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Should the NHL go back to having just 20 teams?

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07-13-2008, 08:34 PM
  #1
Beacon
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I really don't see how the NHL can continue with a 30 team format. It needs to find a way to go down to 20 teams.

The 30 team league is already incredibly uneven. Some teams can't make any money and others can charge any amount for tickets and will always come close to selling out. The Rangers, the Laughs, Philthy, etc would love to spend more than the cap, while others have trouble hitting the floor.

With the new KHL, which is backed by the money of the government-sponsored Gazprom oil and gas company, the NHL will lose a lot of players, especially third and fourth liners, but even stars too.

There simply will not be enough players to make the game watchable.

Contraction could be the answer. First of, teams would not have to deal with the Hollwegs of the world. With only 20 teams, they would choose real NHLers to play.

Second, the 20-team NHL would be soooo much better than the KHL that it would simply be a bad career move for a player to go to Russia. And the remaining 20 teams would be much more profitable on average, allowing them to raise the cap and complete with the KHL financially.


Maybe there could be a league right below the NHL but above the AHL. It would include the bottom 10 NHL teams and 10 AHL teams whose location and arenas would be suitable.

Hartford, Quebec, Winnipeg, Houston, San Antonio, Hamilton, Milwaukee and Cleveland (that's 8 teams) would be good places for teams looking to be higher than the AHL. [Four ECHL teams with the best revenues and ticket sales would then move up to the AHL]

Las Vegas is a major city that has a great new arena and would get a team.

Another team could be in a place like the Virginia Beach/Norfolk area or a Canadian city like London or Kitchener, all of which have about half a million people in their metro area.

http://www.forbes.com/lists/2007/31/...ons_Value.html


The Islanders meanwhile would get sent down. Not because I like the Rangers. I actually enjoy competing with them, but they produce less than half the revenue of the Rangers or the Maple Laughs.

Nashville, St. Louis, Atlanta, Phoenix, Columbus, Edmonton, Carolina, Buffalo, Isles and Pitts (yes, I know about Malkin and Crosby, but they still can't make any money even with them and what will happen in a dozen years when they are gone?) would be my choices to get bought out and go down.

The advantage for big teams would be that they would no longer have to share TV and other revenue with the little guys. The advantage for the small teams would be that they wouldn't have to deal with the salary floor and they would be able to stop hemorrhaging money while at the same time getting bought out at a fair price.

Maybe these teams can actually auction off their hockey players where instead of trading for players/picks, they would just get money. This would reduce the "hit" on the remaining NHL teams and only those who volunteer to "buy" Crosby or DP would actually have to pay the large sums. Otherwise, each team getting sent down would get $75M ($37.5 from each remaining NHL team) plus whatever they can sell their players for.

As part of an agreement, the NHL would dedicate itself to promoting the new league much more than it promotes the AHL, including helping the lower level league get on their local TV channels (even if it would mean that the NHL would have to throw a few million into the pot to make it worth while for the media to pick up these games).

All the teams in the new league would have a population of at least half a million people in their metro area, and in some cases well over a million. This would make them very different from most AHL teams who now have to play in towns with only 30,000-100,000 residents.

And yes, I do know that this will not happen. But it should.




Quote:
Originally Posted by eco's bones View Post
The KHL's scheduling and nearer locations may be more friendly for them to compete in these tournaments--so it may even be that money while still a major reason might not be the 'only' major reason for deciding where their future is. Again I would worry about Cherepanov who has sent a lot of mixed signals over the course of the last couple years--even Anisimov (if it were to happen) being blocked for too long by less talented but more experienced veterans might sour on North America. Everything so far from Grachev is encouraging but the NHL would be better off taking this threat seriously because if the money and the rinks are there the players will come.


Last edited by Beacon: 07-13-2008 at 08:47 PM.
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07-13-2008, 08:45 PM
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Gardner McKay
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24 teams is the lowest it could go first off.

But this is not realistic. You cannot just take teams out of cities right now.

Honestly what would that say about Carolina Phx, Atl, Clb, Fl if we just yanked their teams out, what would that say about the NHL?

Some of these franchises have not even been 10 years yet and were ready to give up on them?

Its poor ownership and managment which is causing franchises to be un-successful, not the locations.

You have a huge city in Atlanta and a franchise in the Thrashers that was booming 2 years ago when they made the playoffs despite getting swept.

Columbus has a solid fan base.

I hear what your saying, and about diluting the talent pool, but how would you feel if the Rangers were ripped out from under you? Not to good, I know I wouldnt.

We take it for granted being fans of a successful franchise, original 6, great market. Other teams don't have that luxury yet. So before you say it like its not big deal to rip a franchise away from other fans, think for a second how tough it would be to NEVER see the Rangers play again.

Could you honestly watch the Rangers if they were called the Las Vegas gamblers? How about the Kansas city tornadoes? Don't think so. How about another team in Washington. Well call them the Washington Nickelslots. (thank you dennis miller for that one)

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07-13-2008, 08:51 PM
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There are fans out there in every NHL city who love the game as much as we do.........it strikes me as very unfair and mean spirited for anyone lucky enough to live in a "large" market as we do, to suggest that teams in smaller places be contracted or sent to another league.

Maybe teams should be demoted based on performance such as they do in the English Premier League and other European soccer leagues. Mismanagement and poor planning would be punished. How would we have felt in the years before the lock out if we were relegated to a lesser league?

The NHL should stay the course in all its non traditional hockey markets....any future expansion should be to Canadian cities where the fans are passionate (Winnipeg and another team in Ontario).

The 30 team NHL is not perfect but I say no to reducing its size.

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07-13-2008, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alkurtz View Post
There are fans out there in every NHL city who love the game as much as we do.........it strikes me as very unfair and mean spirited for anyone lucky enough to live in a "large" market as we do, to suggest that teams in smaller places be contracted or sent to another league.
So then why not expand the NHL to every town and village in the US and Canada?

Choices have to be made and the NHL should be a major city league.

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07-13-2008, 08:58 PM
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Give me a city thats not at worst SEMI major?

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07-13-2008, 09:03 PM
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you cant just kick 10 teams out of the NHL... it wont happen

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07-13-2008, 09:05 PM
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The 30 team league is already incredibly uneven. Some teams can't make any money and others can charge any amount for tickets and will always come close to selling out.
I always believed a soft cap with a luxury tax paying into the revenue sharing was a much better solution than the hard cap. So the Rangers, Leafs, etc can go above the $56 million dollar cap, but every dollar they spend over the cap, they pay the same amount (or some portion) into the revenue sharing pot. Individual player salaries are still capped at the 20% of the salary cap figure to allow even the teams only spending under the cap to keep their stars.

This means the big teams can spend over the cap, but to do so, they subsidize the smaller teams. Win-win situation imo.

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07-13-2008, 09:05 PM
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the nhl obviously conducts studies on attendance, profits, expenses, etc... i dont think you will ever see contraction unless the worldwide economy went down the drain, the nhl teams are gaining value as the years go by and you can see that by how many times in recent memory that teams have been sold for more and more. yes teams in not-so-hockey markets havent really been profiting yet, but if the management doesnt put out a good product, how could you make money, the better a team does the better profits they will make, the worse the team does, the less profits they will show. you can only dream about contraction bc in this day and age itll never happen, the NHL wont do it, the NHLPA wont allow it, and the owners of those franchises wont allow it to happen.

we can only dream of a 24 team league.....

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07-13-2008, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Great Dubinsky View Post
Give me a city thats not at worst SEMI major?
Uniondale, LI has 28,000 people. Buffalo 300,000. Raleigh 375,000. St. Louis 350,000.

The semi-major teams should be in a league above the AHL, but they really can't compete with a city that has a million or several million people.

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07-13-2008, 09:11 PM
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i really hope i never have to make a decision about a team leaving a city

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07-13-2008, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrooklynHockey99 View Post
Uniondale, LI has 28,000 people. Buffalo 300,000. Raleigh 375,000. St. Louis 350,000.

The semi-major teams should be in a league above the AHL, but they really can't compete with a city that has a million or several million people.
dude you cant go buy the city population itself. you have got to be kidding me, are you really saying that only people from uniondale can go to islander games? you cant go by just the cities population, how about the suburbs also, being from long island i travel into the city to go to games. i dont count to the cities population do i?

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07-13-2008, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey2000nyr View Post
dude you cant go buy the city population itself. you have got to be kidding me, are you really saying that only people from uniondale can go to islander games? you cant go by just the cities population, how about the suburbs also, being from long island i travel into the city to go to games. i dont count to the cities population do i?
I didn't get it from a city guide. He asked which teams aren't in major cities, so I listed a few.

Fact is that the Isles have the least revenue out there. No matter how you spin it, the Rangers have double the revenue.

And on top of that, the Isles have trouble attracting free agents, according to all the media. As do several teams out there.

You are really being too linear here. I didn't say that the Isles don't belong in the NHL because Uniondale is small, but because they have no profits and have to compete with the Rangers without having a major city of their own.

By your logic, why not have a team in Wyoming or northern Alberta?

An NHL team must have a major city and a metro area. All that the Isles have is a metro area.

If you are just a suburb, or even a suburb along with a city of 350,000 people, you really can't complete with a city that has 2-9 million people as well as twice as many suburbanites.

And as I've said, they wouldn't get kicked out and just sent down to the AHL. There would be a very good quality league created for teams that are located in cities with about half a million to a million people. They would have good arenas. They would all be in semi-major cities. They would be on their local TV with NHL's help. NHL TV would regularly show their games too.

No, they wouldn't be in the NHL, but they would be sort of like the new WHA or like the Russian "Top League" is to the RSL/KHL.


Last edited by Beacon: 07-13-2008 at 09:29 PM.
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07-13-2008, 09:22 PM
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Gardner McKay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrooklynHockey99 View Post
Uniondale, LI has 28,000 people. Buffalo 300,000. Raleigh 375,000. St. Louis 350,000.

The semi-major teams should be in a league above the AHL, but they really can't compete with a city that has a million or several million people.
Bro, ISles fans are ALL across the island not just uniondale so dont even try to play that card.

The Sabres have a RABID fan base.

Carolina should have never been a an NHL franchise.

St. Louis has been around for a long time and has a history.

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07-13-2008, 09:34 PM
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There will never be a shortage of players my man. While the overall quality of each time might go up if you downsize the league, that sort of move would devastate the league's economy. There would be fewer roster spots for the guys making 1 million dollars and teams would end up paying 23 players 4+ million because that's the salary range they would already be in.

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07-13-2008, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Great Dubinsky View Post
Bro, ISles fans are ALL across the island not just uniondale so dont even try to play that card.

The Sabres have a RABID fan base.

Carolina should have never been a an NHL franchise.

St. Louis has been around for a long time and has a history.
Holy smokes! I do know that the Isles aren't just Uniondale. I said so. Again, an NHL team normally has a major city plus the suburbs. Like the Rangers have fans not just in NYC, but in places like Westchester as well.

But what do the Isles have? LI. What's that? The suburbs. Not a single major city there, just the suburbs. That's like creating an NHL team in White Plains and saying that the team has support all over Westchester county. That's just not enough.

BS fans can be rabid, but their team still makes no money.

St. Louis has history, but again, makes no money.

Click on the link I provided to see who brings home the bacon and who's hemorrhaging the money.

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07-13-2008, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan MacLeod View Post
There will never be a shortage of players my man. While the overall quality of each time might go up if you downsize the league, that sort of move would devastate the league's economy. There would be fewer roster spots for the guys making 1 million dollars and teams would end up paying 23 players 4+ million because that's the salary range they would already be in.
That's not true. Basic law of supply and demand. If you reduce the demand for hockey players, the price will go down.

If anything, expect the NHL salaries to go down. I'd expect the NHLPA to oppose this ferociously.

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07-13-2008, 09:43 PM
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26 teams was a good number

Nashville OUT

Columbus OUT

Phoneix OUT

not sure who the 4th team is yet

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07-13-2008, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrooklynHockey99 View Post
That's not true. Basic law of supply and demand. If you reduce the demand for hockey players, the price will go down.

If anything, expect the NHL salaries to go down. I'd expect the NHLPA to oppose this ferociously.
Supply and demand means nothing when guys are locked into 4+ year contracts. A contraction would never work.

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07-13-2008, 09:46 PM
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Gardner McKay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrooklynHockey99 View Post
Holy smokes! I do know that the Isles aren't just Uniondale. I said so. Again, an NHL team normally has a major city plus the suburbs. Like the Rangers have fans not just in NYC, but in places like Westchester as well.

But what do the Isles have? LI. What's that? The suburbs. Not a single major city there, just the suburbs. That's like creating an NHL team in White Plains and saying that the team has support all over Westchester county. That's just not enough.

BS fans can be rabid, but their team still makes no money.

St. Louis has history, but again, makes no money.

Click on the link I provided to see who brings home the bacon and who's hemorrhaging the money.
How many U.S. teams were actually profitable last year?

As of Nov of last year 15 teams were losing money. So do you want to cut the NHL in half just because teams are not always profitable?

The oilers are a small market team, and had a 9.9 mil profit. Pens? Profitable 8.8.

Should we get rid of them?

Your logic is flawed.

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07-13-2008, 09:47 PM
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Yeah great idea, let's remove a bunch of small market teams from a league that has trouble getting people to pay attention to it as it is. People thought no one in the US watches hockey now, just wait until you remove about 40% of the teams in the US. If the NHL contracts to try and battle the KHL, then the KHL has won and the NHL will go down in flames. Spending larger shares of revenue on the same exact players because Radulov went home to Russia seems like a bit of a knee jerk reaction. If your true thinking behind this was it would be great if the Rangers could utilize their large market advantage, well they had plenty of opportunities to use it and I think they're actually doing a better job with their team now than when they could spend recklessly. Oh and I just saw your comment about how Pittsburgh should disappear, perhaps you need to get a better idea of how things are going in certain markets before you contract them due to personal bias.

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07-13-2008, 09:48 PM
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I always look at the Islanders as a great experiment. Can a high density suburb, w/o the media to be found in a major metro area, w/o a super large business community to buy luxury boxes, etc. support a major league franchise. There are teams in other sports with stadiums and arenas in the suburbs but they still represent a city.
The Islanders are unique.
And you know what? The jury is still out. Certainly when the team was succeeding and the economy good (say before Grumman left), the answer was an emphatic yes. But recently, with mediocre teams and a so-so economy, the support, aside for the hardcore fans, has only been sos-so. (I know you need to consider the ownership problems and the mismanagement of the front office)
I still think it was a fascinating experiment and one the continues to be worth watching.

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07-13-2008, 09:53 PM
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Them's fighting words!

EDMONTON? My friend, with a rink from 1974, and 16, 839 seats, the only team able to bring in more gate revenue from the US last year was New York. With a new building we kick all your *****. Also two years ago, we had more people on average watching regular season games that you guys in New York had watching first round playoff games. And our team sucked. I will bet you that within 5 years, the six Canadian teams will be one through six in gate revenue, in the top ten for tv viewers, and making great cash off our tv deals and pay per view. Let's not even get started on TSN and CBC and RDS contracts, I don't want to hurt Vesus and NBC's feelings.

In five years:

Toronto
Montreal
Vancouver
Edmonton
Calgary
Ottawa

All we need is a new building baby. Then it's time to put some southern US teams out of businees, and move some to Winnipeg, Hamilton and Quebec City, and one day Saskatchewan. Hopefully Ottawa and Quebec get CFL teams, and then we will have the big ten. Well, one can dream. As for the Oilers, mark my words, within five years we have a new building, and make more gate cash than any US team. We are in a boom, you's in recession, this will be fun.

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07-13-2008, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilsmack99 View Post
EDMONTON? My friend, with a rink from 1974, and 16, 839 seats, the only team able to bring in more gate revenue from the US last year was New York. With a new building we kick all your *****. Also two years ago, we had more people on average watching regular season games that you guys in New York had watching first round playoff games. And our team sucked. I will bet you that within 5 years, the six Canadian teams will be one through six in gate revenue, in the top ten for tv viewers, and making great cash off our tv deals and pay per view. Let's not even get started on TSN and CBC and RDS contracts, I don't want to hurt Vesus and NBC's feelings.

In five years:

Toronto
Montreal
Vancouver
Edmonton
Calgary
Ottawa

All we need is a new building baby. Then it's time to put some southern US teams out of businees, and move some to Winnipeg, Hamilton and Quebec City, and one day Saskatchewan. Hopefully Ottawa and Quebec get CFL teams, and then we will have the big ten. Well, one can dream. As for the Oilers, mark my words, within five years we have a new building, and make more gate cash than any US team. We are in a boom, you's in recession, this will be fun.
You should've made this the title of your post.

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07-13-2008, 10:03 PM
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The only dream one is Saskatchewan, my neighbour, and they are getting rich like us now, so who knows. As for gate revenue, the six Canadian teams are already in the top seven in gate revenue. The only blemish, New York. Like I said, five years.

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07-13-2008, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Thomas J. View Post
26 teams was a good number

Nashville OUT

Columbus OUT

Phoneix OUT

not sure who the 4th team is yet
Atlanta or Islanders.. maybe Florida.

26 is a good number. but this won't happen as long as Bettman is the man.

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