*sob* we miss you, hockey
December 20, 2004 12:49 PM   Subscribe

Hey dicks, make a deal. [mi]
posted by adampsyche (26 comments total)
The NHL is locked out. Some of you may have noticed, others not (56 percent in US had no idea). The union and the league rejected respective offers last week, effectively leaving no hope for a contracted season, making the NHL the first league to most likely lose a season to a labor dispute. A Dark Day, indeed. Tips abound for NHL fans for coping with the lockout, and G4TechTV is airing video games to replace the live ones. Minor league games are, unsurprisingly, gaining in attendance, despite the occassional mooning. What's at stake is a lot of money, and a salary cap that every other major sport has, but the players are unwilling to accept. Summits and meetings have done no good, and under the current economic system of the league, many teams owners report that they are actually saving money by not playing the games. Some fans have written off the game, which won't help hopes for a TV contract. Should we just start watching curling? I knew that Slapshot II was a bad omen.
posted by adampsyche at 12:50 PM on December 20, 2004

Angry hockey fans are tired of having to watch basketball. Got it.

Me too.

I don't think either side has any illusions about the damage being done to their sport. That said, this season is pretty done anyway. The drop dead date is the 10th of January. I don't see either side budging.
posted by fenriq at 12:56 PM on December 20, 2004

Go to AHL games instead.
posted by me3dia at 12:58 PM on December 20, 2004

See also SportsFilter's discussion—or rather, lack of it.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 1:01 PM on December 20, 2004

Oooh, didn't see it. Good looking out, though.
posted by adampsyche at 1:06 PM on December 20, 2004

world juniors soon

Besides that I've been living off the rare AHL (Wolfpack) or college hockey game that get televised and trying not to get too upset as I read things like this or this. Good stories like this one help me survive. I do wish AHL access was better. I'd love to get scores via yahoo or see more then the token game a week MSG Network has been using to fill time.

Oh yeah... and F*** Bettman.
posted by 10sball at 1:16 PM on December 20, 2004

I have been watching some of the English Premiere League instead of my lack of NHL. That's soccer, or football if you aren't in the US. Go Crystal Palace! (Oh, if I must like a good team put me down for Arsenal.)

The sport is on all the time, and with the English pro teams, it is almost like watching hockey played on a field, slower, and with less checking. But it is fun! Who knew a 2-1 game could have excitement without someone being checked into the boards?
posted by andreaazure at 1:23 PM on December 20, 2004

Hockey has been ruined by Gary Bettman. The players are wrong, but if they can hurt Bettman then I am on their side. Yes, even if they don't realize they are hurting him....

Who ever heard of calling a sports team The Mighty Ducks? What happened to Norris Patrick Smyth and Adams divisions! How could they be dumb enough to abandon Minnesota just to return with a crappy new franchise ten years later?

Then there is the entire issue of selling out the Canadian teams...

The league deserves to suffer badly, too bad the players greed will make them cave before any good comes from this horrible mess.
posted by Chuckles at 1:28 PM on December 20, 2004

...a salary cap that every other major sport has...

Except baseball, the major-est of the major sports (in the U.S. anyway).

Quick summary of the owners' position: "Hey, sorry. We had a bit of a Tulip craze and agreed to pay you more than we can afford. What, you're offering to accept a 24% pay cut? Sorry, that's not good enough; we could still be idiots all over again and agree to unrealistic salaries in the future. So you'll have to take a salary cap, since we have no business sense whatsoever. You may argue that this is contradicted by the myriad ways we manage to hide our revenues and make it look like we're poor when we're not, such as over-paying our associated publicly-traded television stations. To this we respond, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Salary cap or nothing."

I think it's hilarious, if sad, the way that people keep ragging on "the greedy players". For every 35 "greedy" players, there is one FABULOUSLY wealthy and greedy team owner who, I promise you from the bottom of my heart, doesn't need the money any more than the star players do.

There is a profound moral hazard in having teams be privately held by mega-rich businessmen who are also affiliated with publicly-traded companies. This creates a huge incentive to "synergize" the 2 (usually more like 3-5) entities and funnel the revenue into the traded companies. The strengthening of the players' unions and improved representation by "star" agents (I think it started with baseball in the 80s, not completely sure) finally allowed players to get a decent cut; of course, the owners are still screaming bloody murder because it correspondingly squeezes their pocketbooks.

Of course, there are off-market teams who can't compete for talent in a free market like this. But if the owners really cared, they'd introduce revenue sharing. I'll believe they care when I see it.
posted by rkent at 1:28 PM on December 20, 2004

What me3dia said. The AHL players have more heart and passion anyway. The only time the NHL seems to get interesting is during the playoffs, when small market Canadian teams (non-Vancouver and Toronto) get involved.
posted by AlexReynolds at 1:38 PM on December 20, 2004

Another possibility: Bring Back the WHA!

To really make this proposal work, though, they should bring back the awesome old-school jerseys and the even more awesome vintage hockey hair.
posted by gompa at 1:54 PM on December 20, 2004

I'm just writing off this season as a fluke- an extra-long offseason, if you will. At this point, if the lockout ended, they might just well wait till next year anyway. If they don't start next season on time, the league is finished and something else will take its place.
posted by Doohickie at 2:46 PM on December 20, 2004

People still watch pro sports?

posted by rushmc at 3:04 PM on December 20, 2004

rushmc, you think we should be listening to music instead?
posted by billsaysthis at 3:20 PM on December 20, 2004

I'm an American who grew up loving the NFL, NHL, NBA and baseball.

I could care less about these leagues now.

The English Premiership is probably the most entertaining professional sports league on the planet.

Why? They bust their asses out there- every minute of every game... and they are all very talented (especially Thierry Henry).

Today I watched an 8th place team play a 15th place team, and it was if they were playing for the championship.

Yes, they make a lot of money. But you would think they were playing for just their meal money. It's quite refreshing. And there's just one commercial break during the games.

I know Americans like scoring. But look at the product - it's crap. Especially the NBA. It's pointless.
posted by newswing at 3:45 PM on December 20, 2004

Yes but these leaves more venues open for Arena Football. The most craptastic sports spinoff ever! GO SABERCATS! AND TAKE THE SJ EARTHQUAKES WITH YOU!
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 3:48 PM on December 20, 2004

rushmc, you think we should be listening to music instead?
posted by billsaysthis at 6:20 PM EST on December 20

You have a problem with listening to music billy?
posted by kamylyon at 3:53 PM on December 20, 2004

buncha overpaid snackasses. the lot of 'em. seriously, those concession workers get way to much money.
posted by bakiwop at 4:33 PM on December 20, 2004

never had more eloquent words been spoken
posted by onkelchrispy at 5:18 PM on December 20, 2004

Don't mind the troll.

Too bad the NHL doesn't have the phat TV contracts, attributable to shitty (Bettman) marketing.
posted by adampsyche at 5:23 PM on December 20, 2004

rushmc, you think we should be listening to music instead?

Touche. But as far as I know, there's no darknet equivalent of professional sports. Yet.
posted by rushmc at 5:34 PM on December 20, 2004

Haha. Stupid fake ass sport.
posted by wfrgms at 6:53 PM on December 20, 2004

adampsyche, you don't mean I'm a troll, do you? Regarding TV revenues in particular, check this Forbes article:

"The difference between what the league is stating as losses and our figures [showing a much lower average loss] has to do with what's included as revenue. For instance, the NHL included only half of the $17 million the New York Islanders got last year for their cable broadcasts. For Islanders owner Charles Wang, who paid $188 million for the team and its cable deal in April 2000, the economic value of owning the team certainly includes the entire cable deal. "

Of course not every team is the Islanders (alas, on many levels that's a blessing for the rest of them), but the article goes on to describe other chicanery, like not counting box suite tickets as team revenue. In general, just look at the fact that many team valuations continue to rise; this is rock-solid evidence that either they're making money somewhere, or the prospective buyers have no fiscal sense at all. You pick.
posted by rkent at 7:13 PM on December 20, 2004

Newswing, you should come to SportsFilter and join our fantasy leagues--two for the EPL this season, one for Champions League and even a small one for MLS.

MiltonRandKalman, leave my poor Earthquakes alone! Not bad enough Landon ran off the Germany, now Ramiro is gone to Norway and Agoos to the Metrostars.
posted by billsaysthis at 9:10 PM on December 20, 2004

No, no, rkent. Just those that come to a thread of which they have no fucking interest and poke fun at those who are interested.
posted by adampsyche at 5:03 AM on December 21, 2004

Compare NHL to NBA and MLB.
posted by adampsyche at 5:56 AM on December 21, 2004

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