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3318Re: [hockeydisk] NHL: Not sure I agree, but interesting article

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  • Zak Davis
    Aug 7, 2005
      Amen! Look no further than baseball and it's luxury
      tax to see why it doesn't work. Boston, Anaheim and
      the Yankees are willing to pay the money for their
      overspending because they are still at the top (Well,
      the Yanks are about to prove that money doesn't always
      buy a championship, either.).

      --- Dave Bole <davebolenr1@...> wrote:

      > This is EXACTLY what the game of hockey needed.
      > Some other sports
      > should learn from the guts the NHL owners had by
      > staying out a season
      > and supporting each other in their cause.
      >
      > DAVE
      >
      >
      > David Elkin <davidmelkin@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > Stu Cowan
      > CanWest News Service
      >
      >
      > Sunday, August 07, 2005
      >
      >
      > MONTREAL -- Are you still angry at Gary Bettman?
      > While the NHL
      > commissioner took a lot of heat when the league lost
      > an entire season
      > because of the lockout, the flood of free-agent
      > signings over the past
      > week has definitely generated excitement with hockey
      > fans. They might
      > even be thanking Bettman in the future, especially
      > in cities like
      > Pittsburgh and Edmonton.
      >
      > While building the NFL into the most successful
      > professional sports
      > league in North America, former commissioner Pete
      > Rozelle had a simple
      > philosophy: you're only as strong as your weakest
      > franchise.
      >
      > Well, the Penguins were the NHL's weakest franchise
      > during the 2003-04
      > season, losing 18 consecutive games at one point
      > while finishing with
      > the league's worst record (23-47-8). But that all
      > changed in the past
      > week, and Mario Lemieux -- and Pittsburgh fans --
      > can thank Bettman for
      > that.
      >
      > Bettman did exactly what the NHL owners paid him to
      > do and something
      > many people, including former NHLPA president Bob
      > Goodenow, thought was
      > impossible: keep all 30 owners united in their
      > labour battle.
      >
      > The cost was huge -- an entire lost season -- but
      > the players eventually
      > caved in to a $39 million US salary cap. The end
      > result: small-market
      > teams like the Penguins and Oilers can compete with
      > the big boys.
      >
      > The Penguins lucked out when they won the draft
      > lottery and selected
      > phenom Sidney Crosby. But luck had nothing to do
      > with the twice-bankrupt
      > franchise signing free-agent Sergei Gonchar to a
      > five-year, $25-million
      > contract on Wednesday. Gonchar has been the NHL's
      > top goal-scoring
      > defenceman over the last six seasons, and I'm sure
      > Penguins fans are
      > already drooling about a power play that will
      > include Gonchar, Lemieux,
      > Crosby and Mark Recchi.
      >
      > "I think the Penguins have a real shot to win the
      > Stanley Cup," sports
      > fan Ron Carroll, who grew up in Pittsburgh and
      > remains a die-hard
      > Penguins fan, told me the day after the Gonchar
      > signing. "This (labour)
      > deal is bad for the players, but probably saved the
      > game. Every team is
      > on equal footing now."
      >
      > Oilers fans also had reason to celebrate Wednesday
      > after the team
      > acquired defenceman Chris Pronger from the St. Louis
      > Blues. With the new
      > salary cap, the Blues, who paid Pronger $9.5 million
      > in 2003-04, simply
      > couldn't afford to keep the 2000 Hart Trophy winner
      > as league MVP. The
      > Oilers will pay Pronger just over $6 million a
      > season in a new five-year
      > deal.
      >
      > "This is what the hockey world is right now, and you
      > know something,
      > this is what the system is supposed to do," Blues
      > general manager Larry
      > Pleau told Associated Press.
      >
      > Pronger told reporters in Edmonton: "It seems like
      > the Oilers have
      > always been the team trading guys away. But with
      > this new landscape,
      > things are changing."
      >
      > Are they ever.
      >
      > What do you think the New York Rangers -- who had
      > the biggest payroll in
      > the NHL in 2003-04 at $76 million -- were doing
      > Wednesday while teams
      > like the Penguins, Oilers and Columbus Blue Jackets
      > (who signed
      > defenceman Bryan Bedard) jumped into the free-agent
      > pool?
      >
      > According to the New York Times, Rangers president
      > and GM Glen Sather
      > was telephoning season-ticket holders to thank them
      > for renewing their
      > subscriptions and promising to build a core of young
      > players from within
      > the organization.
      >
      > The Rangers, who were forced to pay Bobby Holik a
      > $9-million buyout to
      > get out of the ridiculous five-year, $45-million
      > free-agent contract
      > they signed him to in the summer of 2002, could have
      > as many as 12
      > rookies in the lineup this season.
      >
      > Are you shedding any tears for the Rangers right
      > now? How about for the
      > Toronto Maple Leafs, whose 2003-04 payroll was $62
      > million? They were
      > outbid for the services of Gary Roberts and Joe
      > Nieuwendyk by the
      > Florida Panthers of all teams.
      >
      > Bettman has definitely left his mark on the NHL with
      > this new salary
      > cap, but if I was a team owner I'd be thinking about
      > giving him a very
      > nice golden handshake right about now. The players
      > will always hate
      > Bettman for breaking their union and I think a new
      > commissioner (hello,
      > Wayne Gretzky) would help soothe their feelings and
      > help grow the game
      > in the future.
      >
      > As for the fans, they may never change their opinion
      > of Bettman.
      >
      > "I still think he's a jerk," Penguins fan Carroll
      > said.
      >
      > © Times Colonist (Victoria) 2005
      >
      >
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      Thanks,
      Zak

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