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Old 02-19-2005, 01:27 PM   #61
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The problem is, the NHL is an American league. It's headquarters are in New York, and the US is a much larger and potentially more profitable market for the sport. All you have to do is look at population numbers: US=300 million, Canada= 30 million. Any business is going to take that into account. The NHL could get MUCH more in revenue from US TV deals than from those in Canada. Cities like Winnipeg and Quebec really aren't big enough to sustain a franchise without some kind of revenue sharing between all 30 teams, and owners like Jeremy Jacobs (And I SWEAR I am never watching another B's game again, d'you hear me Jerry?) will never go for that. The way the owners' side is right now, a proposal can be blocked by Bettman and only 8 other owners-- it doesn't have to be a majority.

It would be great to see cities like Winnipeg and Quebec, and maybe even somewhere in the Maritimes, get teams. But the way the owners are looking at things, it just won't happen. The NFL and MLB, as I understand it, both have sort of redistribution policies that allow for greater parity among have and have-not teams. Assbags like Jacobs just want to get their couple million in extra revenue from the first round of the playoffs, and are content to go home. They don't care about winning, they don't care about the sport, and the last people they think about are the fans. The price of tickets, also, has NOTHING TO DO with the cost of paying players. It's simple supply and demand; in good markets for hockey, like Boston or Montreal, they KNOW that people will scrape together enough to see a couple games a year. They know that parents are going to spend a week's pay on tickets, parking, and programs for their hockey-loving kid's birthday or Christmas present.

Everyone's portraying this whole stupid mess as being the fault of the players, but it's not all on their shoulders. I feel that the irresponsibility and shortsightedness of many of the owners is going to continue holding hockey back for years to come, even if they do agree to something sometime next week.

ladywithspinninghead I think Don Cherry is letting his love for his country blind him a little, and maybe looking at this too simplistically. I've been in Canada off and on for the past 5 years (student) and I love it here and want to stay; I kind of have a handle on how important hockey is to Canadians, especially after listening to 90 billion lectures on the Summit Series and Canadian Identity. And I have to say, I wish more Canadians would support the hockey that goes on here exclusively. For example, before this season, the team at my university (we're kind of apathetic nerds here, but still) hadn't sold out a regular season game in years. I mean, okay, it's not exactly NHL caliber, but it's still good hockey. And until the lockout, no one but really old men, student politicians, and maybe 50 other people were showing up.
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Old 02-19-2005, 02:17 PM   #62
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I see what you're saying but is the U.S. REALLY a profitable market if no one is watching and no one cares?
And I'm not talking about NY or Boston - I'm talking about Nashville, Anaheim, Atlanta, etc, etc. Ugghh, I wished my Dad or bro lived closer so I could ask them about these things!!
I watch the sport and love my Habs more than anything but like I've said, I just don't know the financial intricacies of the league..

I'm also wondering if the owners could have unilaterally imposed their own ceiling/cap on their teams or is there some American law against that?
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Old 02-19-2005, 02:46 PM   #63
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NEW YORK -- The NHL and the players' association still weren't able to come to an agreement Saturday that would un-cancel the hockey season, and NHL chief legal officer Bill Daly said it's too late to play any semblance of a season.

Daly told The Associated Press that there was no progress made in the 6½-hour meeting, and later told Canada's Sportsnet that the sides' focus will shift to getting a deal done and playing the 2005-06 season.

No further meetings are scheduled and the league will not comment on Saturday's talks. Representatives from the players' association were expected to meet with reporters later in the day.

Just three days after the season was called off because of the protracted lockout, the NHL and the players' association restarted talks at 9 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location in New York.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and players' association executive director Bob Goodenow were not at the meeting, two sources told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

However, Wayne Gretzky, the managing partner of the Phoenix Coyotes, and Mario Lemieux, the player-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins, joined the talks aimed at getting a deal done that could save the season, the sources said.

Gretzky and Lemieux were joined on the owners' side by Daly and outside counsel Bob Batterman, while the union was represented by NHLPA senior director Ted Saskin, director of business relations Mike Gartner, players' association president Trevor Linden, vice president Vincent Damphousse, and outside counsel John McCambridge.

The union denied online reports Friday night that an agreement had been reached on a $45 million salary cap.

On Wednesday, Bettman canceled the season, saying it was too late to play any semblance of a schedule. That made the NHL the first major North American sports league to lose a full season to a labor dispute.

In a statement released Friday night, the players' association said the NHL made the offer late Thursday night to get together. There hadn't been any official contact between the NHL and the players' association since Tuesday night -- when the sides traded what they said were final offers.

All proposals were rejected, and Bettman canceled the season at a news conference that was scheduled Monday.

"I don't think anything was premature. It was a necessity," New Jersey Devils president Lou Lamoriello said.

Bettman said in a letter to Goodenow on Tuesday that the league's salary-cap proposal of $42.5 million was as far as he could go and that there was no time or flexibility for negotiation.

Goodenow sent a letter back, proposing a soft cap at $49 million that could be exceeded by as much as 10 percent by teams twice during the course of the six-year deal.

It appeared there was momentum toward reaching a deal and the season had a chance to be saved, because the sides were only $6.5 million apart on their cap numbers. But talking ceased after each side sent two letters to the other on Tuesday night.

Bettman said the NHL couldn't afford the union's final proposal and said if all 30 teams spent $49 million on player costs, then more money would be paid out to players than last season.

The commissioner said that teams lost more than $1.8 billion over 10 years, the last time a collective bargaining agreement was reached. The previous lockout cut the 1994-95 season down to 48 games per team.

NHL clubs claim to have lost $273 million in 2002-03 and $224 million last season.

Bettman said a deal would have to be in the drafting stages by the end of last weekend if there was going to be time to play a 28-game season and a standard 16-team postseason.
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Old 02-19-2005, 03:39 PM   #64
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Looks like I won't be watching the Canadiens this year... The Heritage Classic game is on TV now, but I'm just too depressed to see a game I've already watched about a million times.
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Old 02-19-2005, 06:05 PM   #65
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You know, I don't even think I care anymore, and that's just sad.
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Old 02-19-2005, 07:51 PM   #66
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Have you ever seeked validation or approval from someone in your life even though it didn't really matter what they thought, but it was really important to you? I think that is how the NHL executives view the US market. They wanted to be a "playa" in the sports world and ten years ago, they saw an opening. Of course, we all know that they overestimated the popularity of hockey and it's ablility to attract a new fanbase.

In this attempt to woo the prettiest girl at the dance, the NHL has ignored and neglected the girl they brought to the dance. The hardcore fans in Canada and cities in the US have watched the game deteriorate over the past few years. During this time, Canada lost two franchises, Quebec Nordiques to Colorado, and Winnipeg Jets to Phoenix. Many fans have lost interest and the game had been over-valued and over-priced leading to the mess we face today.

Both owners and players would rather the fans blame one side or the other but unfortunately, it seems that most fans could care less.

Don't hold your breath waiting for a settlement any time soon.

Peace out.
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Old 02-19-2005, 08:49 PM   #67
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I blame both sides.

First thing that needs to be done though is for the owners to get rid of that twat Gary Bettman, who apparently sees nothing wrong with what he's doing.
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Old 02-19-2005, 09:01 PM   #68
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i now think hockey is a bunch of hooey.
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Old 02-19-2005, 09:10 PM   #69
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i must agree. In fact, I don't know why i am wasting my time posting about the NHL.
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Old 02-19-2005, 09:35 PM   #70
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i miss hockey. i got my fix with the World Cup and the World Juniors, but now I got nothin' till the Worlds. At least this World Championship will truly be a World Championship, not a World Players-Who-Couldn't-Get-Into-The-Playoffs Championship.
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Old 02-19-2005, 09:47 PM   #71
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fuck it lets be a bunch of scabs and join the NHL as replacement players. no matter what team im on i must wear #25. GAME ON
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Old 02-19-2005, 10:04 PM   #72
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I'd join in under replacement players.
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Old 02-21-2005, 09:15 PM   #73
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Dear Fans:

On behalf of the 30 NHL teams, I want to say how sorry we all are that, given the very practical reality that there are not enough days available to play a representative regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs, we have been left with no choice but to cancel the remainder of the games scheduled for the 2004-05 campaign.

The NHL is very fortunate to enjoy the support of the most loyal and passionate fans in all of professional sports, and we want you to know how very much we appreciate the patience and understanding you have shown the NHL during this very difficult time in our history. We understand the impact this dispute has had on you, our loyal fans, and I want you to know we worked very hard, starting as far back as 1999, to prevent this from
happening.

Our intention throughout the collective bargaining process has been, and continues to be, the creation of an enduring partnership with our players that will allow you to enjoy a world-class product, at affordable prices, and enter each season confident that your favorite team can compete for the most cherished trophy in pro sports, the Stanley Cup.

Our resolve to deliver on that promise will not change. While the various economic systems we have proposed to the players' union would have permitted the maintenance of an average player salary in the neighborhood of $1.3 million (U.S.), and would have allocated as much as 55% of every dollar of revenue that the League and Clubs can generate to the players, Union leadership has not shown, to date, any interest in sharing our vision for the future.

Accordingly, we remain resolute, for the good of the League and our fans, to postpone our return to the ice until we can assure you that the current business issues have been resolved in a way that assures the long-term viability of all our Clubs. I can promise you, though, that when NHL hockey does return, it will be in a way that allows our great game to prosper for years to come, both on and off the ice.

Sincerely,
Gary B. Bettman
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Old 02-22-2005, 08:04 AM   #74
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bettman is stedfast in his position that the game of hockey is sick, and a band-aid won't help.

he's right.

as WFAN's chris russo put it... "rebuilding after the building was knocked down ain't that big a deal when the building was only a 1 story shack to begin with."

hockey is/was in serious trouble... teams in jeopardy of financial colapse, no serious TV deal, plummeting ratings.

for the good of the long term future of the game, something drastic needed to be done. bettman understands this, the players... still... do not. if they don't use replacement players, which will, no doubt, break the union... then i don't see hockey comming back next year, either.
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Old 02-22-2005, 08:47 AM   #75
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With apologies to all Canadien fans, without the US, hockey will be a game in Canada where the average salary is something like $50,000 Canadien, and you can be sure the players don't want that.
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