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Masks and Identification

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  • Pierre N. Antoine
    I think you are missing the real reason why people aren t identifying with players in all sports-free agency and no team loyalty from players. It used to be
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 5, 2003
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      I think you are missing the real reason why people aren't identifying with
      players in all sports-free agency and no team loyalty from players. It used
      to be you would see many players play their entire career with one team. Now
      that isn't the case and what's worse is that players who have just won a
      championship and may be on a "dynasty" type team still leave for more green.
      If you watch hockey enough you see players without their helmets all the
      time. Goaltenders take their helmets off every break for water. ESPN has
      thousands of interviews with players not in gear.
      It's really simple. I'm a Blues fan and the Blues usually have a pretty set
      core of players who will stay on the team. But in the last 10 years we have
      lost Scott Stevens, Brendan Shanahan, Brett Hull, Pierre Turgeon, Scott
      Young, Steve Duchesne etc due to free agency, trades or the NHL office. I
      ask you when Brett Hull goes in the HOF what jersey does he wear? He won no
      cups in St. Louis but had his best stat years here. He won a cup in Dallas
      and was the hero and he won a cup or two in Satanville I mean Detroit. So
      what sweater does he wear? There is no loyalty to team/city anymore. Just $.
      If Mario Lemieux signs with the Rangers can you tell me it has nothing to do
      with money? He doesn't need any money and if he still wants to play
      Pittsburgh is going to be better than that overpriced underskilled squad
      they throw out there in NY. But for whatever reason he may go to NY. Is that
      loyalty to Pittsburgh fans and the city and the team that may go under if he
      leaves? He can walk away a Top 5 player in his sport and yet he may not.
      Thanks
      Nic Antoine
    • William Underwood
      No doubt that this is all more important. The helmets are a MUCH more minor issue. As for Mario...if he jumps t will be to try to recoup some of the money that
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 5, 2003
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        No doubt that this is all more important. The helmets are a MUCH more
        minor issue.

        As for Mario...if he jumps t will be to try to recoup some of the money
        that he lost in Pittsburgh which is no small sum.

        As for loyalty...there isn't a player, agent or owner that even has a
        concept of the word. It isn't just the players. If the owner of a non
        contender can save a buck and drop a loyal 15 year vet for a lower
        priced, inferior young guy, he'll do it and use the excuse of
        "rebuilding" as his prophylactic. Even though he knows damn well that
        the kid is a lesser player and probably won't even be with the team when
        it starts to win again. And despite of the fact that he also knows that
        even a rebuilding team needs leaders with character. If an agent has a
        client that never quirt becomes a top money maker, does he help the kid
        get settled some place. Nope! He starts dodging the kids' calls and
        hopes that he goes away. So it isn't just the players who could use a
        quick lesson in loyalty.



        -----Original Message-----
        From: Pierre N. Antoine [mailto:NAntoine@...]
        Sent: Thursday, June 05, 2003 10:24 AM
        To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [hockhist] Masks and Identification

        I think you are missing the real reason why people aren't identifying
        with
        players in all sports-free agency and no team loyalty from players. It
        used
        to be you would see many players play their entire career with one team.
        Now
        that isn't the case and what's worse is that players who have just won a
        championship and may be on a "dynasty" type team still leave for more
        green.
        If you watch hockey enough you see players without their helmets all the
        time. Goaltenders take their helmets off every break for water. ESPN has
        thousands of interviews with players not in gear.
        It's really simple. I'm a Blues fan and the Blues usually have a pretty
        set
        core of players who will stay on the team. But in the last 10 years we
        have
        lost Scott Stevens, Brendan Shanahan, Brett Hull, Pierre Turgeon, Scott
        Young, Steve Duchesne etc due to free agency, trades or the NHL office.
        I
        ask you when Brett Hull goes in the HOF what jersey does he wear? He won
        no
        cups in St. Louis but had his best stat years here. He won a cup in
        Dallas
        and was the hero and he won a cup or two in Satanville I mean Detroit.
        So
        what sweater does he wear? There is no loyalty to team/city anymore.
        Just $.
        If Mario Lemieux signs with the Rangers can you tell me it has nothing
        to do
        with money? He doesn't need any money and if he still wants to play
        Pittsburgh is going to be better than that overpriced underskilled squad
        they throw out there in NY. But for whatever reason he may go to NY. Is
        that
        loyalty to Pittsburgh fans and the city and the team that may go under
        if he
        leaves? He can walk away a Top 5 player in his sport and yet he may not.
        Thanks
        Nic Antoine



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      • Lloyd Davis
        ... That s a study that it would be interesting to undertake. I think a lot fewer players spent a full career with a single team than we like to think. Going
        Message 3 of 7 , Jun 5, 2003
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          on 6/5/03 10:24 AM, Pierre N. Antoine at NAntoine@... wrote:

          > I think you are missing the real reason why people aren't identifying with
          > players in all sports-free agency and no team loyalty from players. It used
          > to be you would see many players play their entire career with one team.

          That's a study that it would be interesting to undertake. I think a lot
          fewer players spent a full career with a single team than we like to think.

          Going down the all-time games-played list, Norm Ullman's name jumps out.
          Doug Mohns and Dean Prentice each played 22 seasons; Mohns played 51 percent
          of his games for Boston, while Prentice played 48 percent of his career with
          New York. Ron Stewart played for six teams in 21 years. Then there's Red
          Kelly, Phil Esposito, Jean Ratelle, Bill Gadsby, Allan Stanley, Frank
          Mahovlich...

          Let's look at Hall of Famers. Sid Abel? Traded. Marty Barry played for four
          teams. Max Bentley, Andy Bathgate, Leo Boivin. King Clancy didn't finish his
          career with Ottawa. If you were a player of any note in the 1930s, it was
          almost a rule that you had to be traded to the Americans at some point:
          Punch Broadbent, Eddie Shore, Charlie Conacher, Busher Jackson, Hap Day,
          Ching Johnson. In fact, hockey's other royal family, the Conachers, all had
          itchy feet: Lionel and Roy moved around, too. Ted Lindsay -- traded. How
          about goalies -- Glenn Hall, Terry Sawchuk, Jacques Plante.

          Nor have I mentioned the players who were displaced by the '67 expansion.
          Guys like Harry Howell, Bobby Baun. Sawchuk, Hall, and Kelly.

          And let's not forget the days before 1917, when a Cyclone Taylor or Cy
          Denneny could go pretty much wherever the mood struck them.

          Somehow, people were able to keep track of these players. I don't agree that
          the lack of helmets was the primary reason. In the days before television, a
          kid in Western Canada might grow up idolizing Tim Horton despite never
          actually having seen his helmetless, visorless visage.

          There were fewer teams. Ay, there's the rub. Can we agree we all knew most
          of the players on the Atlanta Flames in 1973-74, when the league was at 16
          teams? So, split the NHL down the middle into a 15-team eastern league and a
          15-team western league. Or emulate the NFL and create a "National"
          conference of those 15 teams that were in the league as of the 1972
          expansion and an "American" conference of the 15 that have been added since
          1974. If I really need to know what the Columbus Blue Jackets are up to,
          I'll fire up the dish or get the Centre Ice package.

          Looking at that list above, I realize that -- with the exception of a few
          who jumped leagues or teams or, like a Doug Bentley or Andy Hebenton, chose
          a lengthy post-NHL career in minor pro or senior hockey -- these players did
          not choose to move. Their teams moved *them.* Exactly. I cannot demand
          loyalty of NHL players when teams historically showed none.

          And why is an NHL player more or less "loyal" simply because he played his
          entire career with one team? Did hockey fans in Quebec City not lose when
          Jean Beliveau signed with Montreal? Edgar Laprade played 10 seasons and 500
          games in the NHL, with no other team than the New York Rangers. Still, to do
          so, he had to turn his back on Port Arthur, Ontario, where he was born and
          where he had played hockey exclusively until 1943.

          I will concede that it is harder to keep a good team together than it was,
          say, 25 years ago. Heck, even 15 years ago, when the go-go Oilers ruled the
          roost. Is free agency really the culprit? The NHL has never had anything
          resembling true free agency. Count me as one who believes that a truly
          wide-open market would be a much more effective brake on player-salary
          inflation than the NHL's many attempts to curtail free agency have been.

          Now, let's look at the Blues, who just can't seem to keep the good players
          in town. Scott Stevens was *signed* as a free agent in 1990. I'm sure that
          disappointed a few Washington Capitals fans, but screw them. It's only a
          crime when St. Louis loses players.

          A year later, when the Blues signed Shanahan as a free agent -- they were
          forced to give up Stevens as compensation. Now, I might say this is a case
          of "Live by the sword, die by the sword." But no, the evil NHL office and
          its punitive policy is to blame! Wait -- wouldn't the Blues front office
          have had a hand in shaping that free-agent-curtailing policy? Or did the
          rules get set when Ralston Purina walked out on the team and the fans of St.
          Louis, leaving the key to the Checkerdome under the mat for whomever
          happened along or tried to move the team to St. Louis.

          (Remember, kids, management disloyalty is never as egregious as when the
          workers get uppity.)

          Speaking of uppity young workers, in 1993-94, Petr Nedved didn't want to
          play for Vancouver anymore. Blues GM Ron Caron never met a restricted free
          agent he didn't like, and so signed Nedved. Damned if that pesky
          compensation issue didn't come up again!

          In Vancouver, Pat Quinn wanted Shanahan as compensation. Well, we couldn't
          have that -- hadn't St. Louis just signed him at great expense? Caron looked
          up and down the Blues roster in search of a player he could afford to lose,
          and settled upon -- Craig Janney. An American. A 100-point player. An even
          more prolific playmaker than Bernie Federko had been. Shanny's linemate.
          Shanny's pal.

          But it all worked out in the end, didn't it? Janney didn't want to go to
          Vancouver, so ten days later the Canucks traded him back to St. Louis for
          Jeff Brown, Bret Hedican and Nathan Lafayette.

          What did all this net the Blues? Nedved was, well, Nedved, and in July '94
          was dealt to New York. Shanahan was *traded* to Hartford. And when they
          finally got around to playing the '94-95 season, Janney was traded to San
          Jose.

          Did Shanahan want the trade to Hartford? Apparently not, since before long
          he agitated -- successfully -- for the Detroit deal. So put the blame for
          the loss of Shanny and Janney where it belongs: squarely on Caron's
          shoulders.

          Hull had put in ten full seasons in St. Louis, plus part of an 11th, and
          watched all this nonsense go on. In the context of the St. Louis Blues of
          the 1990s, his tenure was an eternity! And what was the issue that prevented
          him from re-upping with the Blues in 1998? He wanted -- wait for it -- a
          no-trade clause! You might say this was a peevish demand, something he knew
          St. Louis would never accede to. But I look at it this way: he was willing
          to forgo the free-agent market in exchange for the chance to determine his
          future. If the Blues decided at some future point that he was washed up, why
          shouldn't he have been allowed to veto a trade to Tampa or Buffalo?

          Hull and Duchesne both left St. Louis well after the age of 31. I think it's
          a crime that a player must wait 13 years or longer (assuming he breaks into
          the NHL while he's still junior-eligible, which hardly happens anymore)
          before he can play where he wants. Besides, if Duchesne was so integral to
          the Blues' plans, why had they traded him to Ottawa before trading to get
          him back, only to cut him loose when his contract expired?

          As for Turgeon, I'm sure the Stars would be glad to let St. Louis have him
          back.

          Regarding the question about "what sweater" a Brett Hull wears when he
          enters the Hall of Fame -- the answer is none. The portraits on display in
          the haunted old bank in downtown Toronto depict head-and-shoulders only. No
          danger of a Gaylord Perry -- er, Paul Coffey -- wearing a multi-emblem
          uniform.

          Regarding Mario Lemieux: very bad example. A close observer of hockey should
          know better. The fact that Pittsburgh even has a team, however tenuous their
          claim might be at the moment, is a testament to Lemieux's loyalty to that
          city. He has invested 19 years in Pittsburgh hockey, and more than once he
          has been required to rescue that franchise and carry it on his back.

          This is the franchise that was sold during its first season. That was sold
          again in 1971. That went bankrupt and was locked out of the Civic Arena in
          1975. That only got Lemieux because New Jersey, at 41 points to Pittsburgh's
          38, sucked just a little bit less. That went bankrupt in 1998, leaving its
          best player ever high and dry.

          So ungrateful is Lemieux, so quick to forget his roots, that he trades debt
          for equity, runs the team for the past five years, returns as a player when
          it is clear that he is the difference between a slim chance for the
          franchise's survival and no chance. Yup, let's find a tall tree and hang the
          bugger. Anything but let him get out from under his obligations, which he
          has more than fulfilled, and recoup some of what he has deferred.

          --
          Lloyd Davis
          Lloyd Davis Publishing Services
          201-488 Danforth Avenue
          Toronto, ON M4K 1P6
          416 465 6999 /// 416 462 0230 (fax)
          ldavis2@...
        • Morey Holzman
          I have to disagree with some of your post. Yes, Lloyd, it s true that Gordie Howe played for two NHL teams, and hey, even Marcel Dionne was traded. However,
          Message 4 of 7 , Jun 5, 2003
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            I have to disagree with some of your post. Yes, Lloyd, it's true
            that Gordie Howe played for two NHL teams, and hey, even Marcel
            Dionne was traded.

            However, in Lindsay, most of his career was over before he was
            traded. And that's the case with 80% of the players acquire, because
            they are, after all, the Rangers, and a 38-year-old Wayne Gretzky on
            Boradway is still Wayne Gretzky.

            (Ranger aside: see Marcel Dionne, Guy Lafleur, Howie Morenz, Doug
            Harvey, Bernie Geoffrion, Mike Gartner, Kirk McLean, Mark Messier -
            yes he still had gas in the tank, but he was still in his 30s when he
            became a Ranger - Doug Bentley, Max Bentley, Rod Seiling, Carol
            Vadnais. The list goes on and on.)

            Today, you'll see a GM want to trade a Vince Lecavalier because he is
            not an all-star at 20 - and the guy may have 15 productive seasons
            left. NHL GMs have had Ashton-Petit disease for the last 15 years.
            (Ashton-Petit is a mysterious brain ailment that requires GMs to
            trade for third-line scorers and defenseman multiple times. Named
            after Brent Ashton and Michel Petit, who have about 19 NHL cities
            between them and only three in common.)

            If NHL GMs used today's logic in the 1940s, Gordie Howe would have
            bounced around the Red Wings, Leafs and Canadiens before settling in
            with the Boston Bruins. At 31, he would have been deemed expendable
            by Harry Sinden, and would spend the next 7 years playing on the
            fourth line in Chicago. The Rangers would have signed him as a free
            agent for $10 million at age 39.

            Morey

            --- In hockhist@yahoogroups.com, Lloyd Davis <ldavis2@s...> wrote:
            > on 6/5/03 10:24 AM, Pierre N. Antoine at NAntoine@g... wrote:
            >
            > > I think you are missing the real reason why people aren't
            identifying with
            > > players in all sports-free agency and no team loyalty from
            players. It used
            > > to be you would see many players play their entire career with
            one team.
            >
            > That's a study that it would be interesting to undertake. I think a
            lot
            > fewer players spent a full career with a single team than we like
            to think.
            >
            > Going down the all-time games-played list, Norm Ullman's name jumps
            out.
            > Doug Mohns and Dean Prentice each played 22 seasons; Mohns played
            51 percent
            > of his games for Boston, while Prentice played 48 percent of his
            career with
            > New York. Ron Stewart played for six teams in 21 years. Then
            there's Red
            > Kelly, Phil Esposito, Jean Ratelle, Bill Gadsby, Allan Stanley,
            Frank
            > Mahovlich...
            >
            > Let's look at Hall of Famers. Sid Abel? Traded. Marty Barry played
            for four
            > teams. Max Bentley, Andy Bathgate, Leo Boivin. King Clancy didn't
            finish his
            > career with Ottawa. If you were a player of any note in the 1930s,
            it was
            > almost a rule that you had to be traded to the Americans at some
            point:
            > Punch Broadbent, Eddie Shore, Charlie Conacher, Busher Jackson, Hap
            Day,
            > Ching Johnson. In fact, hockey's other royal family, the Conachers,
            all had
            > itchy feet: Lionel and Roy moved around, too. Ted Lindsay --
            traded. How
            > about goalies -- Glenn Hall, Terry Sawchuk, Jacques Plante.
            >
          • William Underwood
            And we all know why Lindsay was moved... ... From: Morey Holzman [mailto:MOREY_H@HOTMAIL.COM] Sent: Thursday, June 05, 2003 5:47 PM To:
            Message 5 of 7 , Jun 5, 2003
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              And we all know why Lindsay was moved...

              -----Original Message-----
              From: Morey Holzman [mailto:MOREY_H@...]
              Sent: Thursday, June 05, 2003 5:47 PM
              To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [hockhist] Re: Disloyal players [was Masks and Identification]

              I have to disagree with some of your post. Yes, Lloyd, it's true
              that Gordie Howe played for two NHL teams, and hey, even Marcel
              Dionne was traded.

              However, in Lindsay, most of his career was over before he was
              traded. And that's the case with 80% of the players acquire, because
              they are, after all, the Rangers, and a 38-year-old Wayne Gretzky on
              Boradway is still Wayne Gretzky.

              (Ranger aside: see Marcel Dionne, Guy Lafleur, Howie Morenz, Doug
              Harvey, Bernie Geoffrion, Mike Gartner, Kirk McLean, Mark Messier -
              yes he still had gas in the tank, but he was still in his 30s when he
              became a Ranger - Doug Bentley, Max Bentley, Rod Seiling, Carol
              Vadnais. The list goes on and on.)

              Today, you'll see a GM want to trade a Vince Lecavalier because he is
              not an all-star at 20 - and the guy may have 15 productive seasons
              left. NHL GMs have had Ashton-Petit disease for the last 15 years.
              (Ashton-Petit is a mysterious brain ailment that requires GMs to
              trade for third-line scorers and defenseman multiple times. Named
              after Brent Ashton and Michel Petit, who have about 19 NHL cities
              between them and only three in common.)

              If NHL GMs used today's logic in the 1940s, Gordie Howe would have
              bounced around the Red Wings, Leafs and Canadiens before settling in
              with the Boston Bruins. At 31, he would have been deemed expendable
              by Harry Sinden, and would spend the next 7 years playing on the
              fourth line in Chicago. The Rangers would have signed him as a free
              agent for $10 million at age 39.

              Morey

              --- In hockhist@yahoogroups.com, Lloyd Davis <ldavis2@s...> wrote:
              > on 6/5/03 10:24 AM, Pierre N. Antoine at NAntoine@g... wrote:
              >
              > > I think you are missing the real reason why people aren't
              identifying with
              > > players in all sports-free agency and no team loyalty from
              players. It used
              > > to be you would see many players play their entire career with
              one team.
              >
              > That's a study that it would be interesting to undertake. I think a
              lot
              > fewer players spent a full career with a single team than we like
              to think.
              >
              > Going down the all-time games-played list, Norm Ullman's name jumps
              out.
              > Doug Mohns and Dean Prentice each played 22 seasons; Mohns played
              51 percent
              > of his games for Boston, while Prentice played 48 percent of his
              career with
              > New York. Ron Stewart played for six teams in 21 years. Then
              there's Red
              > Kelly, Phil Esposito, Jean Ratelle, Bill Gadsby, Allan Stanley,
              Frank
              > Mahovlich...
              >
              > Let's look at Hall of Famers. Sid Abel? Traded. Marty Barry played
              for four
              > teams. Max Bentley, Andy Bathgate, Leo Boivin. King Clancy didn't
              finish his
              > career with Ottawa. If you were a player of any note in the 1930s,
              it was
              > almost a rule that you had to be traded to the Americans at some
              point:
              > Punch Broadbent, Eddie Shore, Charlie Conacher, Busher Jackson, Hap
              Day,
              > Ching Johnson. In fact, hockey's other royal family, the Conachers,
              all had
              > itchy feet: Lionel and Roy moved around, too. Ted Lindsay --
              traded. How
              > about goalies -- Glenn Hall, Terry Sawchuk, Jacques Plante.
              >




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            • Lloyd Davis
              I didn t mention Howe. Or Dionne. Or John Bucyk, for that matter. However, your exceptions prove my point. The Detroit Red Wings didn t give a good goddamn
              Message 6 of 7 , Jun 6, 2003
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                I didn't mention Howe. Or Dionne. Or John Bucyk, for that matter.

                However, your exceptions prove my point. The Detroit Red Wings didn't give a
                good goddamn about Gordie Howe, and never did. And once he finally got that
                through his head, he took the big dough in the WHA. And he exercised his
                right to become a free agent when he signed with New England.

                The Red Wings obviously hadn't learnt anything four years later, since
                Marcel Dionne jumped at the chance to skip town.

                What the Little Beaver didn't realize, however, was that in the NHL in 1975,
                fulfilling your contract AND playing out the team's option year did not
                entitle you to exercise control over who acquired your services.

                After all, Andy Messersmith was still a Dodger, playing out HIS option. And
                news of the Thirteenth Amendment hadn't yet reached the gang in Suite 900 of
                the Sun Life Building.

                It looks good on the Wings that they gave up Dionne for Terry Harper and Dan
                Maloney.

                Otherwise, we seem to see eye to eye. There is no "quid" from the owners,
                and never has been, so why do we wish to condemn the players when they fail
                to supply the "pro quo"?

                I don't dispute the point that NHL players are alienated from the majority
                of NHL fans. But I think it's an easy way out to blame player mobility.
                Today's players are no different from actors, musicians, or anyone else in
                the popular entertainment fields. They are for the most part dull, witless,
                and increasingly buffered from accidental contact with the real world by a
                phalanx of publicists and news managers. Is money an issue? Perhaps. When a
                Mats Sundin makes about 800 times the minimum wage in Ontario (compared with
                Frank Mahovlich, who couldn't have been making more than 20 times the
                minimum in 1964), the gulf is going to be that much wider.

                But are hockey players unique in that regard? We live in a society where
                professionals such as doctors and lawyers also seek to distance themselves
                and their families from the "wrong" kind of people (buying homes in gated
                subdivisions and worrying about whether their as-yet-unborn children will
                get into the "right" preschool and private school).

                A guy like Mahovlich (and especially his lower-paid teammates) depended on
                the goodwill of a car dealer or real estate salesman for an off-season job
                that would allow him to make ends meet and, coincidentally, put him in
                contact with members of the general public. A guy like Sundin (and maybe
                even his lowest-paid teammate) could buy the car dealership were he so
                inclined, and certainly doesn't need to do much during the summer except
                retire to his million-dollar cottage in Muskoka and hobnob with the CEOs of
                the corporations that sponsor his team.

                And while this is an unfortunate development, I can't blame today's NHL
                player for being so remote. Hell, if I won the lottery tomorrow I don't
                think I'd ever answer my phone again!

                Anyway, that's far too much to think about, and I'm late for work.


                on 6/5/03 5:46 PM, Morey Holzman at MOREY_H@... wrote:

                > I have to disagree with some of your post. Yes, Lloyd, it's true
                > that Gordie Howe played for two NHL teams, and hey, even Marcel
                > Dionne was traded.

                --
                Lloyd Davis
                Lloyd Davis Publishing Services
                201-488 Danforth Avenue
                Toronto, ON M4K 1P6
                416 465 6999 /// 416 462 0230 (fax)
                ldavis2@...
              • William Underwood
                ... However, your exceptions prove my point. The Detroit Red Wings didn t give a good goddamn about Gordie Howe, and never did. And once he finally got that
                Message 7 of 7 , Jun 6, 2003
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                  >I didn't mention Howe. Or Dionne. Or John Bucyk, for that matter.

                  However, your exceptions prove my point. The Detroit Red Wings didn't
                  give a
                  good goddamn about Gordie Howe, and never did. And once he finally got
                  that
                  through his head, he took the big dough in the WHA. And he exercised his
                  right to become a free agent when he signed with New England.

                  The Red Wings obviously hadn't learnt anything four years later, since
                  Marcel Dionne jumped at the chance to skip town.

                  What the Little Beaver didn't realize, however, was that in the NHL in
                  1975,
                  fulfilling your contract AND playing out the team's option year did not
                  entitle you to exercise control over who acquired your services.

                  After all, Andy Messersmith was still a Dodger, playing out HIS option.
                  And
                  news of the Thirteenth Amendment hadn't yet reached the gang in Suite
                  900 of
                  the Sun Life Building.

                  It looks good on the Wings that they gave up Dionne for Terry Harper and
                  Dan
                  Maloney.

                  Otherwise, we seem to see eye to eye. There is no "quid" from the
                  owners,
                  and never has been, so why do we wish to condemn the players when they
                  fail
                  >to supply the "pro quo"?

                  We actually see eye to eye 100%. If it is ok for a team to make changes
                  for economic reasons or even to improve themselves, there is nothing
                  patently wrong with a player making a change to help his wallet or
                  improve his career.

                  >I don't dispute the point that NHL players are alienated from the
                  majority
                  of NHL fans. But I think it's an easy way out to blame player mobility.
                  Today's players are no different from actors, musicians, or anyone else
                  in
                  the popular entertainment fields. They are for the most part dull,
                  witless,
                  and increasingly buffered from accidental contact with the real world by
                  a
                  phalanx of publicists and news managers. Is money an issue? Perhaps.
                  When a
                  Mats Sundin makes about 800 times the minimum wage in Ontario (compared
                  with
                  Frank Mahovlich, who couldn't have been making more than 20 times the
                  >minimum in 1964), the gulf is going to be that much wider.

                  No question about all of that! The owners are equally isolated which
                  makes things all the worse.

                  >But are hockey players unique in that regard? We live in a society
                  where
                  professionals such as doctors and lawyers also seek to distance
                  themselves
                  and their families from the "wrong" kind of people (buying homes in
                  gated
                  subdivisions and worrying about whether their as-yet-unborn children
                  will
                  >get into the "right" preschool and private school).

                  No, they aren't but. But the only difference is that the average person
                  has no great identification with them. Nor does their product need any
                  degree of such identification to survive. We need medical care or we
                  die, so you could care less if the guy is a snob when giving it to you;
                  when you need a lawyer to avoid bankruptcy or jail, you don't care if
                  the guy is a ponce or not. But sports are entertainment. And
                  entertainment is build by that very personal thread between fan and
                  entertainer. Movie stars are more tolerated as living in castles as they
                  have more longevity, and are "beautiful people" more than athletes.
                  Plus, the sports team is something that we live through, and we feel
                  like it is ours, we don't feel the same about movies. Hence the athlete
                  is expected to have a special bond with the public.

                  >A guy like Mahovlich (and especially his lower-paid teammates) depended
                  on
                  the goodwill of a car dealer or real estate salesman for an off-season
                  job
                  that would allow him to make ends meet and, coincidentally, put him in
                  contact with members of the general public. A guy like Sundin (and maybe
                  even his lowest-paid teammate) could buy the car dealership were he so
                  inclined, and certainly doesn't need to do much during the summer except
                  retire to his million-dollar cottage in Muskoka and hobnob with the CEOs
                  of
                  the corporations that sponsor his team.

                  And while this is an unfortunate development, I can't blame today's NHL
                  player for being so remote. Hell, if I won the lottery tomorrow I don't
                  >think I'd ever answer my phone again!

                  True. And the way that some fans de3al with players also makes them wish
                  to remain reticent. Some are pretty warped in their sense of proportion!
                  Who will forget the death threat that Mitch Williams had after blowing
                  the world Series1 Just go to a typical Eagle game in Philly and you can
                  see why players have this attitude! There are a lot of psychos out
                  there. Believe me, we see a convention of about 70,000 eight Sundays a
                  year in Philly. Even the city knows it. We are the only city to have
                  EVRR had an acting court of law set up in a stadium during a sporting
                  event when we did it at Eagle games. There was acting magistrate in the
                  basement waiting there to deal rapidly with the most rabid active nut
                  jobs...Can you blame guys for being a bit cautious?


                  on 6/5/03 5:46 PM, Morey Holzman at MOREY_H@... wrote:

                  > I have to disagree with some of your post. Yes, Lloyd, it's true
                  > that Gordie Howe played for two NHL teams, and hey, even Marcel
                  > Dionne was traded.

                  --
                  Lloyd Davis
                  Lloyd Davis Publishing Services
                  201-488 Danforth Avenue
                  Toronto, ON M4K 1P6
                  416 465 6999 /// 416 462 0230 (fax)
                  ldavis2@...



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