Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Gary Bettman have infringed on the end of summer and there’s no end in sight. Summer isn’t over, yet hockey fans are wondering if they should pack up the sunscreen and swimsuits just yet for skates and snow gear. Training camp is just weeks away, or is it?
Kudos for the Russian hockey “activist” Alex Ovechkin for making efforts to save the 2012-13 season and a chance to rebound. Representing the modern hockey god, Sidney Crosby has also put his actions to save the careers of many of his colleagues. Depending on Crosby’s medical clearance, he may not see much of a season despite his efforts.
This is about money, isn’t it? Yes, yes, it is.
Fans have been raging over ticket prices for years. Average Joe attends AHL or college games. Average Joe does not enjoy sitting in the rafters at Joe Louis Arena or Madison Square Garden. Really, they don’t. The real competition is the affiliates and training/development programs that feed into the NHL that will benefit from a lockout.
Let’s not even talk about the KHL or European leagues where many snubbed NHL players are making their livelihood.
The proposal is to spread the wealth. Successful teams needs to help the fledglings so the money is created equal. Slashing salaries of the players and limits to contracts still does not resolve the high cost of being an NHL fan.
As a hockey writer, the lockout will impede the progress made under the direction of…em…Bettman in the media. Tormented and despised, his tactics grew the sport’s popularity and TV deals proving the strategy is working. Authority figures ruining everything is not a new concept, but it’s not the coaches, announcers, trainers or any of the staff who have crippled the season. Ownership and investment calls all the shots and signs the paychecks.
All this is important to hometown hockey hooligans who cannot imagine life without hockey, but they will if a deal cannot be met by Sept. 15.
Posted in Eastern Conference, Teams, Western Conference
Tagged CBA, Collective Bargaining Agreement, college, Crosby, Gary Bettman, Joe Louis Arena, KHL, Madison Square Garden, NHL, Ovechkin
The NHL Board of Governors will meet in Pebble Beach next week to discuss realigning the NHL to better serve the long hours of travel teams must face. Since the Atlanta Thrashers folded giving birth to the second resurrection of the Winnipeg Jets, the League has been bouncing around a few scenarios they hope to decide upon while taking in a few rounds of golf. Is this really that big of an issue? It is for the Detroit Red Wings and the Columbus Blue Jackets.
There has been some grumbling from the Nashville Predators who would like a piece of something in all this meandering, and then there is the Dallas Stars who for some reason think they should be the helm of a new division.
But it gets better like a hint of juicy gossip that really isn’t that great as much as the anticipation. Supposedly, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman promised the Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Illitch that the Red Wings would join the Eastern Conference among the modern-day dynasties like the Boston Bruins, the Montreal Canadiens, the New York Rangers, and even the New York Islanders. Detroit would fit right in.
Football and hockey are united in the Michigan/Ohio battle. As anyone raised in Michigan knows, at some point Ohio sticks its nose into Michigan’s business, just as the Columbus Blue Jackets are making a case for their own Eastern Conference bid. Worried Red Wings fans? Teams like the Rangers and Bruins would prefer the ailing Jackets because they are easy prey. Detroit is serious competition.
The complicated plan of realignment represent this type of promising and not delivering; the easy plan swaps the Wings for the Jets. Steve Yzerman would than face his former team and who wouldn’t want to see that in Hockeytown?
Then there are the Western Conference teams who don’t want to see the Red Wings leave due to revenue stream. Hey, how about pumping up the Vancouver Canucks or the Colorado Avalanche for some money-making ventures. The Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks feed the celebrity machine which should be raising some type of cash flow or call on the Edmonton Oilers with their dynamic duo of Hall and Nugent-Hopkins.
Both Conferences see Detroit as the excellence in the League like fighting over the driving a hot car: it would be cool to drive, but the dangers of that much power could get you pulled over.
Posted in Teams, Western Conference
Tagged Atlanta Thrashers, Boston Bruins, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Eastern Conference, Edmonton Oilers, Gary Bettman, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, NHL, realignment, Steve Yzerman, Western Conference, Winnipeg Jets