Saturday, June 18, 2005

The NHL Idiocy

For those of you that don't know. (at this point, everybody) I love hockey.

In fact reading Ecklund's log was how I found out about this site.

The NHL, and in particular the NHL players have been such a disappointment. They seem like such down to earth fellows yet were completely oblivious to the lack of general popularity of the NHL.

The owners may have overstated their losses, but even if it was only half as much that would be something in he neighborhood of 125 MILLION dollars. That's 125,000,000. If you divide that among 30 teams that equals out to roughly $4,166,666 per team. But, since there are teams in this league that make money, (Montreal, Dallas) and teams that make TONS of money, (Detroit, NY Rangers, Philadelphia, Toronto) the majority just broke even or in some cases lost ALOT of money.

They have the smallest joke of a national TV contract, at least until ESPN dropped them for the upcoming year. (don't worry I am sure they will work something out if they settle this nonsense.) Now they only have the deal with NBC. It was obvious that most of the teams cannot even fill their own buildings. ( I see a ton of Flyers jerseys on TV at every road broadcast.) I went to a Devils playoff game against the Flyers and most of the second level was EMPTY. It was pathetic. The players have to see this. They have to see that their ratings couldn't beat poker. They have to see that due to poor marketing and a poor product. By poor product I mean the slogging, trapping, clutching and grabbing, 2-1 bore fests that have made hockey a regional sport at best.

Had they taken the deal back when the season could've been saved, they could've had a cap in the neighborhood of $42 million. Now they will be getting $36-$38 if they are lucky.

Hockey will be having to lower it's ticket prices, ESPN will re-up but at what price? 60% of the original deal? The salaries have to come down.

This isn't to say that the owners don't bear some responsibility. They are the ones who couldn't keep their own pockets shut. But what choice do you have when you get a few prima donnas to hold out for renegotiations and force the team to pay you because you are their only draw. Or another team swooping in with a ridiculous amount of money. (cough cough Yashin cough cough)

The above is why the 24% rollback offered by the players was only a short term solution. Because there was nothing to stop the hold outs. At least now a team can point at the cap and say "this is what we can spend, do you want to play here or not?"

It looks as though it may be finally sinking in. Its about a year too late!


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