Home / “Game On!” in the NHL

“Game On!” in the NHL

Please Share...Print this pageTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

The NHL and the NHLPA have announced “an agreement in principle” on a new collective bargaining contract, effectively ending the 10-month hockey lockout.

Details aren’t available right now, pending approval by both the NHL Board of Govorners and the NHLPA Members, but earlier indications (on July 7) were that the deal includes a $37 million salary cap.

Detroit goalie Manny Legace was upset about the deal, saying that the players lost a season for no reason at all, and blamed union head Bob Goodenow for the lockout.

“It makes no sense what we ended up doing,” Legace said. “For years, Bob was telling us, ‘No cap. Owners aren’t telling us the truth about their books.’ Then out of nowhere, he gives the owners a 24-percent rollback and it looked like we were panicking.

“Then after saying we wouldn’t even consider a salary cap, he backed down on that at the last minute just before the lockout. It was too late, and now we’re taking a worse deal.”

The NHL now has to try to regain its fan base — which will be difficult since it lost a deal with ESPN to broadcast games. Hockey already had a small fan base in the United States; a problem the league was trying to correct by establishing franchises in the South. It will remain to be seen how long it takes hockey to bounce back in the US — if it ever does.
Edited: LH

Powered by

About Warren Kelly

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks Warren! I believe they were waiting to settle until there was no one left who gave a shit

  • Another reason that unions, in general, might cause more problems than they solve?

  • That was my take on it, Tan, but if I’d said much more, it would have become Opinion rather than News (lol).

    Sad thing is, Legace was the players union rep not long ago, and Goodenow jumped him like crazy when he started talking about giving in to a salary cap. Now they’ve done it, but not before they ruined the league.

  • If Gretzky and Lemieux saved the game in the ’80s and ’90s, Ilya Kovalchuk and ________ will need to do it this time around.

  • Hah. You could have still mentioned it. I for one like it when authors give their opinions after the news. It’s what makes BC better than other news sources. You can get the news anywhere, but the opinions give a a greater sense of awareness.

  • Hockey is an acquired taste, like a beer I once tried that was called Arrogant Bastard. However, I never acquired the taste for either.

    Maybe hockey will fade away, so more cities can afford football franchises.

  • As much as people love football, there is always that fear of overexpansion. Look at baseball and how horrible the expansion teams have fared – for many other reasons.

    Hockey might fade away… I sort of agree, but it brings a tear to my eye.

  • I hear you on that… I just like the thought of more gridiron to watch highlights on.

    However, if hockey really does fade away, I wonder what sport would replace it? Think soccer has a better chance?

  • RJ

    “That was my take on it, Tan, but if I’d said much more, it would have become Opinion rather than News (lol).”

    Heh… 😉

  • RJ

    There are still plenty of die-hard hockey fans in the US to keep the league in business (in Detroit and NY and Boston and Philly, just to name a few places).

    But, this was definitely a black eye for the sport. They now have a “clean slate” and a chance to create more fans than before, by initiating some rule changes to make the game more exciting to watch on TV. IMHO, of course…

  • Nascar?

  • I realize I could get hung in the South for saying this, but I don’t consider Nascar a sport. That’s like calling Springsteen concerts a sport. But in terms of popularity, it could attain such levels.

    Getting back to hockey— will half filled arenas pay the rent though, RJ?

  • I think the NHL will end up losing a lot of teams in the next few years.

    I look for Atlanta to fold up (unfortunately — I’ve been a Thrashers fan since year 1.) I worry about Nashville and Carolina. Tampa and Florida, I don’t know about. There will be some “contraction,” but maybe the league will come out stronger.

    And maybe now more people appreciate minor league hockey a bit more.

    I think it would be interesting to see pro lacrosse gain a following. It’s hockey on grass, basically.

  • RJ

    “I realize I could get hung in the South for saying this, but I don’t consider Nascar a sport. That’s like calling Springsteen concerts a sport.”

    Heh… 😉

    “Getting back to hockey— will half filled arenas pay the rent though, RJ?”

    They won’t be half-filled in Detroit or Calgary, I can assure you…

  • Ok, let’s do “Who’s Gonna Be Left?” I’ll start:

    New Jersey
    NY Rangers
    Washington (?)
    NY Islanders (?)

    Chicago (?)
    St. Louis (?)

    Anyone else?

  • RJ

    What about Carolina?

  • RJ

    And the Islanders have enough fans to stick around…

  • RJ

    As well as Chicago…but St. Louis could possibly go away without much fanfare…

  • You’re right, RJ — I went through and eliminated all Southern teams without thinking, but if any of them are going to stick around, it would be Carolina.

  • San Jose Sharks has a pretty die hard fanbase.

  • What about my Buffalo Sabres? There’s nothing else to do when football is over, so they will still pack them in.

  • Rob

    There has to be some contraction for the NHL to survive. You could argue that most of the teams in the southern States could disappear without much backlash from the fans, with the exception of Dallas and maybe Tampa Bay(only because they won the last cup). Even Carolina is on thin ice. The NHL PR machine will have a very tough time selling the game, especially in the Southern markets. I read somewhere that Poker is a better draw in the States then NHL hockey for ESPN.

  • td

    Yes some teams may not last in places they should not have been to begin with. But the new cap will allow some canadian cities to reclaim their teams.

    Here’s a revised list.

    Stable Teams:

    New Jersey
    NY Rangers
    NY Islanders

    Teams that might leave if NHL doesn’t recover:

    Tamba Bay (Small Market, Great Ownership)
    Washington (Good market size, fairly stable ownership)
    Buffalo (Good market, bad ownership)
    Chicago (Good market, bad ownership)
    Minnesota (Good market, good ownership)
    St. Louis (Good market, bad ownership)
    San Jose (Good market, good ownership)
    Dallas (Good market, ok ownership)
    Phoenix (Small market, great ownership)
    Anaheim (Small market, ok ownership)

    Teams that may leave regardless:
    Carolina (?)
    Florida (?)
    Atlanta (?)
    Columbus (?)

    Cities with existing ownership groups interested in NHF franchises:

    Quebec City

    I think that once the game comes back with more scoring and more parity among teams most franchises will be just fine.

  • I think that Columbus might survive — they’ve got a pretty good fanbase around here. The Thrashers are gone unless a miracle happens, in spite of the fan base.

  • Rob

    I think Columbus and Minnesota were great places to expand to. Now if they would move Atlanta or Nashville to Winnepeg, that would be a decent move too. With the new CBA, a team could survive in Winnepeg.

  • Atlanta was a good idea at the time — there are a lot of transplants living in Atlanta, and there are still people there who were/are Atlanta Knights (now Calgary Flames) fans.

    Part of the problem there is the fans. I’ve seen people walk out of a tied-up Braves game in the ninth inning because they had “other things to do.” They don’t back teams that don’t win, and nobody explained to them that it takes an expansion team several years to make it to the playoffs. Actually, it was explained, but nobody listened.

    We had connections, so I got some great seats when we wanted to go to a game (first game was center ice, 15 rows back). There were diehard fans there, but some of the people there seemed like they felt the hockey game was superfluous.