January 13, 2005

MeFi: tackles NHL lock-out: i think two posts are worth sharing...and then promptly breaks down into violence/ethics blather.

posted by garfield to hockey at 10:44 AM - 29 comments

hope those links are working, because they aren't for me......Anyway, an emergency ('Clear!', ZAP, ...[flatline] ....'Again!!!') proposal was promptly and nonsensically dismissed yesterday by both the league and PA. Kasten's intro contains a tasty tidbit: "Obviously my three decades of involvement in sports business and collective bargaining negotiations has been exclusively on the management side, and my sympathies continue to lie there(my emphasis)." Hmmm??? In light of Modano's comments earlier this week, which have been removed from online existence, as far as I can tell, and been replaced with a 'clarification' just like every other player's comments the day after they speak their minds, it seems the ranks of both sides are beginning to take matters into their own hands. Whatever it takes, but enough with this bullshit posturing. Also, there was an excellent Outside The Lines piece on ESPN last night highlighting the oil money driving the massive investments in NHL talent for the Russian Hockey League, and the likely potential of that league to provide a viable option for world-class European talent to make comparable $$$ while being closer to home. Bettman, are you hearing me yet? Oh yeah, a RHL team owner (a magnate of a state-run oil company) also suggests a playoff between leagues. An innovative and exciting and profitable idea put forward by a non-NHL-person. Imagine that! Oh yeah, one more thing, Down with Bettman!

posted by garfield at 12:30 PM on January 13, 2005

How is a simple link to the NHL section of ESPN "best of the web"? This would make a very good Sportsfilter post. posted by salmacis at 5:11 AM PST on January 13 oh sure, our standards are lower such that linking to the NHL section of ESPN is a good thing? Linking to the actual item of interest would be better. Even though it does seem to be peppered with some lousy suggestions.

posted by gspm at 12:33 PM on January 13, 2005

How is a simple link to a Metafiler thread discussing a link to the NHL section of ESPN "best of the web"? This would make a very good MetaTalk post.

posted by gspm at 12:34 PM on January 13, 2005

How is a simple link.... because the two rants are funny, passionate, right on the money, and are opinions not heard nearly enough.

posted by garfield at 12:44 PM on January 13, 2005

the best way to save the nhl is for nba managers to get involve so they could bring a great sport back to the u.s. plus since jay z is getting in business and he have part ownership of the nets and having the nets relocated to brooklyn how about he bring a nhl team to brooklyn. the nhl better solve the problems it havin

posted by dhdefrag3x at 01:17 PM on January 13, 2005

Random opinions of mine regarding different aspects of the game... Being a Wings fan, I strenuously oppose a salary cap and revenue sharing in the NHL. We live in a capatilist system...if the Wings can afford to pay $100 million a year on their payroll, why not let them? Is it the Wings fault that other markets do not support their teams as rabidly as we do? I don't care if it's fair or not. I don't have as much money as Bill Gates, nor do I have viable means to make money equal to him. Does he owe me money because of this? Does the government limit how much he can spend of his fortune? No, and no. Why should sports be any different? Should the '84 Oilers have been forced to give a couple of their stars to another team, because said team didn't have equal talent on their roster? That's just as asinine as revenue sharing to me. Bottom line, if you feel that you cannot afford to compete in the NHL, then maybe you need to close up shop and move to another business. Why punish the guys that get it right? Along the money lines, look at the finalists in the last 3 Cup Finals. Calgary/Tampa, New Jersey/Anaheim, Detroit/Carolina. Other than the Wings, these teams are not big spenders, whether it's because of lack of funds, or owner initiative. They all prove that you don't have to spend big bucks to succeed in the NHL, while the Rangers prove the opposite. Why must there be a league mandate on how much each team spends? Rule changes...move the nets back where to 11 ft from the end boards, but leave the blue lines where they are. You get a bigger offensive zone, and without widening the neutral zone, which might create more offense and cut down on the trap...maybe. Also, bring back the tag-up rule. I cannot stress this enough. Keep the redline, and keep the touch-up icing, just to be different from the Euro game. Widening the bluelines is retarded...it looks ridiculous, there's little benefit, it will cause mass-confusion if it's implemented, and will scare off even more of the new fans Bettman is trying to attract. Instead, give linesmen the power to call penalties that the refs do not catch, especially in the neutral zone where they are usually focusing, and most infractions occur anyway. In the NFL and NBA, you see many plays where multiple officials make the same call, and none of them feel slighted by it. If a ref and linesman make separate calls at the same time, then the ref's can take precedence. And for Chrissake, leave the size of the nets alone. Regulate goalie equipment along the ESPN guidelines, by the player's size... Once the dust settles on this lockout, Gary Bettman must be fired, and replaced with someone who understands the game and culture of hockey. Bettman has made a mockery of the NHL, and it needs to stop now. I also have an idea for a blanket salary proposal, but I think this post is getting a little long as it is...

posted by MeatSaber at 01:36 PM on January 13, 2005

Crap, I didn't even say anything about fighting. If you want to ban fighting, fine...whatever. I can take it or leave it. But if you plan on banning fighting, then not holding the referees accountable for keeping control over the clutching, grabbing, hooking, holding, and the inevitable cheap shots that will result, then I say no deal. If you will not allow the players to police themselves, then you damn well better police them better than you do now. And I don't care who the ref is, or how respected he is across the league. Tell Fraser and Marouelli that they are not there to be factors in the game's outcome, they are there to officiate it.

posted by MeatSaber at 01:48 PM on January 13, 2005

Blankets for everyone?

posted by DrJohnEvans at 01:50 PM on January 13, 2005

Ah. Yes. What MeatSaber said re: fighting. Even now, the clutch-grab-hook-hold style of play ruins the game for me more than anything else. I'm lookin' at you, Philly.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 01:52 PM on January 13, 2005

Ugh. Everyone in for the drastic quick fix. The game is hardly broken - the talent is diluted (like baseball - which saw expansion dilute the shit outta pitching). It'll catch up and this will be remembered as the dead puck era; or the era of the goaltender if you're more positive about the whole thing. Leave it to the players and coaches to make the adjustments - certainly not the broadcasters, whoes interest doesn't exceed beyond the next quarter. Some minor adjustments in goalie equipment and maybe a look at the redline and the tag-up icing are all that's needed.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:11 PM on January 13, 2005

garf: it was a joke, SpoFi does not have an explicit 'best of the web' mandate that I am aware of. Thanks for pointing out those mefi comments and hopefully they'll join us here if they continue to have intelligent sports things to share or say.

posted by gspm at 02:33 PM on January 13, 2005

i thought so, gspm...my response was mostly for migrating mefites.

posted by garfield at 02:48 PM on January 13, 2005

although thanks for clarifying, b/c i wasn't 100% sure on that

posted by garfield at 02:49 PM on January 13, 2005

how about the nhl go produce team in the urban area and try bring in more african americans to play hockey or create more hockey youth centers in urban cities. it sucks we are actually supporting many players out of the U.S. we got russians and canadians playing in the U.S. nhl it seem we have only 35% americans actually looks at hockey we need a change the whole system

posted by dhdefrag3x at 06:02 PM on January 13, 2005

Technically, the "National" part of the National Hockey League did not mean the United States. It's tough to believe, I know. Nowadays, it's a whole 'nother matter.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:31 PM on January 13, 2005

I haven't thought about the NHL in about a week. This is the first time it's been brought to my attention since the last announcement that nothing was going to happen. It has been such a dull, stupid, pointless and slow labour dispute that if the league does manage to salvage the season, they aren't going to get the same "wahoo!" response they got 10 years ago. I suspect people will slowly limp back to the league eventually, but by then they will have lost 3 or 4 teams at least in the next 5 years. Some will volunteer to fold, others will be forced to due to crushing losses. However, if they manage to kill off the entire 2004/05 season, thus becoming the first major sports league in North America to do so, I think they are done like dinner. They might get it back on track for 2005/06, but they'll probably lose 8 to 10 teams by 2010. In America, the NHL will be relegated to Page 8 sports coverage, along with "European" sports like rugby, cricket and F1 racing, and they won't get mentioned on the sports casts until after the second commercial break (even in former hockey hotbeds like Boston, Detroit and Minnesota). In Canada, people will rush back to the league (in 2005 or 2006), but you will see a lot more support for the local junior teams and university leagues. But the real backlash will come down the line in 15 years, when a whole bunch of kids who might have taken up hockey as a sport, didn't. Hockey is always going to be around in Canada (and some parts of the US), but when the top league comes crashing down like it has, it will send ripples down the line.

posted by grum@work at 11:37 PM on January 13, 2005

grum - good analysis Baseball, which is #1 or #2 in the US depending on how you look at it, took years to recover from their World Series cancelling strike, and that took a bit of home run derby to help it along. Hockey, without nearly the same level of broad fandom, will become a sport for the hard-core fans. Canadian professional teams will probably see a resurgence (especially if the American dollar continues to weaken and the pay disparity lessens), while American teams in non-hockey markets (the southeast and southwest) will probably go the way of the dodo. Then again, maybe Richard Branson's space plane will be a success and trans-oceanic international play will become feasible. Then we can have a true world league and it won't matter that there are only 10 teams left in the US. Okay, that's about as likely as Bettman public admitting he's the wrong man for the job, but these are desperate times.

posted by kokaku at 11:56 PM on January 13, 2005

an intersting mefi post. perhaps a bit overdone, but the meaning is clear, and i am consistently being drawn to what should be an obvious conclusion: we are all taking this too seriously. i mean, who really cares if a man pantomines mooning a crowd? did it hurt you? who cares what the players get paid? if they get paid less, will it help you? who cares what happens in the grump between the league and the PA. if it means you dont want to watch anymore, or play anymore, than dont. hockey wont miss you, sports wont miss you, and i wont either.

posted by owl at 03:57 AM on January 14, 2005

We live in a capatilist system...if the Wings can afford to pay $100 million a year on their payroll, why not let them? Precisely because it's not a capitalist system. It's a CLOSED system, or regulated trust, if you will. If it were truly a capitalist system, the Bill Gates could start his own team, just offering the All stars to join his team in Bellevue Washginton. The NHL has a right to set up rules and procedures designed to keep their product (the league itself) competitive.

posted by psmealey at 08:16 AM on January 14, 2005

*fondly imagines a new league where the Stanley Cup Final is hotly contested every year between Bill Gates' Raiders of Redmond and the Springfield Silver Six, owned by Montgomery Burns and featuring Jean Beliveau, Henri Richard, Johnny Bucyk, Gordie Howe, and Bobby Hull, with the intrepid Johnny Bower in the cage*

posted by chicobangs at 10:05 AM on January 14, 2005

Eric Duhatschek's column on the globeandmail today (an Insider-only column but a google hack let me read it) had an interesting take - cancel the season and just play for the cup. Have a tournament. Either a knockout one or a World Cup style roun robin prior to the knockout roung. That would be incredible. Short and sweet. Of course, since they aren't even TALKING the chances on them seeing the bigger picture and wanting to do something GOOD are nil. one can dream, no?

posted by gspm at 10:09 AM on January 14, 2005

Just play for the Cup? Doesn't that diminish the glory of that particular trophy though? I thought the whole point of winning it was to grind through 80 some odd games just for a chance at the playoffs. Then it's balls out intensity for two months to win the thing. Winning it via some sort of round robin tourny would make the winner feel a bit cheated I think. I mean, how would it look to have a player holding up the trophy looking spotlessly clean? No bruises, blood, cuts, stitches, nothing. Hell, he'd probably still have his false teeth in.

posted by NoMich at 10:32 AM on January 14, 2005

Nice Globe hack, gspm. I'll have to remember that. I'm usually a strong traditionalist when it comes to things like this, but I'd support the idea of a Stanley Cup tournament. It'd really be just another interesting chapter in the Cup's history, not to mention an excellent way to make something out of a non-season. History demands that the Cup should transcend the league, really.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:34 AM on January 14, 2005

Agreed. The tradition argument doesn't really cut it with me. A hundred years ago, the Cup was awarded on essentially a challenge basis. If they want to do that until the top-level league gets its shit together again (if it ever does), I'm frankly fine with that. But really, meaningful hockey under any pretense would do it.

posted by chicobangs at 11:43 AM on January 14, 2005

It appeals to me on the basis of tradition (in the sense that there would not be a year when the Cup was not contested) and throwing the fans a bone. There is all this doom and gloom about them not having anything sorted out right now so bascially the season is lost... but it all depends on what you accept as a season. the globe hack was something sorta mentioned in a Mefi thread yesterday. didn't work for me the way it was described but typing the URL i wanted into google and following the link from the google results let me access it. not that i understand why.

posted by gspm at 12:17 PM on January 14, 2005

gspm: SWEET hack! To respond to chicobangs comments about the challenge basis for the Cup, I think we had a discussion about this a while back, but I can't find it: who actually owns the Cup, and could there be any kind of legalese that says it must be contested every year or anything like that?

posted by smithers at 12:18 PM on January 14, 2005

IIRC, the Hockey Hall of Fame owns the Cup, but the NHL holds exclusive rights to challenge for it. If this is indeed the case, I'd think the HHOF could say that by cancelling the season, the NHL in effect breaking the agreement by not holding a challenge this year for it, and should be able to award it as they see fit. Hell, I'd rather they held a cyber-tourney with a fan from each city, than not have anyone win the Cup this year...

posted by MeatSaber at 12:38 PM on January 14, 2005

Free Stanley!

posted by billsaysthis at 02:12 PM on January 14, 2005


posted by garfield at 04:24 PM on January 14, 2005

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.