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(ESPN)   Like a kid in a high school play, the NHL season refuses to die without a lot of thrashing about and moaning   ( divider line
    More: Stupid  
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8257 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Feb 2005 at 5:48 AM (13 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2005-02-11 09:23:46 AM  

Step 1: Reduce the number of teams drastically. And I'm sorry, southern states, but NHL hockey does not belong in states that don't even have a winter season. Nor does it belong in Columbus, Ohio. Yeesh. Canada needs its teams because that's where the strongest love of the game is. It would be like moving all the MLB teams to Mexico. Who in America would stand for that?

The Dominican and PR probably supply more players per capita to MLB than any other country but third world economies cannot support major league sports. Canada is not 'third world', but just because most of the players come from there doesn't mean it's capable of competing economically. As for the southern franchises, get over the fact The Cup is in Tampa and has been in Dallas. It's not Canada's game anymore.
2005-02-11 09:23:51 AM  

I agree with you. The NHL needs to lose 5-7 teams immediately. Not only will this take hockey out of the smaller markets, but it will also help spread the talent around.

the borderline NHL-AHL players won't be playing in the NHL anymore,and while i'm sure that'll cause alot of my friends in the ECHL to lose their jobs, the NHL talent will be more spread out.

Teams will have talented players and won't be forced to play the trap anymore, and scoring will go up. more scoring = more attendance.

Also, a few rule changes are needed..
Bring back tag-up offsides like the college game.

Keep the red line for icing, but lose the 2 line pass. Let the players with speed and hands actually do something.

Start actually awarding penalty shots.

Shorten the season so that each game actually matters. A team should play no more than twice / week.

While the current issue at hand is the salary cap situation, the bigger issue is the ratings. Not one nielsen family watched a hockey game on ESPN last year. (perhaps partly because of commentary along the lines of "well Jim, if they wanna win this game, they're gonna have to try to put more pucks in the net."

Hockey TV contracts are small to non-existent. Nobody's watching. Hockey hasn't had an icon since Gretzky retired. There is no Brett Farve, Kobe Bryant (thankfully), Barry Bonds or Jeff Gordon in the NHL. The average american can't even name 5 NHL players not on their home team. Something needs to be done about this.

Somebody mentioned tying salaries to incentives, but let's take it a step further. Insert a league minimum: say 300,000 or something, and a max salary too, say $4 mil

Then, add incentives that can bring you over the max salary for things such as making an all star team, scoring over 40 goals, etc.. (every one of these incentives should be something that puts fans in the seats). These incentives would not be yearly, they'd just raise your base salary.

In addition to those incentives, raise the max salary as a function of how long a player has played on teh team.
Example, after 3 years on a team, salary goes up to 5 million. After 5 years, it goes up to 6. etc...

If you get traded, or test the free agent market, you lose your yearly bonuses, but not your incentive bonuses.

Perhaps if players played in the same place longer, fans would actually learn their names.
2005-02-11 09:26:09 AM  
Every sport should be run like the NFL. It's run brilliantly. Look, they have a cap and no one in that league is starving. Not only that, but they have revenue sharing, so even a team like Green Bay is able to compete. Any team has a chance to win any year, the players are happy, and no team cries poverty. And the argument that such a system would prevent dynasties has been proven wrong. Look at the Pats.
2005-02-11 09:26:21 AM  
I have been debating from the beginning of the lockout who is more to blame, the owners or the players. At this point both sides are acting like spoiled brats. My contempt for both sides is equal. I LOVE my Nashville Predators. I know many of you falsely blame the recent (last seven years) expansion for the current woes, but these labor problems would be here regardless. I just want NHL hockey. The market will always correct itself. I hope this correction is not fatal.

LET'S GO PRED-A-TORS clap clap, clap clap clap

/season ticket holder from day 1
//cell block 303 ROCKS!
2005-02-11 09:31:12 AM  
Nice headline.
2005-02-11 09:32:49 AM  
NHL maybe dead, but that doens't mean you can get loads of enjoyment out of your local AHL team.

[image from too old to be available]


p.s. I love playoff games with ~190 penalty minutes
2005-02-11 09:35:52 AM  

Step 2: Larger ice rinks. More regulations to remove the "trap" system of hockey that makes the game look like an elephant squeezing into a Jetta. Sure, He might be able to do it, but by the time he does, who's watching?

I agree with everything you said except this. There are already rules against holding; you could actually enforce those instead of making new ones, for one. And the trap shouldn't be outlawed through rule changes. The trap is a disciplined strategy. Instead of complaining about it, people should put their heads together and come up with their own strategy to break it. It would be like baseball outlawing the curveball because it's too hard to hit.

Considering we just saw two teams in the finals last year that do anything but trap, I think it's starting to level off. I agree, watching the Devils play the Wild is about as exciting as watching paint dry, but if that's how they choose to play, then fine. When the system eventually fails them (and it will. Someone will become coach of the year for finding a way to beat the snot out of trapping teams) then they won't use it anymore, and we can all complain about the new strategy.
2005-02-11 09:39:17 AM  

Oh well, I may not have my Blues, but I still have my Otters!!

The St. Louis Otters of the Missouri River?

/lame Anaheim Angels joke.
2005-02-11 09:45:53 AM  
I've said it before but will say it again:

1. remove the red line
2. implement touch up offsides rule
3. reduce the size of goalie equipment
4. call obstruction!!!
5. shootout after 5 min. OT (during regular season only)
6. focus on HDTV technology

it's a good idea to fold anywhere from 6 to 10 teams, but it won't happen

now THAT would be some good hockey
2005-02-11 09:46:22 AM  
There currently are a few ways to beat the trap, only problem is they're all a pain in the ass.

1.) Dump and chase.. Which is just as boring.

2.) If you send 2 forwards to the left with the puck, you can then quickly pass back and up to a forward on the right and you'll create a 1 on 1 rush.. Usually forward against forward as the defenseman on that side should be in the middle of the ice.

Problem is, these don't work too good and 100% of the time.

The trap works because it's simple. It's all defense all the time. Anytime you got 5 guys sitting back waiting for you, there's not going to be much scoring.

Perhaps playing the other way... sit back on the puck and pass it around, waiting to get that quick cross icer that'll give you a little break... But the "wait it out" approach only works when you're not already behind a goal.
2005-02-11 09:47:05 AM  
Great Headline, poster!
2005-02-11 09:52:22 AM  
Bah, the owners are are idiots and the players union morons.

Here is the deal I would propose for the players, 100% revenue shareing among all teams in the league. Every dime a team takes in is revenue and it must be shared equally, and a third party accounting firm keeps the books. All financial statements can be audited by either party at any time. 52% of revenue to go to players salaries. Free agency after 5 years of professional play, counted as games played.

For that they accept a salary cap, and a 24% roll back in salaries.

There deal done.
2005-02-11 09:53:17 AM  
Whatever, hockey is teh ghey. I lost faith in hockey when the Stars beat the Sabres in the Stanley Cup back in 99. Brett Hull was just camped out in the crease and scored the winning goal. No replay. Then in the summer the league changed the rule that the crease didn't matter. As if it made Hull's goal valid or some shiat. Ever since then hockey can suck it.
2005-02-11 09:55:00 AM  

Dump and chase won't work against a team like the Devils, though, because Brodeur is a dynamite puck handler, as the Islanders disaterously found out two years ago when they dumped and chased the entire game and lost...I believe it was 6-0.

And of course nothing will work 100% of the time. The game wouldn't be much fun if it did. I like the "wait it out" approach, and agree it won't work if you're already down, but, then again, trap teams don't fare so well when they're down a couple either.

That's the achilles heal, I always thought. If you can pull ahead early and force them to abandon the trap, they're screwed.
2005-02-11 09:55:18 AM  

Not a bad plan, but there's one flaw. That proposal would just piss off both sides. The unfortunate part is, that's what it's going to take in order for it to be fair and we all know that 'fair' isn't what's going to happen. I see a new league on the horizon.
2005-02-11 09:59:15 AM  
52% revenue won't work.
have you ever heard of any business owner willing to part with 52% of their profits?

In the real world, the biggest profit sharing I've ever encountered is 15%
2005-02-11 09:59:19 AM  

/Sam Kinison
2005-02-11 10:00:06 AM  
Sinister Minister

And that's precisely why Brodeur spoke out about what a stupid idea it was when the league proposed the new rule to bar goalies from playing the puck behind the goal line.

2005-02-11 10:04:17 AM  

San Jose, Phoenix, Dallas, Tampa, Florida, Atlanta, Nashville, Columbus, and Carolina. I'll give L.A. a pass since they were there first, but they're treading a fine line

And you didn't list Anaheim because...?
2005-02-11 10:04:18 AM  

Whatever, hockey is teh ghey. I lost faith in hockey when the Stars beat the Sabres in the Stanley Cup back in 99. Brett Hull was just camped out in the crease and scored the winning goal. No replay. Then in the summer the league changed the rule that the crease didn't matter. As if it made Hull's goal valid or some shiat. Ever since then hockey can suck it.

[image from too old to be available]
Suck it.
2005-02-11 10:04:18 AM  

I agree with Brodeur. Goalies should be allowed to play the puck behind the goal line. Of course I also believe they should be fair game once they leave the crease...hehehe

2005-02-11 10:07:31 AM  
Finally! A professional sports league willing to stand up to its players.

The NHL is a business and the owners are the bosses. Most of the players have already shown that they will play for less money by going to Europe. With the excpetion of the high paying russian teams most of the NHL'ers are making considerably less.

Fark the players (and Im a hockey fan). I just hope that if the owners get their costs in line its passed back onto the fan in ticket prices.
2005-02-11 10:08:21 AM  
I can name three or four times the number of current golf players as I can current hockey players, and I hate golf/sort of like hockey. I was one of the four people occasionally watching NHL on ESPN-8 while CBS broadcast 12 hrs of golf every weekend. That's bad.
2005-02-11 10:09:13 AM  

52% revenue won't work.
have you ever heard of any business owner willing to part with 52% of their profits?

In the real world, the biggest profit sharing I've ever encountered is 15%

In labor-intensive businesses, payroll is often a large percentage of revenues. There are no 'profits' until payroll and other expenses are covered. Are you saying players should only receive, at most, 15% of the revenues?

Isn't the NBA cap set at 55%?
2005-02-11 10:10:46 AM  
Good headline, this sucker was dead in December.

They're both a bunch of cocks. Players refuse to accept reality and owners are negotiating in bad faith.

Since everyone has their list here on how to make the game better here's mine:
1) Call the rulebook. That's all you need to do to get rid of obstruction, which would drastically weaken the trap.
2) Limit size of goalies' gear. Put a picture of Ken Dryden next to JS Giguere sometime.
3) Get rid of composite sticks. They break more than they score. And it mitigates the goalies' argument that they need the larger pads for protection.
4) No touch icing. It will speed the game and get rid of completely unnecessary injuries. And just how many goals have you seen as a result of beating the icing call?
5) Tag-up rule. It was a mistake to drop this. Again, faster game.

Oh yeah. fark you NHL.
2005-02-11 10:16:43 AM  
Lets get back to four divisions, 6 teams per division. 24 teams total. Eliminate the following list of teams:

Atlanta Thrashers
Columbus Blue Jackets
Nashville Predators
Florida Panthers
Tampa Bay Lightning (odd, that new league would technically have no defending champ, hehe)
Anaheim Mighty Ducks

Minnesota Wild should remain since MN is a hockey state. Let Dallas stay in Dallas since theyve been a successful team there. San Jose needs to remain to keep a team in the Bay Area.

If you do it partly on attendance and partly on city potential, you get rid of Carolina, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Florida, Buffalo, and the Mighty Ducks. Columbus was in the top half in the NHL in attendance, and Atlanta has a dynasty in the making (especially if they can go one more year being terrible and draft Crosby).
2005-02-11 10:19:39 AM  
I still think that when they do go back to play, the fans should all boycott the first game. I know that won't happen but if it did it would at least show them how pissed off people are.

I still don't watch baseball. Of course the Jays haven't exactly done much since the early 90's.
2005-02-11 10:23:39 AM  

here's what you don't seem to get:

Some owners overpay for players. See Detroit, Colorado, NYR.

Other smaller market teams fan bases begin to erode due to poor play, finishing lower and lower in the standings due to having a less talented roster.

Smaller market team realizes it has to overpay for a star to come in and try to get fans in the seats. Smaller market team signs player.

Two years later, when the smaller market team has not noticeably improved in the standings, the trade deadline comes around and the player gets shipped to a contender. Meanwhile, the smaller market team is still paying part of this guys salary.

repeat this on a much larger scale.

see the problem? smaller teams are being forced to overpay in order to even try to keep their head above water. and usually, it doesn't work.

a cap is needed. it's coming sooner or later. looks like later, and it's the player's fault for not realizing it and agreeing to it now, throwing away 1-2 years of cash and having their skills erode.
2005-02-11 10:25:29 AM  
ederosia -
Funny, I usually support players but can't stand their stupidity this time out. I don't blame them for taking the money owners offered them, anybody would. In fact, I blame the owners for not treating their franchises like businesses. The Red Wings are NOT the Yankees of hockey: they don't turn a profit. They, like many other franchises, are rich kids playthings. The owners don't care how much money they lose on them, it's for fun.

However, now the NHL wants to act like it is a business entity, and the owners have signed on, recognizing that like degenerate drug addicts, they can't help themselves, they want to put a strict system in place, like the NFL did. They need to do this if they want to be a real league, and not just a bunch of clubs.

That said, I would still support the players if they actually acted like a Union. Instead, they've all gone to play in other leagues with strict cap structures, putting 200+ minor league players out on the street so they can have fun playing for money they don't need. Dirtbags, they've ruined the lives of 200+ players and their families.
2005-02-11 10:30:00 AM  
Looks like its back to watching professional basketweaving for me.

/fark, i miss hockey
2005-02-11 10:30:08 AM  

I don't know about getting rid of Buffalo. Sure, they've had a recent lull, but I know quite a few Sabres fans and they're pretty hardcore. I'd give 'em another chance.
2005-02-11 10:33:30 AM  

My fault, I meant to include them but overlooked them.

Sinister Minister

Funny, a forward who thinks goalies should be fair game...I'd never expect that! :-P The only goalie who I think should be fair game is Ed Belfour. That guy is an idiot!
2005-02-11 10:36:29 AM  
i know there is alot about this whole hockey lockout that i, as a woman, just don't understand, nor care about...

i just want my hockey back...i want blood stained ice, i want faces smashed into the glass and broken teeth...i want fights on the ice that the referees sometimes get invovled with...i want the screaming fans and drunken nights at Austin Avenue to come back...

oh the humanity...whatever
2005-02-11 10:37:35 AM  
Sinister Minister:
Point taken about the trap. It isn't as prominent as it used to be. Still, that brings me to the first thing I said in Step 2: larger rinks. Olympic or World Cup-sized rinks would open things up, and even if the trap is used it will be that much easier to break through it. Why keep the rink the same size when the players, especially the defensemen, are just getting bigger?

I REALLY want to see hockey recover. I, and I think some of you in this thread, are in the "minority" who miss it. And I think we have a better clue than Bettman as to how to save it.
2005-02-11 10:42:40 AM  
I'd prefer to see 2 conferences and 4 divisions of 5 teams each:

Eastern Conference
Montreal, Buffalo, Rangers, Islanders, Hartford.
Boston, New Jersey, Philly, D.C., Ottawa.

Western Conference
Detroit, Chicago, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Calgary.
Colorado, Edmonton, Vancouver, L.A., Minnesota.

That ought to bring back some high calibre hockey!
2005-02-11 10:43:51 AM  
DC keeping a team in a shortened league state is silly. DC doesn't care about hockey, it's a football town here, and it always will be. Even during their cup run, no one really cared much.
2005-02-11 10:51:21 AM  

The problem is, no matter who you take out, people are going to be upset. The only way I see it, you remove D.C., move Pittsburgh into that spot, move Minnesota to the other Western Conference division and give the remaining spot to San Jose. That wouldn't be too bad considering San Jose has done pretty well recently. They were really the team that kicked off all that expansion crap back in the early 90's and (thankfully for them) done well to become a decent hockey club.
2005-02-11 10:52:22 AM  
Guess it would look more like this:

Eastern Conference
Montreal, Buffalo, Rangers, Islanders, Hartford.
Boston, New Jersey, Philly, Pittsburgh, Ottawa.

Western Conference
Detroit, Chicago, Toronto, Minnesota, Calgary.
Colorado, Edmonton, Vancouver, L.A., San Jose.
2005-02-11 10:57:11 AM  
Leeds: That looks better. opens up the DC area to an AHL squad here.. I think minor league hockey would work better here anyway, cheaper tickets to get fans into the game, etc.

Regardless, I'll bet the NHL tries to come back with all the teams intact when they get the cap.. which is going to cause problems anyway. Remember what baseball attendance was like post-strike? It's gonna get ugly.. some of these franchises are going to fold.
2005-02-11 11:06:09 AM  
I really feel for you Hockey fans, because I think the NHL may be permanently dead. If it all went back to normal tomorrow I don't think the league could recover without the majority of teams going under.

I blame the owners, they screwed themselves with bad deals, and most players can simply go to europe and make a lot less, but still good money.

But, hey, pitchers and catchers report in a couple weeks, so all you bored Canadians can root for the Montreal Expos......wait, never mind.
2005-02-11 11:13:56 AM  
If ice can't naturally form in your city you shouldn't have an NHL team. Cancel the season and commence the contraction (and return the Whalers from exile).
2005-02-11 11:16:47 AM  


2005-02-11 11:31:22 AM  
I'd care a lot less about the NHL if there was an AHL team within reasonable distance to watch. There's plenty of good hockey besides the NHL.
2005-02-11 11:43:08 AM  
Leeds37: Right on. You basically nailed it, but I think it's debatable that either Hartford or Pittsburgh would be more viable franchise than the Crapitals. And I'm not sure you can really contract Dallas at this point.
2005-02-11 11:45:07 AM  
Actually Hockey is the 6th most popular sport now
2. baseball
3. basketball
4. nascar
5. Golf
6. hockey
2005-02-11 11:51:01 AM  
When you look at the Caps, Penguins, and Whalers, it's kind of a toss up. That can be left open for discussion. The problem I have with Dallas is a mix with region and how they left Minn. Sure, Dallas is a good team, but you need to start somewhere and it's just where I cut the line. I don't really think too many people would be disappointed if Dallas lost a franchise. At least, no more than the likes of people in Nashville or Atlanta even. The idea is for the league to put out a marketable product and make money doing it. I think you'd have a better chance of doing that with teams in the northern region of the continent.
2005-02-11 11:57:39 AM  
52% revenue won't work.
have you ever heard of any business owner willing to part with 52% of their profits?

Go read some of the reports of the meetings, they were seriously talking about 48-57% going to players, of course they were talking net revenue, after operating expenses and I'm talking about total revenue.
2005-02-11 12:16:11 PM  

You forgot to put poker in there. More people watched poker on TV this year, than watched hockey on ESPN last year.
2005-02-11 12:34:35 PM  
Actually reverbblue,
Based on attendance at the respective stadiums, Baseball is by far and away the most popular sport in America with Football running a distant second.
Based on TV ratings the NFL is the most popular in individual games. Obviously that disingenious because the NFL is only on once a week, whereas baseball is on 5 or 6. So if you add up the total viewership of both sports, again MLB is far and away the more watched sport.

can't find the article where I read the attendace figures for the major sports
2005-02-11 12:37:41 PM  
Good riddance to bad rubbish.
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