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Re:NHL Doesn't Trust Jim Balsillie

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  • epenaltybox
    Even in the 70s, is 8,000 a game really supporting the WHA? What helped the WHA more than anything else was the arena issue. New building in Cleveland, NHL
    Message 1 of 14 , Jul 31, 2009
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      Even in the 70s, is 8,000 a game really supporting the WHA? What helped the WHA more than anything else was the arena issue. New building in Cleveland, NHL wanted in. New building in Edmonton, NHL Wanted in. New building in Hartford. Why not? Quebec and Winnipeg had vocal and loud identities, who wouldn't want them as business partners. Of course those two had to expand their buildings.

      But your plan has merit. Hit the weak sisters in an era when there is a minimum salary that every NHL team must hit, and then attack the revenues of those cities whose teams do not end with the word Leafs. Of course THAT is the hardest sell to Balsillie. I suspect that even Les Canadiens could lose fan loyalty since they haven't won diddly squat since the final hours of Brian Mulroney.

      As long as there is no revenue sharing, the weak sisters could go by the wayside a la Phoenix, and a lot of players would be available to increase the caliber of your league.

      --- In hockhist@yahoogroups.com, "William Underwood" <wausport@...> wrote:
      Canadians supported the WHA.
    • Karkoski James
      ... Phoenix is all about an arena issue. The NHL gets the city of Glendale to pitch in and build an arena and then they are going to let the team move five
      Message 2 of 14 , Aug 1, 2009
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        On 2009/08/01, at 2:05, William Underwood wrote:
        >
        >
        > What will be telling about Bettman is how the league reacts to other
        > relocation bids.would Bettman fight like a tiger if it was say
        > Edmonton
        > trying to move to Vegas? We have not really seen such vehement
        > opposition
        > to that--witness Winnipeg and Quebec.Granted they had facility issue
        > but
        > Bettman seemed to do little to even try to overcome them.
        >










        Phoenix is all about an arena issue. The NHL gets the city of
        Glendale to pitch in
        and build an arena and then they are going to let the team move five
        years after?


        Somebody mentioned it awhile back on the list, the NHL did back the
        drive which kept the Oilers in Edmonton in
        when they let a large ownership group purchase the team at a
        considerably lower price than the bid that was on the
        table to move the team to Houston.



        And I'd attack the weak middle.go to war head to head for
        players ONLY against the weakest markets.



        Start a rival league in the middle of a pretty deep recession?


        James







































        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Michael Levin
        Besides hating the *Balsillie* bid, Bettman hates the Coyotes ownership group. Further, he has defecated on the city of Glendale. The current bid that Bettman
        Message 3 of 14 , Aug 1, 2009
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          Besides hating the *Balsillie* bid, Bettman hates the Coyotes ownership
          group. Further, he has defecated on the city of Glendale. The current bid
          that Bettman favors essentially only assumes the debt of the Coyotes and
          turns on the city of Glendale giving up more concessions to the Coyotes.

          As to the suggestion of starting a rival league of some sort (the ghost of
          the IHL?), any such effort must incorporate the international size rinks and
          rules. Using NHL rink sizes and NHL rules essentially creates a me too
          product. Why would consumers pay for that?

          As Michael Wilbon, columnist for the Washington Post and co-host of ESPN's
          PTI, notes, every city has die hard hockey fans. Unfortunately, all 18,000
          of them are at the arena. In other words, no television audience exist
          because the live product meets demand. Why would I switch to a league I have
          never heard of, and teams that I know nothing about unless you give me
          alternate product.

          Hockey that uses international rinks and rules posses a threat to the NHL.
          Anything less than that, and Bettman never loses sleep.

          On Sat, Aug 1, 2009 at 9:58 AM, Karkoski James <austin@...> wrote:

          >
          >
          >
          > On 2009/08/01, at 2:05, William Underwood wrote:
          > >
          > >
          > > What will be telling about Bettman is how the league reacts to other
          > > relocation bids.would Bettman fight like a tiger if it was say
          > > Edmonton
          > > trying to move to Vegas? We have not really seen such vehement
          > > opposition
          > > to that--witness Winnipeg and Quebec.Granted they had facility issue
          > > but
          > > Bettman seemed to do little to even try to overcome them.
          > >
          >
          > Phoenix is all about an arena issue. The NHL gets the city of
          > Glendale to pitch in
          > and build an arena and then they are going to let the team move five
          > years after?
          >
          > Somebody mentioned it awhile back on the list, the NHL did back the
          > drive which kept the Oilers in Edmonton in
          > when they let a large ownership group purchase the team at a
          > considerably lower price than the bid that was on the
          > table to move the team to Houston.
          >
          > And I'd attack the weak middle.go to war head to head for
          > players ONLY against the weakest markets.
          >
          > Start a rival league in the middle of a pretty deep recession?
          >
          > James
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • William Underwood
          Point by point James. There is more to it than the arena issue in Glendale.yes it is part of the problem but there is also a Camerone mentality (Foreign Legion
          Message 4 of 14 , Aug 1, 2009
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            Point by point James.



            There is more to it than the arena issue in Glendale.yes it is part of the
            problem but there is also a Camerone mentality (Foreign Legion battle where
            there was no surrender rand the last few remaining legionnaires fixed
            bayonets and charged a large Mexican force of course being killed in the
            doing) of "retreat.never".



            As for Edmonton, yes they did make an effort but a rather paltry one as
            compared to here. Of course there was an end game there so we never saw it
            go to the fullest extent. It comes back to the original question."how far
            would they have went?" Nobody ahs that answer but as there is even a
            perception that they might not because it is Canada is highly reflective of
            the image of the league in that country.



            Finally, as far as starting a new league in the middle of a recession.you
            normally would be right. Actually James in this case THERE IS NO BETTER
            TTIME! The recession doesn't hit hockey in Canada as it does the US as it is
            more of a priority item for sponsors and fans. Note that right now there
            have been aside from Balsilllie at least 4 groups whom have inquired about
            an NHL team for Toronto, a group who bid on Montreal talking Quebec, two
            other Canadian groups talking Phoenix one of whom wants to play some games
            in Saskatoon and Halifax.while we have what one group out of the US bid on
            Phoenix! Canadians with money are coming out of the wood work in search of
            teams and how many US investors does the NHL have seriously inquiring about
            a sick franchise? Not many. In the new NHL markets hockey is down on the
            totem pole a bit and when belts tighten it gets dumped.I submit they are
            ripe for an attack.



            When you hit an enemies weak point it is doubly effective if you catch him
            at a time of poor logistics. You create havoc. While your point is correct
            in many situations, having been in the business of promotion for twenty odd
            years and been through the new league thing time and time again ranging from
            the wildly successful to never got of the ground.I have seen it all and also
            learned that paradigms don have exceptions. This is one of them. You are
            talking about starting a product that is not a new one and is a revered one
            in a market with the express purpose of battle with a product that is weak
            in the target markets to attack in a weak economy. Now if we were talking
            introductory product in a new market your logic would be flawless and if the
            competitor was well entrenched in all markets like the NHL of say 25 years
            ago, it would be suicide. Remember in the 70's the NHL was not in a
            completely different scenario.weak franchise sin Oakland, KC, Atlanta et al
            and the economy was in an inflationary era in 72 then a recession as the oil
            crisis hit. The WHA made it through SEVEN years largely because the NHL had
            its own fiscal problems. I also submit that if done in conjunction with the
            Russians you are talking two oil producing nations going to bat together.
            Not only do you have a formidable ally who wants their own venture to
            succeed that is in so many word state subsidized, but also you have a
            natural differentiation. You are not just the NHL wanna be but you offer an
            international dimension. You have a Canada/Russia rivalry and the dual
            tailed nationalistic angle of Canada having its own league but also socking
            it to Gary. Quite frankly there may be no better time for it.





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          • William Underwood
            Actually 8000 a game was pretty good for a new league. Now when you look closer at WHA attendance in Canada it is actually more impressive than that.Edmonton
            Message 5 of 14 , Aug 1, 2009
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              Actually 8000 a game was pretty good for a new league. Now when you look
              closer at WHA attendance in Canada it is actually more impressive than
              that.Edmonton was over 10,000 the last two years.Quebec and Winnipeg closer
              to 9000.Quebec only seated 10004 in those days, Winnipeg 10031 so they had
              nearly 90 % capacity filled. The Toros had over 10000 one year despite
              Harold giving them lousy dates and nearly 9000 the next year despite a bad
              team. Granted Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver did not do as well but Calgary
              played in the old Corral.



              No second league in its right mind expects to MATCH the existent league! He
              who plans for that is on some serious wed! :-) My rule of thumb is if you
              can start out at 50 % capacity you are doing good. History tells us not to
              expect more. The only rival league in ANY sport that did better was the old
              AAFC but they really were an anomaly! They actually out drew the
              established league in head to head markets in LA and New York and had a
              better league wide average attendance.of course in Chicago they were a
              disaster! But they were a part of the post WW II boom in the late 40's and
              it was before TV and the real rise of pro football.



              Now if you are not paying what the NHL does across the board you don't need
              their revenues, plus if you do something that they don't, do revenue sharing
              you make the entity stronger. Even if you do as I suggest, go after the
              weaklings you will have more teams than the weak point of the line that you
              are attacking nr will you bat 100 % on their players.add on you have the
              Russians to go after certain players from them especially the Europeans. The
              low end of your line up and farm players CAN NOT GET BIG MONEY! There are
              also structure for both revenue and payrolls that have not been well
              explored by traditional leagues some of which are quite novel. One was
              broached to me a while back that I can't really discuss publicly that was
              FASCINATING for the minor pro level but there is NO REASON why it could not
              be applied to a larger venture.only the NFL has even scratched the surface
              on the sort of concept for the revenue side. They can even open up PR opps
              and tax situations that would be VERY positive for investors but are simply
              not possible the way that franchises, contracts, Players Associations and
              league by laws are structured by traditional leagues. A new venture need not
              be constrained by them.



              If you put together the right sort of league you could do at least as well
              at the gate as the WHA maybe even better as it is a different era, it is
              much easier to promote stuff today. They did not have the technology that we
              do. And remember, it can all be structured so you don't NEED NHL size crowds
              to cut it.



              As for the Canadian teams.I don't think that they would be hurt and in fact
              you would go out of your way NOT to do so.by not attacking them directly yet
              having a presence in Canada that they get no piece of offers them a possible
              motive for future merger. They would feel pressure as you would be another
              entity in their back yard but you would not attack their pay rolls. You
              would also try to cultivate the wealthier teams by again, not attacking them
              as it would be futile. What you want to do is to take that weak part of the
              NHL and make it a liability for the stronger part and given their stance on
              revenue sharing and that many teams imply lack the funs to help the weak you
              would put leverage on them for a merger."merge and take in our cities or
              lose teams and credibility." That is sort of what the WHA did."we may not
              make a ton of money but we will bleed you where it hurts." the NHL lost a
              team and had several others on the brink by the end.And to once again
              address another post.the recession was actually an ally of the WHA. They
              were relatively lean and mean and actually had a plan to go international
              had there been no merger. They had retreated down to three strong Canadian
              clubs and one strong US club at the core with two very wealthy groups in
              other markets to fill out the league who could weather the storm. The NHL
              had weak links back then too and the economy out them in a worse
              scenario.remember we EXPECT teams to move and old in new leagues now old
              leagues. In one it is what you plan to se in the other it is a extraordinary
              thing.



              Now no one says it would be a slam dunk success but at some point it is an
              option if all others fail. Rival leagues are created when established ones
              fail to serve their market. The KHL ahs happened because the NHL ahs always
              treated Europe very badly. As they ignore/turn down one Canadian city and
              group after another they run the risk of the same thing happening at home.
              This is not like other sports where there simply is no market left open, the
              NHL is like the NBA leaving several basketball hot beds open and expanding
              into great hoops towns like Montreal, Edmonton and Vancouver to "expand the
              borders of their game" or the NFL dumping US markets where there is support
              to start Euro teams. The markets and owners are there.and worse yet for
              them there is a European side to the equation with money and a string sense
              of nationalism. So while it might not be easy the time might be PERFECT for
              an INTER KONTIENTAL (no typo.unlike the NHL you RESPECT other nationalities
              so the "K" stays) HOCKEY ASSOCIATION!







              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • William Underwood
              Note, when I say that the goal is 50 % capacity I don t mean in a really small building! :-) And before one brings up the KHL.European hockey has entirely
              Message 6 of 14 , Aug 1, 2009
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                Note, when I say that the goal is 50 % capacity I don't mean in a really
                small building! :-) And before one brings up the KHL.European hockey has
                entirely different standards as their financial structure and tax laws
                differ.a notable example being rugby in Italy. There is a lot of money in
                Italian rugby, enough so that they made many of the Wallaby players form
                Australia such highly paid schmamateurs in the early 90's that they could
                not afford go pro in rugby league! Now those teams drew small crowds But the
                Italian government gave SERIOUS tax right offs for sports sponsorship.



                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • William Underwood
                You don t need millions of Americans to switch .just x number of CANADIANS who want their cities to have teams and resent Bettman. The Washington Post
                Message 7 of 14 , Aug 2, 2009
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                  You don't need millions of Americans to "switch".just x number of CANADIANS
                  who want their cities to have teams and resent Bettman. The Washington Post
                  columnist is right.about the US.not Canada! And the idea is a CANADIAN
                  dominated league. The goal in the US would be sheerly to get the more like
                  10000 fans in the weak markets to dip to 5000 not because of another league
                  to watch but rather they don't want to watch their pathetic mess of a
                  franchise! The marketing is directed toward CANADA for the PRECISE reason
                  that this is a topic.the NHL has teams where as the columnist accurately
                  points out here are few to no fans but doesn't where there are fans.Canadian
                  fans don't need hockey laced with NHL stars to come out and see it.ask any
                  Leaf fan! :-) Why would customers pay for it? Because it is a chance for
                  Quebec, Hamilton, Winnipeg et al to see high level hockey. Because it is a
                  league that is CANADIAN and does not forget the game's roots or most loyal
                  fans. And because each dollar spent on it is a way to stick it to Gary
                  Bettman who has for ten years derided them if not in words but by action. It
                  is a chance for Canada to have what every top Euro nation has , a league to
                  call its own. And it is a chance to say "bleep off Gary, we will show you
                  the price for not letting us in your league and you had better think again."



                  You are underestimating this stuff. Remember CFL fans in Canada do not rally
                  around the NFL. The Bills were rather disappointed in Toronto. They thought
                  "well CFL is not even really big league ball anymore so of we come
                  Torontonians and Canadians of every sort will scream hallaleaujah!" They
                  didn't. Why? Say what we want about the CFL, it is CANADIAN and has that
                  CANADIAN content which apparently means something. I'm actually surprised at
                  the number of emails that I have gotten off line saying "great idea"..



                  And calling it an "IHL" is WAY off base! The "I" was always a league that
                  was essentially a league with mixed identity.most of it wanted to stay minor
                  pro a FEW teams wanted better.they only had a few players of bona fide NHL
                  caliber.the KHL has already done better than that! They would get the odd
                  hold out to play but leave as soon as the hold out ended and the very odd
                  good young Euro.it never really became anything more than a very good AAA
                  league. A league with this sort of ownership and goals would take more god
                  players. The IHL's budget for most clubs was always miniscule. This would
                  not be the ghost of the IHL but the WHA and actually much more formidable
                  with wealthy foreign allies and not feeling the need that the WHA did, to go
                  into what were either weak US markets or US markets with not enough room for
                  another hockey team.



                  Finally if they go messing with your weakest team Bettman BETTER lose
                  sleep.how many people will pay to see a loser in the newer cities? How many
                  will stick with instability? All you have to do is to push already weak
                  teams that bit farther toward the cliff.



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                • William Underwood
                  Incidentally Mike you don t need to go to international rules or ice surfaces to differentiate the game.try on full 2 minutes served for all minors ala pre
                  Message 8 of 14 , Aug 2, 2009
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                    Incidentally Mike you don't need to go to international rules or ice
                    surfaces to differentiate the game.try on full 2 minutes served for all
                    minors ala pre 1956.get rid of the transom and big creases, back to the
                    smaller squares and allow goalies to come out but strike the rule (read it
                    sometime it makes you say to yourself that there are more rules conditions
                    about how to legally clobber these guys than there are for getting tax write
                    offs) that says that you have to try to avoid hitting them when they leave
                    the crease they are just weird looking D so they do so at their own
                    risk.dump the instigator rule and let the players police themselves.bring
                    back the banana blade.go to a 3-2-1-0 point system 3 for a regulation time
                    win, 2 for a OT win 1 for a shoot out win and NONE for a loss..go to the
                    Olympic rule on face offs which is a very limited time to get the change and
                    set or the puck drops.use the old WHA icing rule, as I recall it was to ice
                    the puck when short you have to clear the blue line.get rid of time outs,
                    sorry but Punch Imlach, Toe Blake and generations of great coaches lived
                    without them so lets keep the darn game moving.and if you want international
                    rules you use them for games against European teams if there are any in the
                    regular season and for sure in a final series which could be a best of 7
                    game final, 3 hosted by team A, three by team B and we go back to A for 7 if
                    needed so there would only be two trips max! Regular season inter
                    continental play could be handled a lot like the ECHL does, you have a
                    choice of how much but each team MUST go across the pond for at least one
                    small block of games. It could be say three in Moscow and that is it! Or
                    maybe three in Ontario.two in Hamilton one in Toronto.keep it limited, a
                    special change of pace and cheap! You don't have to make the game European
                    hockey which may not go here to make it different.I'd also look at for non
                    international games going with a 16 and 2 line up.it cuts costs. You also
                    would not need the farm systems that the NHL has, they would RUN your farm
                    system in effect as you would raid their minors for your players. The WHA
                    did that! You have maybe 25 or 26 guys under contract. It saves you money
                    again. Another interesting concept that I have seen proposed is to have a
                    pooled farm system, that is x number pf players are signed to LEAGUE
                    contracts and open to everyone! You could actually hybridize it and go with
                    maybe 23 contract players per team then a league pool of x number open on
                    first come first served.thus teams could again save costs.



                    There are ways to differentiate that would make EVERYONE happy form the "not
                    enough hitting/fighting folks to the "not enough scoring" folks. You may
                    even be able to lighten up on zero tolerance and get MORE goals.you heard
                    that right! Why? Because every minor is a FULL two minutes! It can cost you
                    two goals against a good PP. Thus you would learn to not take the dumb two
                    but you could still be allowed to hit more! And with no instigator a lot of
                    dirty garbage may decline and we may see a few more legit fights. With the
                    PP rule, the goalie now more encouraged to stay put as if they are caught
                    with that puck they can be purposely freight trained like any D, banana
                    blades and chicken coaching being penalized as it would cost you a point the
                    minute that you go into OT tied, you would see scoring go up. So lets see a
                    league with more goals, a bit more hitting , a bit more fighting, less dead
                    time for changes and time outs a bit to appeal to old time hockey yet also
                    appeal to new hockey.how different is that?



                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • William Underwood
                    And more bits of differentiation.perhaps have an import rule, say 4 non Canadians and if you go into the US a minimal number of American/US produced
                    Message 9 of 14 , Aug 2, 2009
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                      And more bits of differentiation.perhaps have an import rule, say 4 non
                      Canadians and if you go into the US a minimal number of American/US produced
                      players.maybe even a draft where teams get to select a local first.Adding a
                      US team or two might be an idea then as you get a Canadian/US rivalry in
                      there since it would be more Canadian versus American players. And
                      add/encourage COLOR. Remember the old days when Punch Imlach called Vachon a
                      junior B goalie? Remember when Melrose and Burns had the "Billy Ray
                      Cyrus/Wayne Newton" quotes? The days when then Ranger Gump Worsley answered
                      in an interview when asked which NHL team gave him the toughest time and he
                      didn't miss a beat and said "the Rangers."? Or wasn't it Gerry Cheevers who
                      after a blow out was asked what happened and he said "roses are red violets
                      are blue they got 10 and we only got 2." The No Humor League cracks down the
                      minute a guy gets even a little but fun! Guys like Brett Hull and Roenick
                      are PRECISELY what should be unleashed.mouths that roar and have THE
                      quote.Be the league that is about FUN not corporate homogenized politically
                      correct dullness! A league that is about FANS not SUITS and you know
                      something the suits will buy it. Why? They want to sell their various
                      products to the FANS who outnumber them! To go t an extreme ask Vince
                      MacMahon who makes being non PC but fun a life style and they can't buy
                      enough of him! Not that I am suggesting going that off the wall but
                      everything in healthy doses.and the man took a nearly dead product and made
                      into an entertainment empire because he remembered the object.to ENTERTAIN!
                      On a less extreme, Canadian will understand this one.I love the Blue Bomber
                      coach Kelly, he is not afraid to have fun! He derided the shot gun in a fun
                      way sort of saying it was for the brain dead and when he was asked about his
                      QB situation asked sideline reporter Sara Orelsky..: "can you throw?" Or
                      yesterday when his punter made the most bizarre mess of a fake punt and his
                      won guy sort made like fair catch of it (not legal) he didn't scream, he
                      laughed along with the rest of us! GREAT STUFF, This man deserves a Grey
                      Cup! This is what it is all about.FUN! Leagues like the NHL forget that and
                      take it all too seriously as if it was a war not a GAME that is about
                      ENTERTAINMENT and FUN! Make personality a big part of who you hire, this
                      game has a lot of characters and people who are dying to be colorful if you
                      only let them. HIRE THEM and let them know that they have a lot of rope
                      within reason to run with things, it is ok to be fun.



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                    • epenaltybox
                      My favorite, in honor of his retirement today: I don t know what Patrick was doing the other night. I think he had to go up in the stands of the United
                      Message 10 of 14 , Aug 5, 2009
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                        My favorite, in honor of his retirement today:

                        "I don't know what Patrick was doing the other night. I think he had to go up in the stands of the United Center to get his jockstrap." Jeremy Roenick to Patrick Roy, via the media

                        Patrick's response:

                        "I don't care what Jeremy says. Besides, I can't hear him because my two Stanley Cup rings are in my ears..."

                        Morey

                        --- In hockhist@yahoogroups.com, "William Underwood" <wausport@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Remember the old days when Punch Imlach called Vachon a
                        > junior B goalie? Remember when Melrose and Burns had the "Billy Ray
                        > Cyrus/Wayne Newton" quotes? The days when then Ranger Gump Worsley answered
                        > in an interview when asked which NHL team gave him the toughest time and he
                        > didn't miss a beat and said "the Rangers."?
                      • William Underwood
                        YES, the Roenicks and Hulls were breaths of fresh air.now what do we have.Avery? :-) [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        Message 11 of 14 , Aug 6, 2009
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                          YES, the Roenicks and Hulls were breaths of fresh air.now what do we
                          have.Avery? :-)



                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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