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The 7 - Hockey - Next season may be cancelled Register and log in to post!
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Doc_whiskey
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#1 Posted on 11.6.04 1846.45
Reposted on: 11.6.11 1847.15
http://sports.espn.go.com/ nhl/news/story?id=1819930

From ESPN.com, basically the players are saying if there is a cap in the deal, they will not sign it. Meanwhile the owners ay they need a cap. The problem is I don't think the players realize that hockey is not among the 4 most popular sports. Hockey is my favorite sport, but even I realize the even NASCAR and golf have passed it in popularity (hell even right now you may even be able to throw poker and horse racing up there too). In the article they say that the owners determine the market. However, as soon as the owners start refusing to sign big contracts, the players will cry collusion. The players need to realzie that in order for them to make the money they want, they need to wrok together, avert a strike, make some changes to the game to up scoring, and basically continue being fan friendly.
If a strike happens there are some that say up to 6 teams might not make it through it (Buffalo and Pittsburgh for sure, possibly Pheonix, Edmonton, and Ottawa plus some others aren't doing so hot). That would eliminate a ton of jobs as well. I think the players need to realize that this is wrong, agree to a reasonable salary cap, and use the great finals as momentum to start building up there league's popularity.
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BWT
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#2 Posted on 11.6.04 1939.21
Reposted on: 11.6.11 1939.29
As a Flyers fan I want them to play next year because this team is only getting older. As a hockey fan though I want them to get the league on a right track and if canceling the season is the best way to do it so be it. Personally I would get rid of 10 teams, relocate some teams to Canada and have a Canadian and American conference. Also get rid of the clutching and grabbing and let the players play. Hockey and the NHL will be around in some shape or form its just I think it expanded way to fast.
Freeway
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#3 Posted on 11.6.04 1944.56
Reposted on: 11.6.11 1945.01
The key thing with the NHL is STABILITY. The Flames were founded in Atlanta in '72. While attendance wasn't through the roof the team did well. All the owners except for Norm Green bailed out, so the Seaman Brothers & others bought the team and moved it to Calgary. Why? Stability. Calgary is a stable hockey market. The Wranglers did well. The Cowboys did well. The Flames made money hand over fist from the 80s until the mid-90s when the team stopped making the playoffs every year. From 1974 to 1991 the Flames made the playoffs every year. From 1992 to 2003 the Flames made the playoffs, like, twice. How many owners bailed out? Two. The other SEVEN stuck it out. And they even added two or three owners. During the lean years (96 to 03) the Flames lost nearly $35 million. Yet only two owners left. Something tells me that the remaining owners must've either loved losing money...or made enough earlier to make up for it.

The thing is that Calgary is and has always been a really hot market for hockey. The expansion cities aren't. That's got me worried.
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#4 Posted on 11.6.04 2110.33
Reposted on: 11.6.11 2111.27
I agree that contraction is the best solution. The game is much different than it was when I started watching, and what's the biggest difference? Nine more teams.

If the league is really taking such heavy losses, Bettman should sit them down and say 'OK, you guys are going to lose X dollars if we play another year under the current structure. Everybody front that much money, we'll buy out the owners of A, B, and C'. At the very minimum you'll have a much better product to sell.

If it was as simple as just saying "let's get rid of clutching and grabbing", they'd have done it eight years ago. It's not that easy. Why do we have this problem? Diluted talent. If you're a bottom ten team in terms of what can you spend, what's an easier way to compete - acquire bottom level skill players or compete on the open market for grabbers? Obviously, it's the latter. So they do it.

Assume that in a smaller league a given team is not going to make less money than it makes today. They played 80 games in a 21-team league in 1991, they could do that today. Even if you assume that revenues don't go up right away, you can expect that the lowest payroll in the league to be the same. However, instead of the poorest team in the league fielding a bunch of AHL guys like Pittsburgh, the worst 20 guys in this reduced NHL are what would be a playoff contender in today's league. Suddenly, there's enough offensive talent in the game that teams can afford to actually try to score goals and play good hockey. If you get a couple teams that try to build clutch-and-grab teams the skilled players become even more condensed and you get all star teams that render Jersey clones ineffective.

This idea would not only make the league more exciting and thus more marketable, but would also create more of a buyer's market for star players and reduce salaries in the long run.

Unfortunately, much like debating why WWE should end the brand split, it's not an idea that's likely to come to fruition. But hey, if fantasy booking isn't outlawed in that folder, why ban it here?
Doc_whiskey
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#5 Posted on 11.6.04 2126.42
Reposted on: 11.6.11 2128.34
So what changes would you make to improve the game
Mine
1) Settle the labor dispute: Players you need to realize you arent the NFL, you arent the NBA, you arent the MLB, hell you arent NASCAR or the PGA. Except the cap, still make a damn good living, and dont betray the fans.
2) Contract teams: I'd hate to lose anyone else, but someomes gotta go. I'd also consider moving some teams to cities that actually want them (Hartford, Winnipeg come to mind. Before you say they lost a team already, I believe both cities lost teams due to owners, not lack of fan support).
3) Open up the game: Whether its get rid of the red line, or fine refs that do not actually call clutching and grabbing penalties, do what you need to do to reduce this.
4) Decrease pad size for goalies. Golaies are bigger, the equipment is huge, we need to do something about this. THis would also increase scoring a little I believe.
5) Reinstall the tradition: Enough with this Central, pacific, norhtwest...etc, or western/eastern conference. Everyone has this, you need to separate yourself so bring back honoring players. I suggest Campbell/Wales conference. I would suggest Orr/Gretzky/Sawchuk/Howe/Bowman/Richard. I would bring back the old names, but I feel most have a trophy named after them so they dont need a division too.
6) Make it a family game: I always thought a good idea is to tell the players we will reduce salaries, but also ticket prices because of money we are saving on salaries. Thus you can make hockey a family accessible game, and attract more fans.
Dave Gagnon
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#6 Posted on 12.6.04 0902.48
Reposted on: 12.6.11 0903.24
Guys...you can't contract teams AND get a cap.

How do you think the NHLPA will accept a salary cap and the contraction of, say, 6 teams (that means that about 180 players will lose their job).

No way they will ever sign that. I'm with you on the fact that there's too many teams but to contract them? It will never happen. Ask Bud Selig. He tried to contract only *2* teams and it was a fiasco.

Did Calgary have a cap this year? No. They spent their money reasonably and they made it straight to the finals. The owners don't need a cap: they need common sense. If a player wants 10 millions a year and you can't afford it, DON'T SIGN HIM. This is not rocket science.

Doc_whiskey
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#7 Posted on 12.6.04 0936.53
Reposted on: 12.6.11 0936.56
    Originally posted by Dave Gagnon
    Guys...you can't contract teams AND get a cap.

    How do you think the NHLPA will accept a salary cap and the contraction of, say, 6 teams (that means that about 180 players will lose their job).

    No way they will ever sign that. I'm with you on the fact that there's too many teams but to contract them? It will never happen. Ask Bud Selig. He tried to contract only *2* teams and it was a fiasco.

    Did Calgary have a cap this year? No. They spent their money reasonably and they made it straight to the finals. The owners don't need a cap: they need common sense. If a player wants 10 millions a year and you can't afford it, DON'T SIGN HIM. This is not rocket science.




The problem with the if you cant afford him dont sign him is a lot of teams are already at a disadvantage, which isnt right. Owners can not get together and say lets not have any contracts above 5 million because the players will cry collusion, and they will win. Yeah Calgary made the finals this year, its a shame that when Iginla's contract is up he will be going to Detroit or New York because Calgary wont be able to afford him, and therein lies the problem. They have a cap in the NFL, and almost every year most teams are at least competitive. If a team isnt good oneyear, they can turn it sround. Its great for attendance, and great for increasing the number of fans for the league. Also, teams can keep the really good players on each team in the NFL as long as they want, or as long as the player still produces. Its a much better system.

(edited by Doc_whiskey on 12.6.04 0938)
BigVitoMark
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#8 Posted on 12.6.04 1347.45
Reposted on: 12.6.11 1347.47
    Originally posted by Doc_whiskey
    The problem with the if you cant afford him dont sign him is a lot of teams are already at a disadvantage, which isnt right. Owners can not get together and say lets not have any contracts above 5 million because the players will cry collusion, and they will win. Yeah Calgary made the finals this year, its a shame that when Iginla's contract is up he will be going to Detroit or New York because Calgary wont be able to afford him, and therein lies the problem. They have a cap in the NFL, and almost every year most teams are at least competitive. If a team isnt good oneyear, they can turn it sround. Its great for attendance, and great for increasing the number of fans for the league. Also, teams can keep the really good players on each team in the NFL as long as they want, or as long as the player still produces. Its a much better system.

    (edited by Doc_whiskey on 12.6.04 0938)


This is why contraction works in place of a salary cap. It's interesting that you use Calgary as an example, because in a contracted league a team like Calgary, which has middle of the road talent good enough to get to the finals, would be about as BAD as a team could get. In other words, everyone's competitive. Everyone's competitive, and the game is marketable again.

The ideas behind a hard cap, like the NFL has, are not bad. There's really no point in having a league where some teams are guaranteed to be unable to compete. It's a waste. But look at a team like the New England Patriots (and it pains me to give them credit being a Dolphins fan and all, but I think I have to). This team is built almost entirely from guys they drafted (Brady, Troy Brown, Ty Law, McGinest, etc.) or guys they pulled off the scrap heap (Antowain Smith) that nobody else wanted. No Jevon Kearse-esque free agent signings, just great management. And despite that, they still have to release guys like Lawyer Milloy, giving them away for nothing, because of the cap. It's bogus. I can stretch and see the desire to keep from letting teams be the Yankees and buy all star teams every year, but when you put in a system where you punish teams for being too good at evaluating talent and finding diamonds in the rough, something is definitely wrong.

I put most of the blame for the current NHL mess on Gary Bettman's shoulders. This man clearly does not understand hockey, it's appeal, or it's marketability, and has put the league in danger of losing a season by his own poor management. Once this gets resolved I hope that man gets fired with prejudice for the mess he's made.
fuelinjected
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#9 Posted on 12.6.04 1538.53
Reposted on: 12.6.11 1538.57
If they want to make the game more exciting, they should also regulate the PLAYER'S EQUIPMENT. They're football players on ice now. Teams like the Calgary Flames just run into everybody instead of trying to play with skill. Sure hits are exciting but not as much as the skill of the game.

The elbow and shoulder pads are like rocks now which results in a lot of concussions and injuries off of hits. You can still protect players without all that huge equipment.

Watch a game from 20 or 30 years ago, there was still contact but guys weren't running into each other at full speed cause it fucking hurt to hit somebody. That opened up a lot more ice, space, and time for the skilled players to do what they do best instead of being worried about getting steamrolled by some linebacker on skates.

Take Derian Hatcher's elbow in the Flames/Wings series. If it was just the old style of elbow pad, it would've been vicious but with the new one, it probably caused a lot more damage to his victim.

Also, if you watch or listen to oldtimers about the player's losing respect for each other. It's in large part because they have no fear now. They're overprotected.
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#10 Posted on 12.6.04 2259.17
Reposted on: 12.6.11 2259.52
    Originally posted by Doc_whiskey
      Originally posted by Dave Gagnon
      Guys...you can't contract teams AND get a cap.

      How do you think the NHLPA will accept a salary cap and the contraction of, say, 6 teams (that means that about 180 players will lose their job).

      No way they will ever sign that. I'm with you on the fact that there's too many teams but to contract them? It will never happen. Ask Bud Selig. He tried to contract only *2* teams and it was a fiasco.

      Did Calgary have a cap this year? No. They spent their money reasonably and they made it straight to the finals. The owners don't need a cap: they need common sense. If a player wants 10 millions a year and you can't afford it, DON'T SIGN HIM. This is not rocket science.




    The problem with the if you cant afford him dont sign him is a lot of teams are already at a disadvantage, which isnt right. Owners can not get together and say lets not have any contracts above 5 million because the players will cry collusion, and they will win. Yeah Calgary made the finals this year, its a shame that when Iginla's contract is up he will be going to Detroit or New York because Calgary wont be able to afford him, and therein lies the problem. They have a cap in the NFL, and almost every year most teams are at least competitive. If a team isnt good oneyear, they can turn it sround. Its great for attendance, and great for increasing the number of fans for the league. Also, teams can keep the really good players on each team in the NFL as long as they want, or as long as the player still produces. Its a much better system.

    (edited by Doc_whiskey on 12.6.04 0938)


The entire rescricted free agency system was invented so that teams like Calgary could draft, sign and develop elite players and they would stay with that team for an extended amount of time. Iginla debuted in the 1996-97 season and his original contract ended at the end of 1998-99. Iginla's next deal ran from 1999 to 2002. Iginla won the Art Ross and was rewarded with a 2 year contract, which is now over. He's 27. Under the current system, he's not an unrestricted free agent until he's 31, in 2008. The system rocks.
Hobbes
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#11 Posted on 13.6.04 0147.34
Reposted on: 13.6.11 0147.34
I've said it eight billion times before and I'll keep on saying it, if contraction doesn't happen the only way to make hockey "more entertaining" will be to put in a bunch of crappy rules that radically change the game. Teams like Minnesota play boring trap hockey because they don't have the talent for anything else. How can you blame them for doing whatever they can to try to win, to try to keep their jobs, to try and keep their market alive? There are small rule changes you can make to help hockey out a little bit, making the goalie pads smaller for example, but if the owners and the players insist on a 30 team league, the only way you're going to get the kind of hockey you guys are all dreaming of is to cheat and make big stupid changes that shouldn't happen. Hey, lets put in two extra nets, that'll bring up scoring!

Also, some of you people are putting way too much blame on the players. Yes they have a part in this but the simple fact is the current system could work if it wasn't full of shortsighted idiots in ownership. I'm sorry but I can't ever get as mad at a player like Bobby Holik for getting as much money as I can get mad at teams like the Rangers who create the market that allows him to be ridiculously overpaid. I can't get as angry at Joe Thornton getting a big rookie contract as I can at the Bruins finding ways around the rookie contract cap to give him the money. The owners need an idiot proof system not because the current system can't work, they need an idiot proof system because some of the owners are IDIOTS.

Once again I urge you to pick up the recently released book Money Players by Bruce Dowbiggin. I know you can read, you're doing it right now. Your library might have it, then it would be free! It won't make you think the players are angels but it'll make you realize how retarded, selfish and mean the owners have been today and all through history.

As for a lockout hurting hockey, I used to by into that but the more I think about it, the less I believe in that. Don't get me wrong, it'll hurt in some ways but lets really think about this. A lockout could last 25 years and end with Bettman and Goodenow saying they came to terms when they both realized they loved drinking blood from decapitated infants and Canadians would still come back and watch it on opening day and on. As for America, how badly can hockey be hurt there when it's already being beat by Arena Football? It will hurt it but it's not exactly doing so great in it's current state.

What will hurt hockey is if a lockout affects NHL player participation in the next Winter Olympics. If they lose that, the lose a big North American spotlight event they only can get once every four years. Also what could hurt the NHL is the new WHA. Quite frankly I don't think it will but if the WHA can talk Sidney Crosby into making the stupid move of joining their league AND if he turns out to be the next Gretzky it will give the WHA something that the NHL can't give the fans.

But if Crosby joins the WHA he's a freaking idiot.
BigVitoMark
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#12 Posted on 13.6.04 0225.00
Reposted on: 13.6.11 0227.13
I just don't see any big name players locking themselves into the WHA. The league is apparently very concerned about making sure players who sign with the league are locked into playing there for the whole year and not bolting back to the NHL when the labour mess is resolved. This isn't like the first go of the WHA when they got the whole world's attention by throwing a million dollars at Bobby Hull. The marquee players in the WHA are capped at five million bucks...a five million dollar contract doesn't turn a lot of heads these days, doubtful it would be enough to get any notable NHL guys to walk away from the big time for a league that may never go anywhere.

As for Sidney Crosby, he's still a year away from even being drafted, so this isn't too pressing an issue on him. He will go to the NHL; no one with that kind of talent dreams of making it to the minor leagues.
Dave Gagnon
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#13 Posted on 13.6.04 1030.45
Reposted on: 13.6.11 1031.46
    Originally posted by Hobbes
    Also what could hurt the NHL is the new WHA. Quite frankly I don't think it will but if the WHA can talk Sidney Crosby into making the stupid move of joining their league AND if he turns out to be the next Gretzky it will give the WHA something that the NHL can't give the fans.

    But if Crosby joins the WHA he's a freaking idiot.


I'm the best to comment on that because I live in Rimouski and, believe me, Crosby headlines all the papers here, even during the off season.

Anyway, the team of Halifax is willing to make him a 2.5 million offer but his agent refused. Crosby will stay in Rimouski because they have the chance to win the Memorial Cup next year. It's the best way for this player to progress.

Think about it...in only ten years, Rimouski had Lecavalier, Conn Smythe winner Brad Richards and Crosby. Wow.

Anyway, Crosby won't join the WHA, believe me.

And while we're talking about WHA, I don't think that a lot of big name players will join their ranks either. If you sign for one year, you have to play the entire year, even if the NHL's lockout doesn't last long. I'm pretty sure that Brett Hull will join the league since his dad is the commish and that the Wings won't renew his contract.

(edited by Dave Gagnon on 13.6.04 0834)
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#14 Posted on 13.6.04 1608.48
Reposted on: 13.6.11 1613.07

    As a hockey fan though I want them to get the league on a right track and if canceling the season is the best way to do it so be it. Personally I would get rid of 10 teams, relocate some teams to Canada and have a Canadian and American conference. Also get rid of the clutching and grabbing and let the players play. Hockey and the NHL will be around in some shape or form its just I think it expanded way to fast.


This would be a brilliant idea. Get a Canadian division of Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Vancouver, Quebec City, Winnipeg (hell, move back the Coyotes, nobody will miss them), and new teams in Hamilton and Halifax. The American division would be Chicago, Detroit, Boston, Minnesota, Colorado, Philly, St. Louis, Colorado, Los Angeles and the Rangers. Get this going every year and the level of play would dramatically increase, and plus it would be a fun Canada vs. the USA dynamic in the Cup finals every year.
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#15 Posted on 13.6.04 2043.42
Reposted on: 13.6.11 2044.37
Ideal divisions, assuming we're cutting Buffalo & Pittsburgh (the weakest links).

~CLARENCE S. CAMPBELL CONFERENCE~
SMYTHE DIVISION [7]:
Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose & Minnesota
NORRIS DIVISION [7]:
Colorado, Detroit, Columbus, Chicago, Dallas, Phoenix & St. Louis
~PRINCE OF WALES CONFERENCE~
ADAMS DIVISION [7]:
Montreal, Boston, Ottawa, Toronto, Rangers, Islanders & New Jersey
PATRICK DIVISON [7]:
Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Washington, Philadelphia, Carolina, Florida & Nashville

Travel-wise, there's a lot closer-knit divisions. Plus, more rivals!
MARTYEWR
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#16 Posted on 15.6.04 0750.05
Reposted on: 15.6.11 0750.40
Just thought I'd pass along a very interesting statistic I read in Sports Illustrated this week:

75% of the gross revenue of the NHL goes to player payrolls. On the other hand, in the other big leagues, 64% (NFL), 63% (MLB), and 55% (NBA) go to player payrolls. I find this really interesting, since inspite of some salaries in hockey, they are actually less than the other leagues, which really goes to show you how revenues in hockey have dropped.
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#17 Posted on 16.6.04 1420.20
Reposted on: 16.6.11 1420.54
That certainly does make the case for a salary cap more compelling on the surface, but don't forget it was the ownership that either did a terrible job projecting revenue or couldn't manage their costs effectively. You can't blame guys for taking what you offered them.

Did that SI article happen to mention how that percentage was representative of the expenses on a team to team basis? I think that'd be an interesting point to look at. Honestly, I don't care if the Rangers are spending 99% of their revenues on player salaries because they clearly have no idea what to do with their money and, frankly, deserve to get fleeced. I think such a breakdown could shed some light on how much of the salary problem in the league is due to stupid spending and how much is due to an overall problem with the market.
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#18 Posted on 16.6.04 1610.17
Reposted on: 16.6.11 1610.20
yahoo is reporting that the Sharks are starting to layoff front office personnel. That is not a good sign.
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#19 Posted on 16.6.04 1706.04
Reposted on: 16.6.11 1708.56
Ok, contraction is not going to happen. End of story. The union will not accept it and once an agreement gets signed someone will buy the Penguins from Mario and move them out of Pittsburgh.

On the owners side. Net profit is a weak figure to use. If an owner decides to pay himself a $100 million dollar salary it comes out of net income so it appears as though the team is losing money when the owner is actually being greedy. I read info about the Flyers losing money this year and that is a load of BS. If you look closely at your ticket you notice 3 companies on the back, the Flyers team, the structure that owns the arena, and the ultimate parent company. The arena structure leases the arena to the team. Who says that deal is fair to the team since the agreement is negotiated by the parent which owns both the arena and the team? The team is set up to lose money or break even if they make it to the finals. The arena structure turns a huge profit and feeds the profit to the parent company which nets the profit from the arena against the loss from the team. So if the team loses money they can tout that in the press as a reason to raise prices while the parent company turns a profit without anyone knowing or questioning. It is all about spin kids. Spin, spin, spin. (If anyone is interested I can go into greater detail because I deal with multiple structures like this at work.)

On the players side. They need to wake up to reality. Does any player deserve $8 or $9 million dollars a year? Not in a sport which generates very little TV revenue as the NHL. Is $6 million to high? Probably. They need to wake up to the fact that they do not play baseball, football, or basketball. Sports whose national TV revenues dwarf the paltry sum they receive and it is those revenues that utimately determine how much teams can spend on players.

Is there a need for a salary cap? Maybe, if the owners can agree to share their TV revenues and leave arena revenues to each individual team. The problem is when you have a team like the Flyers who owns a local sports channel which shows the teams games. What is their fair share to contribute? Who decides? In the last few years, small market teams have fairly very well against their big pocketed bretheren. But we have yet to see those teams consistantly stay at the team for a long period of time.

But against the owners, Bettman has a $300 million dollar fund to keep the teams alive in case there is a shutdown. The $300 million came from the teams. The same teams that claim they can't turn a profit. Could they if that $300 million was not an expense to the league? Maybe. But both sides need to wake up to the reality that their sport has dropped from a major sport to a minor one and the economics behind the game should reflect that. The average fan has been priced out of the building and into their home where they can watch fewer and fewer games on TV each season. Both sides need to wake up and save this sport.
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#20 Posted on 16.6.04 2049.50
Reposted on: 16.6.11 2051.15
    Originally posted by dunkndollaz
    yahoo is reporting that the Sharks are starting to layoff front office personnel. That is not a good sign.
The San Jose Mercury News (mercurynews.com) lists five other teams besides the Sharks taking steps this early.
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