

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02-14-2004, 02:20 PM
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One of the biggest issues in the NHL today is that there's too much of it. 41 home games may seem like you're raising that much more money but not in the small-markets.

What makes the 34th game (randomly chosen) so special? Why should fans come out and watch it? Often its the opponent that drives the fans to the hockey game but there's few Leafs / Habs, Oilers / Flames, Rangers / Islanders type rivalries to jam pack an arena in Nashville mid-March.

Cutting down the schedule size would make each home game that much more special since there's less chance to see 'your team'. Not only is there less chance to see the team play but when you do see them there's less superstars scratched after playing 4 games in 7 days the previous week.

Maybe some cities shouldn't have a franchise. Perhaps fans will never come out to see the Hurricanes not win but when you expect fans to overpay for tickets (and parking, food, souvenirs for the kids) to a not-special 34th game, what do you expect?

Cut the schedule down by X number of games, you'll reduce expenses (travel, arena costs etc) and reduce the number of fans that aren't coming out to your games in the first place.

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02-14-2004, 02:24 PM
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Jaykashman, your idea sonds good. Unfortunately, the downside is that to counter lost games, most teams would have to raise ticket prices. I agree, the schedule seems long. I just don't know hot to reduce it right now.

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02-14-2004, 02:34 PM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swflyers8
Penguins have Mario and two Stanley Cups, so why have they detoriated so rapidly? Some places in this league are not hockey hotbeds. Well, get them out of there if they aren't. It's that simple.

What? 11 straight playoff years and 2 Stanley cups are not enough for a franchise to decide to rebuild. After the audit released, it is now known, since Pittsburgh stated where they were at in the audit, that they are basically in the top 1/3rd of the league in annual Net Profit. That's right breaking even over the last 5 years has netted them in the top 1/3rd of the league.

Craig Patrick stated his only mistake in rebuilding was not starting it around 1999-2000 when he said it became apparent that his current core was not going to win anymore championships. I love the way everyone is odwn on Pittsburgh for being proactive in rebuilding while preparing for the new CBA. They have stocked their farm full of young talent and are patiently waiting for the NHL to correct itself (which is painfully ovvious after the audit that was released).

THE ARGUMENT THAT THEY ARE BRINGING DOWN THE NHL IS ONE OF THE MOST LUDICRUS, OFF-THE WALL, UNRESEARCHED, AND BIASED ARGUMENTS OUT THERE!


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02-14-2004, 03:20 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMac1212
Jaykashman, your idea sonds good. Unfortunately, the downside is that to counter lost games, most teams would have to raise ticket prices. I agree, the schedule seems long. I just don't know hot to reduce it right now.
In a way, players make say 1.5 million for an 82 game schedule, so the amount they make would have to go down (logically anyways) with the number of games they're being paid to play.

Teams like Toronto, Montreal, Detroit who pack the house most nights would stay on an even par ratio-wise with what they bring in now. That is less games they play to make money from = less income but also equals less expenses.

Other cities like Tampa Bay, Carolina etc shouldn't need to raise ticket prices since a greater amount of fans SHOULD come out to watch on a nightly basis than they're seeing now.

I'd think it'd all work itself out without teams needing to raise prices.. then again, this is the league where Darius Kasparaitis and Martin Lapointe make obscene money.


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02-14-2004, 08:02 PM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swflyers8
No, it's not really easy to say that. It doesn't matter if you live in Pittsburgh or Philly. Philly has always had a solid fanbase even when they were doing bad in the early 90's. We never have deserted our team. My view is that if the franchise is suffering then it's the people who choose not to come to the game and support the team that leads to the demise of a franchise. Penguins have Mario and two Stanley Cups, so why have they detoriated so rapidly? Some places in this league are not hockey hotbeds. Well, get them out of there if they aren't. It's that simple. If it was Philly in that position, I would look at it the same way. If no one wants to support them and what not, then you deserve to have it taken away from the town.
You think if the Flyers were in the bottom of the standings by a WIDE margin, had cut payroll to 20 million dollars, were playing in the worst arena in the NHL with no new one in site, they would still be selling out games?

To bring up Lemieux simply illustrates my point further. He's obviously the team's only marketable player. He's also played a whopping 9 games on the year.

The Penguins are sure in a hell of a lot of trouble. To put ANY of that blame on the fans is, to put it bluntly, retarded. 11,000 people are paying insane NHL prices to see an AHL product. That, to me, is loyalty.

Anybody who knows Pittsburgh's situation will tell you that if the Penguins field a team that is even REMOTELY competitive than fan attendance is never a problem. That's a fact.

Hockey HAS worked in Pittsburgh and will continue to work with a new arena and a decent league salary structure.


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02-15-2004, 11:18 AM
  #23
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The sad thing is people dont look at the whole picture. Even though the Pens spend little money on salaries. Even though the Pens have little talent. Even though have a terrible record. They are in much better financial shape then many other teams.

Because the Pens have a low payroll they are not in immediate danger of folding. Other teams are losing far more money but because they have a better record and spend more money people think they are on better footing.

Just looking at payrolls, attendance, and tv revenue, I cant imagine teams are making money. I dont know that the NHL is being totally honest with their numbers but when the players offer to take a paycut I cant believe they think there is not a problem.

There is no need to contract teams. If the NHL adopts a CBA close to what the owners want then all the teams should be able to stay. If the NHL continues with the current CBA plenty of teams will fold on their own.

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02-15-2004, 11:28 AM
  #24
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Not only do 11-12,000 people show up at pretty high prices, but the TV ratings are good in Pittsburgh as well.

Besides, getting rid of a few teams that are in trouble when the entire league is basically in trouble doesn't help anything.

This quote sums it up best:

Quote:
Originally Posted by iagreewithidiots
There is no need to contract teams. If the NHL adopts a CBA close to what the owners want then all the teams should be able to stay. If the NHL continues with the current CBA plenty of teams will fold on their own.

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02-15-2004, 10:51 PM
  #25
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Originally Posted by beechboy16
Remember when Boston was just awful, they drafted Thorton. They rebuilt to a playoff team. Why can't the pens do the same thing.
Boston nothing, it is exactly what Pittsburgh did in the 1980's. They were terrible and got the #1 pick in 1984, Mario Lemieux. They got the top goalie prospect last year, and they are well on their way to getting the #1 overall pick again this year. They should be a force in about five years. Whether they stay in Pittsburgh without a state/city founded arena is another question. It may be a

Contraction would not be well liked by the NHLPA. It would mean 23 jobs per team executed. I don't see it happening.

It would also knock the symmetry of the league out of balance. As it stands, the NHL has two conferences of 15 teams, each of which have 3 divisions of 5 teams.

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