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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Welcome to the Sandbox - Grumblings on the State of Hockey

The state of hockey is deplorable however revenue is up because the Canadian dollar is up.  There is NO ONE who seems to be looking out for the best interest of the game.

Basically as I see it, the powers that currently be are pitting one country against the other, the haves versus the have nots.   Bad on ice officiating, conflict of interest in meting out supplementary discipline, lawsuits galore..  If you build it we will come - did i say that, what I actually meant to say was - we may come.- If we start to not protect the players better I will pick up my puck and go home...but first Mr. Cooke - here is a bonus for you.

I will suggest to you that the NHL needs to have a lot of teams that hemorrhage cash to keep the players salary cap under control.  The cash cows (Toronto, Montreal, and Boston etc) of the NHL are offset with the Atlanta, Phoenix, and Floridas of the league to keep salaries down and therefore keeping the league viable in the sun belt.  That is not to say I would like any fan to lose their franchise.  For argument sake, if these franchises are moved to where they will sell out every night and the salaries increase as a result (cap and floor)  do other teams begin to have a problem with the cap floor?  It is a circular argument to be sure - much like the chicken and the egg.

We can only hope that Napoleon may be losing his grip on the BOG. The league is a joke - a laughing stock. Pretty bad when your disciplinarian has a son playing in the sport and there is ample evidence to impeach him - in a democracy.  The path is clear in this case - where there is a clear documented conflict of interest - the status quo is not an option...Mario threatening to take his puck and go home because in his mind the Islanders were not punished enough - then first time an opportunity to further punish them they get nailed again (not by any means am I defending the undefendable).  This is the same dude who condones having Cooke on the payroll and has him as an alternate captain.  Bet before the suspension was handed down - Mario was consulted.  Would not want to offend him after all-did the Penguins get Crosby the same way? Good question .

In my opinion the best thing that can be done for the state of hockey than a full cleaning house of the powers that be in New York.  A fresh slate with real hockey people with transparency being mandatory in my opinion.  If the league cleans up its headquarters and shows some improvement in running its operations it will be able to have better owners so the ownership fiascoes that are currently rampant in the NHL would be diminished.

It is time for the pettiness and childishness to stop - in fact it is long overdue.  Please let me know what you think.

10 comments:

johnnybertolo said...

I agree changes must be made, but a complete overhaul of the 'powers-that-be" in New York is simply not viable. These managing partners have too much invested into the league and its players.

It's simply just a matter-of-time before something TRULY chilling happens on the ice and the league is forced by a greater power to do something about it. It will happen, heads will roll, the universe will right itself. Only after someone's paralyzed or his left for dead on the ice.

Until then, enjoy what's left of the sport...

Cheers!

Laura said...

Unfortunately you are correct about waiting for a paralyzed or dead player and of course the resulting lawsuits.

Thank you for your comment -

SeriousFan09 said...

Unfortunately, I just don't see Bettman getting the boot soon, he made exceptionally good moves finding very wealthy owners in Vinnik to buy TBL and than Pegula to buy into BUF. He just put two guys on the BOG who will at the start, be his allies for getting them in and won't mind revenue-sharing in the meantime while they try and make their clubs profitable.

Glendale is a stain on Bettman, but he just got the owners off his back at the same time by showing up with two owners to take over struggling franchises. Got himself some rope easily, plus the BOG may be very pleased with the situation, a good deal of them benefit from revenue-sharing right now, rather than invest their own cash to improve their franchises. They just might like Bettman being the fixture for all criticism rather than take any heat themselves.

NHL discipline could use an overhaul, but unfortunately since Campbell was installed by Bettman it's not like he can get tossed out on his ear. Bettman will never admit a mistake. I just don't have much faith that we can expect any shake-ups, especially if Bettman swings a good TV deal.

Laura said...

Interesting perspective serious. I am a little optimistic in that I think some of the present owners are getting fed up with the current situation. Bettman seems to be losing some of the support - notice how he has calmed down some of the rhetoric? I sense the beginning of a shift in power in the league - that is why the new faces in ownership. He seems to be in survivor mode. But you may be totally right.

Lyse said...

We only have to hope that these new owners like Vinik, Pegula and even Molson are people with good hockey sense. Yes, they might be allies to Bettman at this point, but the commish himself made it clear he wants to bring in hockey lovers into the ole boys'club, as opposed to suspicious characters that have been weeded out recently.

I'm still hoping without expecting major changes in the short term, and on both levels the safety of players as well as the financial health of the teams...

Laura said...

It all boils down to credibility

Tyg said...

Laura, by comparison this league is a joke to all the others. It has had 2 work stoppages under its commissioner - when has that happened in any other sport? And look at Campbell. I can't improve on what anyone else says above - but I can and do agree with them all.

As for credibility, I think this league has a long road to travel before it reaches what other major sports have achieved in that area, regardless of revenue, which is really what it all boils down to unfortunately.

JBMANCH said...

This article is right on. I,m not sure there even has to be as many teams as there are in the NHL. Sure move the pathetic franchises to cities, Like Quebec or Hamilton where they can draw a crownd and make money. Maybe we could just close a few down. IT would spread the talented players to the more lucrative franchises and eliminate some of the players with poor skill sets. I watch the game on NHL Center Ice which has every game. Usually there is an eery echo in some of these arenas, and they don't show the upper bowl. Watching the Habs in Atlanta the other night they couldn't hide the nearly empty lower sections. It really is time to clean house.

Laura said...

Tyg- Thanks for commenting - it has a long way to go

JB - Thanks for the comment - contraction is something they are certainly going to have to look at in my opinion. Will they contract before moving? - that is an interesting question.

Rissy said...

The Bettman situation i believe isn't going to change as far as the American markets are concerned. American governors are the reason Bettman is here. Bettman installed Campbell so as much as we need a whole sale change in the front offices of the NHL.....I just don't see it happening :( If the Sunbelt issue starts upsetting the American Governors then we may see a change though.

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