Whose Side Are YOU On?
Greedy players, cash strapped Owners, stubborn Union Reps, condescending Commissioner. Enough is enough is enough! The game of hockey has been deteriorating for years. Television networks donít want us. The game is no longer exciting. Goal scoring has decreased significantly. The league is losing money, mostly due to player costs but also because of expansion into cities like Nashville and Atlanta. Players blame Owners Ė Owners blame Players. What difference does it make whose to blame? The fact is Ė and it is a fact, the LEAGUE is losing money and lots of it. Wanna fix it? Sit down, grab yourself a cold one and ponder these thoughts.
The way to resolve ALL of the NHLís problems isÖ to do nothing. Thatís right, do nothing. No salary cap, no linkage to revenues, no rule changesÖ nothing. Back to work you go you bunch of prima Donna babies.
Hereís the deal. Bettman made a mess of things when he tried to expand the league into cities that simply cannot support the game. These are the teams that cause the league as a whole, to lose money. There is no fan base in Nashville! Two teams in Florida? The Mighty Ducks? Come on, the NHL is a comedy in comparison to other pro sports. So for that reason alone Bettman needs to be held accountable. However, whatís done is done and now we must find a way to move on.
So, we do nothing! The teams that continue to lose money lose their franchise, just like any other business. If McDonalds opens up a franchise in Siberia and it is proven to be unsuccessful, what do they do? They close the doors and open up somewhere else. Yes, itís a little more complicated than that in the NHL. The league must take their medicine and repay those owners that invested their 100 million large, but that is the cost of making mistakes in this business.
What does this accomplish you ask? Well, letís say for the sake of argument that 30% of the teams in the NHL are losing money! That represents about 10 teams that we would blow out of the NHL immediately. This also represents 30% of the Players Union. Ha, looks good on em! Fat bastards! Now, as a league we have the ability to make money. All of the existing teams are profitable with a good solid fan base and we no longer have the 10 failing teams draining the leagues revenue just to keep them afloat. The League is also faced with less travel, less accommodation, less food, less hookers. Ooops. Essentially, we have a league that is now able to make money.
The added benefit to closing the doors on ten teams in the NHL, is that we would also lose 300 of the worst NHLíers in the league. These are the Clutchers and Grabbers in the game. Every team has a couple of these clowns. You know, the guys who couldnít fill a spot on your local beer league! The good players of course, will find positions on other teams. As a result we have made every team in the league better, simply by eliminating the 10 teams that lose money. Now we have complete parity in the league. No garage league players clutching and grabbing because they canít keep up with the stars. Just quality players playing an entertaining game of hockey.
Problems solved. The league can now become profitable. The players, hopefully, will now understand that when the league says business they mean business. The quality of the game reaches a new level. Goal scoring will increase. Fans will come back to watch the stars and of course the television networks will be bidding for the rights.
Too bad Bettman didnít have the cherries to do it. Instead we lose a full year of hockey and if things donít get resolved soon we may lose another. Thatís a scenario that would be absolutely devastating to the game of hockey. Every one knows this and that is why a deal will be done before the end of the summer. It will be a deal that both sides will claim victory but in reality will be bad for all concerned. There will still be teams that lose money and continue to be a drain on the leagueís revenues and we will still have poor quality players trying to keep up with the true athletes of the game.
Perhaps the underlying silver lining is that come the next round of negotiations, we will have new leaders on both sides of the table who actually understand the complexities of running a successful hockey business.
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