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(Toronto Star)   Deepening recession + lack of decent American TV contract + falling CDN dollar + seven Sun Belt franchises = NHL in big trouble   (thestar.com) divider line 58
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1598 clicks; posted to Sports » on 04 Dec 2008 at 6:08 AM (5 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2008-12-04 03:20:29 AM
Perhaps they need to appeal to a wider audience. Maybe making the puck glow, especially during slapshots, would get hockey the viewership it deserves.
 
2008-12-04 04:52:19 AM
Norad: Perhaps they need to appeal to a wider audience. Maybe making the puck glow, especially during slapshots, would get hockey the viewership it deserves.

Ohhh, you wash your mouth out with soap, young man.
 
2008-12-04 06:13:32 AM
The sharks will win the cup this year, and the NHL will fold, and they will be eternal NHL champions, FOR EVER AAAAAND EVEEEEEERRRRRRRR.
 
2008-12-04 06:29:13 AM
So the article is just making random guesses as to what may happen if certain conditions line up juuuuust right. Great journalism. No WInnipeg will not have a team again. NO Hamilton will never have a team. The fact that "southern Ontario" was even mentioned for getting a franchise makes the article worthless. Haaaack

/cranky
 
2008-12-04 06:32:16 AM
KidDisaster: So the article is just making random guesses as to what may happen if certain conditions line up juuuuust right. Great journalism. No WInnipeg will not have a team again. NO Hamilton will never have a team. The fact that "southern Ontario" was even mentioned for getting a franchise makes the article worthless. Haaaack

/cranky


You're pretty whiny for someone who himself lives in Southern Ontario Mr. Buffalo
 
2008-12-04 06:39:15 AM
in other news, this has been a really exciting season so far.
 
2008-12-04 06:48:43 AM
Deepening recession + lack of decent American TV contract + falling CDN dollar + seven Sun Belt franchises = NHL in big trouble

/ftfs
 
2008-12-04 07:09:05 AM
How many farking times did people tell Bettman that the southern expansion was a really bad idea. Well Bettman, the league is going to contract. Personally, I think it's a good thing. If you want to grow hockey in a market, start with an AHL team, support junior hockey and let it happen naturally.

Maybe this will actually mean teams in real markets, smaller player salaries and better ticket prices. $9 in Detroit? Fark, I wish.

Go Sens
nhl.speedera.net
 
2008-12-04 07:24:33 AM
IMHO, the problem is that there are just more hockey teams than there are good players. I actually enjoy college hockey more than the pros.

And yes, I know its a violent game, but it seems to me that violent behavior is more a substitute for talent. While it takes skill to run the puck the length of the ice, any idiot can high stick someone in the head. Its not so much that I mind the fighting and punching, its just that it gets boring to watch.
 
2008-12-04 07:25:52 AM
Hiro's Protagonist: KidDisaster: So the article is just making random guesses as to what may happen if certain conditions line up juuuuust right. Great journalism. No WInnipeg will not have a team again. NO Hamilton will never have a team. The fact that "southern Ontario" was even mentioned for getting a franchise makes the article worthless. Haaaack

/cranky

You're pretty whiny for someone who himself lives in Southern Ontario Mr. Buffalo


Cranky yes, whiny, not so much. It is clear that the writer does not understand the reality of the situation in Hamilton. They couldn't even sell out an NHL exhibition game that was supposed to prove they could handle a franchise. Investors are not exactly lining up to put a team there and that has been obvious for a while now. On the other hand I would love to see a team in Winnipeg again. Long live the Jets.
 
2008-12-04 07:29:19 AM
whereisian: How many farking times did people tell Bettman that the southern expansion was a really bad idea. Well Bettman, the league is going to contract. Personally, I think it's a good thing. If you want to grow hockey in a market, start with an AHL team, support junior hockey and let it happen naturally.

Maybe this will actually mean teams in real markets, smaller player salaries and better ticket prices. $9 in Detroit? Fark, I wish.

Go Sens


I'm with you except, Go Sabres! Hey how about our teams just tank together, trade everyone for picks so we can be powerhouses in 5 years!
 
2008-12-04 07:43:31 AM
The biggest problem is that the NHL is on Vs. And they are clowns.

I'd rather listen to Brent Musburger than the announcers they got on Versus.

Sad to say, they need to get on ESPN. Everyone knows what channel ESPN is on.

Versus? Not so much.

A no-name network, with announcers that barely know what color the blue line is does not make a winning combination.
 
2008-12-04 08:04:40 AM
That's because professional hockey players aren't as talented as the average high school basketball team playing pickup in the gym.

They should go back to the kitchen and make pie, because no one watches their sport.

/wait, wrong thread?
 
2008-12-04 08:11:50 AM
KidDisaster: I'm with you except, Go Sabres! Hey how about our teams just tank together, trade everyone for picks so we can be powerhouses in 5 years!

Screw that. The last time we had a bad start, we made it to the finals.
 
2008-12-04 08:28:53 AM
Bring back the Whalers! And realistically, you could eliminate half of the teams south of the 40 degree parallel and nobody would notice.
 
2008-12-04 08:46:01 AM
The NHL is not in trouble; certain teams are. It will be a cold day in hell before the Toronto Maple Leafs have any kind of financial problem. There's a goddamn 10 year waiting list for season tickets. They sell out every game. They sell more merchandise than pretty much all other teams put together.

It's not the NHL's fault. It's the some regions just aren't interested in hockey. See also: Boston Red Sox vs Florida Marlins, or Toronto Raptors vs (former) Seattle Sonics. Some sports just don't take off well.
 
2008-12-04 08:50:08 AM
bobbette: Norad: Perhaps they need to appeal to a wider audience. Maybe making the puck glow, especially during slapshots, would get hockey the viewership it deserves.

Ohhh, you wash your mouth out with soap, young man.


I like the glowing puck idea...sign me up...plus I think it's pretty stupid when these guys fight...I don't know if they realize it, but they look like idiots.
 
2008-12-04 08:55:12 AM
whereisian: How many farking times did people tell say that Bettman that the southern expansion was a really bad idea.

Fixed
 
2008-12-04 08:55:50 AM
The Divine Ponytail:

I like the glowing puck idea...sign me up...plus I think it's pretty stupid when these guys fight...I don't know if they realize it, but they look like idiots.


Shouldn't you be watching soccer?
 
2008-12-04 09:04:46 AM
Zanysportslady: The Divine Ponytail:

I like the glowing puck idea...sign me up...plus I think it's pretty stupid when these guys fight...I don't know if they realize it, but they look like idiots.

Shouldn't you be watching soccer?


haha! I like both and I really quite enjoy live hockey - very similar movements in fact - omni-directional play, passing, crossing, scoring from many different angles, etc...but all kidding aside, I still think the fighting is stupid...it's a juvenile distraction to the sport.
 
2008-12-04 09:12:16 AM
NHL in big trouble

Again. Call in Sarah Palin's S-I-L for a save.
 
2008-12-04 09:34:22 AM
funny the Washington Capitals TV ratings are up 100 something %
 
2008-12-04 09:54:07 AM
The Divine Ponytail

haha! I like both and I really quite enjoy live hockey - very similar movements in fact



Soccer should institute a blue-line, instead of the horrid existing "offsides" rule, where defenders can move the line, by running away from their own defensive positions.

A fixed line would A] make more sense, B] be easier to call for the refs, C] eliminate unsportsman-like tactics by the defense, to try and force attackers into a bogus offsides by secretly abandoning their defense and D] serve the intended purpose of the offsides rule.

Also, if yellow-carded players had to sit out for a few minutes, and soccer had more "power plays", then that would improve the sport as well.

(soccer certainly needs improving, IMHO)

Hockey is awesome.
 
2008-12-04 09:57:10 AM
I hope we don't lose the Charlestown Chiefs.
 
2008-12-04 09:58:55 AM
CastorPimp: funny the Washington Capitals TV ratings are up 100 something %

That might be, but when you start off with eight people and get another eight people, that's also a 100% increase.

That play-by-play guy for Washington, he also pukes for Vs. sometimes, is the WORST in the NHL.
 
2008-12-04 10:04:23 AM
LessO2: CastorPimp: funny the Washington Capitals TV ratings are up 100 something %

That might be, but when you start off with eight people and get another eight people, that's also a 100% increase.

That play-by-play guy for Washington, he also pukes for Vs. sometimes, is the WORST in the NHL.


The ratings are up 140% for the Caps and they have a 1.2 ratings average which is pretty decent. (Top 10 in the league)

Joe B. is pretty good I think. Way better than the guys that were doing the HDNET games and NBC games.
 
2008-12-04 10:12:10 AM
zephyr_words: LessO2: CastorPimp: funny the Washington Capitals TV ratings are up 100 something %

That might be, but when you start off with eight people and get another eight people, that's also a 100% increase.

That play-by-play guy for Washington, he also pukes for Vs. sometimes, is the WORST in the NHL.

The ratings are up 140% for the Caps and they have a 1.2 ratings average which is pretty decent. (Top 10 in the league)

Joe B. is pretty good I think. Way better than the guys that were doing the HDNET games and NBC games.


Where can you find team-by-team tv ratings?
 
2008-12-04 10:13:25 AM
If an American team was going to move to Canada, forget Hamilton or Winnipeg. Put it in the east. Place it Centrally in the maratimes (South of Moncton maybe?) and give it a name that appeals to the New Brunswickers, Newfies, New Scots, PE Islanders alike. I think the Maratimes would jump to support a team that represents them.

/Lives in S. Ontario
//Leafs fan
///Sees a lot of Buffalo home games
 
2008-12-04 10:41:08 AM
CastorPimp: funny the Washington Capitals TV ratings are up 100 something %

that's about as far south as the market can reasonably sustain.

i was amazed a week or two ago watching the penguins-thrashers game in Atlanta. half the seats were empty.

ice hockey in phoenix? cereal?
 
2008-12-04 10:47:26 AM
KidDisaster: On the other hand I would love to see a team in Winnipeg again. Long live the Jets.

Would be cool, but not going to happen.

First the new arena they built in Winnipeg is AHL-sized capacity, which means that even if they sell-out every single game, they'll still be near the bottom of the league in attendance. With a falling Canadian dollar, that just won't do.

Second, Winnipeg has a metro-are population of 694,668. That's less that half the size of already small markets such as Buffalo, Nashville, and Columbus. Winnipeg's TV market will be of negligible size, so their TV revenues would not be so good..
 
2008-12-04 10:49:58 AM
whereisian: If you want to grow hockey in a market, start with an AHL team, support junior hockey and let it happen naturally.

You say that, but you know that if they ever put a franchise in Houston, the usual suspects would scream bloody murder about another sunbelt team, despite the fact that the AHL Aeros have been a popular and well-supported local team for years.
 
2008-12-04 10:52:08 AM
Doc Daneeka:


Second, Winnipeg has a metro-are population of 694,668. That's less that half the size of already small markets such as Buffalo, Nashville, and Columbus. Winnipeg's TV market will be of negligible size, so their TV revenues would not be so good..


That might be half of Nashvilles population, but it's easily ten times the number of TV viewers.
 
2008-12-04 10:53:41 AM
I thought that I heard recently that the NHL has sold more tickets to games than the NBA has this season. So the NHL doesn't have a great TV contract, big deal. I personally feel that hockey is better as a small-market game. You're not going to magically convince the country that hockey is a great sport that is fun to watch (I feel this way, but I totally understand why most people don't).

I wholeheartedly agree that some of the southern expansion teams should be moved back up north where there are more fans to appreciate them. Also, the playoff system could use some tweaking since, as a lot of people have pointed out, it kind of renders the regular season pointless.
 
2008-12-04 10:55:17 AM
Mad Canadian: Sad to say, they need to get on ESPN. Everyone knows what channel ESPN is on.

Versus? Not so much.

A no-name network, with announcers that barely know what color the blue line is does not make a winning combination.


Versus does a fine job. Especially since I get it in HD. But their camerawork and commentary have improved. And they actually have pre- and post-game shows, something that ESPN never did.

Being on ESPN wouldn't help hockey. Even when ESPN did have hockey, they treated it as the bastard step-child of their sports family. They did the absolute bare minimum, shoved as many games as possible over to espn2, they cancelled NHL2Nite, and they'd show maybe 3 minutes of hockey scores at the end of SportCenter.

Screw ESPN.

In any case, I don't really care, because I get all the hockey games on TV. Thank god for Center Ice.
 
2008-12-04 10:57:19 AM
The NHL can always just have Reebok make the jerseys flimsier and yet more expensive. Those $115 replicas are garbage.
 
2008-12-04 11:05:35 AM
zephyr_words: LessO2: CastorPimp: funny the Washington Capitals TV ratings are up 100 something %

That might be, but when you start off with eight people and get another eight people, that's also a 100% increase.

That play-by-play guy for Washington, he also pukes for Vs. sometimes, is the WORST in the NHL.

The ratings are up 140% for the Caps and they have a 1.2 ratings average which is pretty decent. (Top 10 in the league)

Joe B. is pretty good I think. Way better than the guys that were doing the HDNET games and NBC games.


Agreed. Joe Beninati is awesome.
 
2008-12-04 11:07:17 AM
NHL ratings article:

http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/media_entertainment/sports-wrap-nh l-teams-on -ratings-power-play/#more-5222
 
2008-12-04 11:48:16 AM
Doc Daneeka: Being on ESPN wouldn't help hockey. Even when ESPN did have hockey, they treated it as the bastard step-child of their sports family. They did the absolute bare minimum, shoved as many games as possible over to espn2, they cancelled NHL2Nite, and they'd show maybe 3 minutes of hockey scores at the end of SportCenter.

Seems like we always have this discussion but I think that with the way ESPN covers everything now that the NHL would benefit greatly from being back on "the network". Now, I hate ESPN as much as the next guy but you can't deny that they cover and promote everything that they show on their network.

There's a reason why a SportsCenter story on the English Premier League flop-ball consists of a :20 lead, 1:30 highlight and :45 graphic on the back end of it. And what follows that? A :30 promo reminding you that live coverage of the next round of the English FA Carling whatever is LIVE ON ESPN TOMORROW!!!! AND YOU SHOULD WATCH IT!!! Oh and here's Sidney Crosby's goal for tonight. Aaaanyway, how's Chauncey Billups liking being home in Denver? Let's interview him for 3:30 and remind you that the Nuggets and Spurs are the first game of the ESPN NBA double-header tomorrow night.

That's pretty much the way it goes. ESPN will always favor whatever they cover. SportsCenter hasn't been an "objective" nightly sports highlight show in years, but it's their premiere brand.
 
2008-12-04 11:49:55 AM
Well, now that the old bastard Wirtz died, the 'Hawks went from poor attendance to the highest (in total, not percentage capacity) in the league. And the home games are on TV! And they're pretty good!

So we're ok here. Finally.

img60.imageshack.us
 
2008-12-04 11:51:32 AM
Oh, and on a positive note: I highly, highly recommend NHL On The Fly on NHL Network for ANYONE who is disappointed in their current NHL highlights show. Check local listings.
 
2008-12-04 11:55:57 AM
Lacrosse is up!


/Go Mammoths!
 
2008-12-04 12:02:37 PM
I think Bill Simmons suggested contracting the league to 20 teams, with 10 in Canada and 10 in the U.S. I might have some of the cities off, but I think this was his basic suggestion:

Canada Conference: Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Quebec City.

U.S. Conference: New York (one team), Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver, Los Angeles, New Jersey, St. Louis and Pittsburgh.

Not a bad idea since you keep the major hockey hotbeds (with the exception of L.A.) and punt the pipe-dream cities, though who knows if teams could survive in Saskatoon or Quebec City, or Pittsburgh (long-term).
 
2008-12-04 12:06:03 PM
Eh, lets just cull the league back to the Original 6 and be done with it. ;)
 
2008-12-04 12:11:27 PM
If I lose my Sharks, that will make two NHL teams I have lost that I simply love. That would be like losing two relatives I grew up with. And I have lost enough.

/ Gawd, stop taking my farking shiz away you farking bastige
// Go Sharks!
 
2008-12-04 12:12:46 PM
tnpir: I think Bill Simmons suggested contracting the league to 20 teams, with 10 in Canada and 10 in the U.S. I might have some of the cities off, but I think this was his basic suggestion:

Canada Conference: Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Quebec City.

U.S. Conference: New York (one team), Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver, Los Angeles, New Jersey, St. Louis and Pittsburgh.


Sorry, I'm not going to take advice from a guy who hates hockey and has repeatedly gone out of his way to express his disdain for the sport.

Secondly, fark anyone who wants to take my Buffalo Sabres away from me.

The Sabres get the highest TV ratings of any US-based team. Better than Detroit and better than Pittsburgh. Sabres merchandise tends to be among the top selling in the league (was #1 overall a couple years ago). And the Sabres have traditionally had strong home attendance.

And Simmons wants to eliminate them? Simmons is on crack.
 
2008-12-04 12:17:54 PM
Doc Daneeka: tnpir: I think Bill Simmons suggested contracting the league to 20 teams, with 10 in Canada and 10 in the U.S. I might have some of the cities off, but I think this was his basic suggestion:

Canada Conference: Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Quebec City.

U.S. Conference: New York (one team), Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver, Los Angeles, New Jersey, St. Louis and Pittsburgh.

Sorry, I'm not going to take advice from a guy who hates hockey and has repeatedly gone out of his way to express his disdain for the sport.

Secondly, fark anyone who wants to take my Buffalo Sabres away from me.

The Sabres get the highest TV ratings of any US-based team. Better than Detroit and better than Pittsburgh. Sabres merchandise tends to be among the top selling in the league (was #1 overall a couple years ago). And the Sabres have traditionally had strong home attendance.

And Simmons wants to eliminate them? Simmons is on crack.


Well, like I said, I could be getting some of the cities wrong. For all I remember he left Buffalo in there and took someone else out. Additionally, he might have had 12 U.S. teams and eight Canadian teams. I just remember it seemed like a generally good idea (emphasis on GENERALLY) to shiat-can 10 worthless teams and make the league lively and competitive again.
 
2008-12-04 12:18:34 PM
People wonder why the NHL went so far south and west, it's because they do everything in lockstep with USA Hockey assn. Amateur hockey clubs aren't as big in the USA, as with Canada, so there are less US based 'feeder' systems in place for Hockey. Almost every Amateur hockey club in the USA in some way shape or form deals with USA Hockey even if they are wholly private franchises.

It was all part of USA Hockey's push to bring youth programs to the South and Southwest USA, to cultivate future hockey players, and as a caveat to support it, the NHL franchised into those areas as well. If you want to know when that first started, it had a little something to do with a Certain #99 being traded away to a little town in some state called California.

This is why the League is trying -I'm afraid to the detriment of the game as a whole at all levels, and the League itself- to hold on to it's southern franchises, and seemingly ignore the fact that at least one more Canadian franchise might actually be more viable. But see, there are no problems marketing the game in Canada, Only the U.S.

I think at this point the league is surviving basically on the talent and ability of it's players and coaches. It certainly has nothing to do with Bettman.
 
2008-12-04 12:20:14 PM
NHL sucks. Nothing but left turns.
 
2008-12-04 12:30:09 PM
Toronto Sun: Waaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh! Despite clear evidence hockey is working in the south, we'll make numbers up to say it's not because we want more teams in Ontario. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
 
2008-12-04 12:30:49 PM
I'm a failciter.
 
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