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The W - Hockey - Condensing the NHL
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Wpob
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Since: 21.11.02
From: Williston Park, NY

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
As much I as love hockey, it seems to me that interest in the NHL would increase if a couple of teams were scrapped and their players put into a supplemental draft for their rights.

I would suggest the following teams:

New York Islanders and the Atlanta Thrashers in the Eastern Conference and the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Phoenix Coyotes in the Western Conference. That would drop the league from 30 to 26 teams and would increase the talent and the play of the remaining teams. I do not think anyone woudl miuss these teams and the NHL could benefit.

I doubt it will happen, but I would be all for it - even as an long time Islander fan.



"Marriage is like that show Everybody Loves Raymond, but its not funny. All the problems are the same, but you know instead of all the funny, pithy dialogue, everybody is really pissed off and tense. Marriage is like a tense, unfunny version of 'Everybody Loves Raymond', only it doesn't last 22 minutes. It lasts forever."

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CRZ
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Since: 9.12.01
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
I was trying to figure out if people were actually discussing this, or if you were just pulling it out. Google sent me to this NBC Sports/The Sporting News article - from 2004 (nbcsports.msnbc.com). I think we can all be glad THOSE recommendations weren't followed...especially the Penguins fans.

Unless you can point me to some serious, recent discussion, this sounds a lot like a hockey version of fantasy booking.

(edited by CRZ on 18.7.08 1751)


Wpob
Lap cheong








Since: 21.11.02
From: Williston Park, NY

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
I was just throwing it out there to see if any other NHL followers thought this would be a viable way to increase interest in a league that is not doing too well with the sports fans. I probably should have been a little more speciifc with that. My apologies.



"Marriage is like that show Everybody Loves Raymond, but its not funny. All the problems are the same, but you know instead of all the funny, pithy dialogue, everybody is really pissed off and tense. Marriage is like a tense, unfunny version of 'Everybody Loves Raymond', only it doesn't last 22 minutes. It lasts forever."

BoromirMark
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Since: 8.5.02
From: Milan-Ann Arbor, MI

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.09
Wpob, I'm right there with you. In fact I think an even more stringent cutting of teams is necessary (with one or two prunings from the East, but a TON of teams cut from the West), but I'll go along with your two from each conference. I like your selections, only I'd swap out the Panthers for the Islanders. I know the front office for the Islanders basically leads everyone to believe they are a dead team, but they still have some history to them in the league...which Florida does not. Then there's the matter of the fact that New York is in a hockey climate, while Florida is not. Then the fact that Florida itself is not that great a hockey base, and even TWO teams there is oversaturating the market. It makes more sense for them to be cut than the Islanders.

(edited by BoromirMark on 18.7.08 1950)


Michigan against the SEC: 20-5-1 (7-3 in bowl games)

Chumpstain
Kolbasz








Since: 21.1.02
From: Canada

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#5 Posted on
I don't think contracting teams is really necessary. There's a ton of talent out there capable of playing in the NHL, particularly since the clutch and grab era is over with and the smaller players who were pariahs before can now come in and play without having to drag 220 pound goons on their back every shift. Leagues in Sweden, Russia and even the AHL in North America are all full of players who could 'make it' given the opportunity to play in the NHL. Diluted talent isn't the problem.

The problem is the location of some of the teams. Places like Florida, Nashville and Phoenix simply don't have the interest of their market. The NHL is posting record revenues anyway, despite the lack of a meaningful American TV contract, because of high attendance in its major markets. Toronto would sell out every game even if they iced a pee-wee team (insert joke about the Maple Leafs already doing that here). Montreal is Montreal. The other Canadian markets, Minnesota, San Jose, Dallas, Colorado, Philadelphia, these are all places where hockey is huge and nearly every game sells out. The league is racking up its profits on the gate from those teams. The NHL is far more gate-driven than any other sports league, and right now it's working for them. But it can always get better.

How can it get better? A better TV deal, for one. Getting back onto ESPN instead of trying to establish Versus. But beyond that? Relocation. In a gate-driven league, the cities with weak attendance will drag things down. Kansas City, Seattle or Portland would likely be better markets than Nashville and Phoenix have been. And yes, there's other potential Canadian markets like Winnipeg, Hamilton and Quebec City, places that couldn't afford the NHL 15 years ago but could do better now, with the potential of revenue sharing and the much stronger Canadian dollar. It might not be too attractive for the league's American interests, but since the TV contract isn't fetching any money right now anyway, what's the harm in the occasional Detroit vs. Quebec Stanley Cup Final?
supersalvadoran
Landjager








Since: 10.1.08
From: westbury, new york

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.14
I'll tell you right now, there's no way the NHL should get rid of the Islanders. The history they have on Long Island with the 4 consecitive cup titles and the players that got them those titles (Bossy, Potvin, Trottier) is something Islander fans really revere. If they were to get contracted, it could be almost as bad as was the possibility of the Penguins nearly leaving Pittsburgh a couple of years ago. Besides, the most important reason for the team staying is that I depend on Islanders for A TON of my winter business at the hotel- drunk Isles fans are my lifeline to be able to afford luxuries like Family Guy boxsets and Mets t-shirts -- ;).


Chumpstain is asolutely right. Contraction isn't the solution; IMO, it's relocating a couple of franchises back to Canada that could help the NHL a lot. I never understood why good hockey markets like Quebec and Winnipeg had to lose their teams. I think that if some of the teams were moved back up north, the die-hard fans would start coming back. It wouldn't be a huge gain, but it would be a gain, which is what the NHL needs badly right now.

(edited by supersalvadoran on 18.7.08 2035)
odessasteps
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

Since last post: 64 days
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.09

Oddly enough, on the Caps podcast this week, they were talking about how likely it was the league will EXPAND to 32 teams and not contract anytime soon.

I think the NHL, sadly, really wants to be the first team in Vegas. That might also give us the next Canadian team, as I doubt that Florida or Nashville will get moved to Winnipeg or Hamilton.



Mark Coale
Odessa Steps Magazine
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Wpob
Lap cheong








Since: 21.11.02
From: Williston Park, NY

Since last post: 5 days
Last activity: 5 days
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
    Originally posted by supersalvadoran
    I'll tell you right now, there's no way the NHL should get rid of the Islanders. The history they have on Long Island with the 4 consecitive cup titles and the players that got them those titles (Bossy, Potvin, Trottier) is something Islander fans really revere. If they were to get contracted, it could be almost as bad as was the possibility of the Penguins nearly leaving Pittsburgh a couple of years ago. Besides, the most important reason for the team staying is that I depend on Islanders for A TON of my winter business at the hotel- drunk Isles fans are my lifeline to be able to afford luxuries like Family Guy boxsets and Mets t-shirts -- ;).


    Chumpstain is asolutely right. Contraction isn't the solution; IMO, it's relocating a couple of franchises back to Canada that could help the NHL a lot. I never understood why good hockey markets like Quebec and Winnipeg had to lose their teams. I think that if some of the teams were moved back up north, the die-hard fans would start coming back. It wouldn't be a huge gain, but it would be a gain, which is what the NHL needs badly right now.

    (edited by supersalvadoran on 18.7.08 2035)


Be that as it may, they play in one of the worst arenas on th eplanet and there is no way to draw ANY viable free agents to play there. Which is a shame because Long Island is a great place to raise and family. But unless the Islanders are going to way overpay for FAs, they are going to be relegated to paying end of the line veterans and cast offs to fill out their roster.

Plus, Wang is an awful owner who is trying to run the Islanders like a business. And Garth Snow has shown me nothing as GM. Yes they have history, but that's all, and sometimes, fans need more than reliving the glory years of 20 years ago to get them through a awful season.

The only way the NHL willg et a TV deal is by improving the play. And while it is more free flowing, I still stnad by contraction. And if the EXPAND the league, then they are nuts. If they do not want to expand, then move the teams. Vegas would be great and would draw a ton if fans. And Canada is always looking for a new team so why not send one of the Florida teams back there?



"Marriage is like that show Everybody Loves Raymond, but its not funny. All the problems are the same, but you know instead of all the funny, pithy dialogue, everybody is really pissed off and tense. Marriage is like a tense, unfunny version of 'Everybody Loves Raymond', only it doesn't last 22 minutes. It lasts forever."

JustinShapiro
Scrapple
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Since: 12.12.01
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 6 hours
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.80
    Originally posted by Wpob
    The only way the NHL willg et a TV deal is by improving the play. And while it is more free flowing, I still stnad by contraction. And if the EXPAND the league, then they are nuts. If they do not want to expand, then move the teams.


Improving the play is contingent on how they call the game w/r/t obstruction, Putting A Free Hand On The Guy, inconsistent interpretations of what is and isn't a penalty, etc. And while that has gotten a lot better post-lockout, it's still far from perfect.

That said, at the height of trap hockey, I used to think that just calling more interference penalties would open up the game. But the fact is, coaching and defensive systems and goalies have just gotten a whole lot better since the '80s and early '90s. When you watch old highlights of Gretzky and them going off for 10 goal games and whatnot, and the other players just stand there and wave at them while they score on slapshots from the blue line.

On the whole, I'd say the league is deeper from top to bottom than it's ever been, thanks to the influx of all the European players over the last 15-20 years. I don't think contraction would improve the gameplay much at all. As for the markets themselves, while I'd prefer that the last round of expansion had never happened, I'd be hesitant to give up on Columbus, which has done pretty darn well for a franchise that has never even made the playoffs. Nashville has obviously had the most glaring problems, and Phoenix and Florida have struggled for even longer.

Now, after what I went through as a Penguins fan, I would never wish relocation or even the uncertainty/threats thereof on the fans of any team. Pittsburgh had some rough years from 2002-04 and probably would've been on the shortlist for candidates in a discussion like this three years ago. This year, they sold out every single game. Markets like Chicago and Washington were strangled by shitty owners, but attendance turned around when the fans were given exciting teams.

I guess if the situations in cities like Nashville (which has been very successful on the ice, especially by expansion team standards) don't work themselves out, then if they fail there, they fail. But on the whole, I don't think contracting teams would make for a better league. And I don't see how you can't say the league isn't trending upward since the lockout, not when they do a rating like they did for Game 5 of the Cup final. They lucked into the best possible marketing matchup, and obviously won't match that if they wind up with a final like Ottawa/Anaheim again, but still. It's up to the league to market itself and its new batch of stars, but those stars and the on-ice product are only going to be as good as the league itself allow them to be.
Oliver
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Since: 20.6.02
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.37
I don't think getting rid of the teams is the way to go: it's changing the schedule and structure.

There need to be more East vs. West games; I personally hate watching the same two teams go at it ten times plus per year; I'd rather see every team have two or three games against every team in the league. Yes, I'm saying this as a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, who's stuck in Oiler country.

Second: I'd like to see the entire division concept scratched; and offer a large pool of teams, which would be divvied up at the end of the season to see what the playoff brackets would be. In that, so called "divisional" rivals or even cross-province (or cross state) rivals could even duke it out for the Cup. Who wouldn't love to see Edmonton vs. Calgary or Toronto vs. Montreal or even the Islanders vs the Rangers for the cup?

Just a few ideas...




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RYDER FAKIN
Six Degrees of Me








Since: 21.2.02
From: ORLANDO

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.17
I've always thought that Hockey's inability to transfer well to television is it's worst problem. The saying that is pretty much rhetoric at this point is "it's great live...", is correct. Fox tried the magic puck years ago, but that was more of a Gen X goof

It is (*is* - in case there is a weird edit) a great sport live. And when a team from FLORIDA kicks everyone's ass, regardless of relocation, it's a hoot. Oddly enough, WWE has fan and action production that's second to maybe only the NFL, but only because people understand the basics of football better, instead of a Pavlovian reaction to wrestling.

If production could figure out a way to translate the "live" feel to TV, so that people could suspend knowing the intricacies of the game, it would work. Look at Nascar; maybe that's the template

FLEA

Also - CRZ or GURU - add "nascar" to spell check. Grazi.





Demonstrations are a drag. Besides, we're much too high
JayJayDean
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Seattle, WA

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.40
When I think of hockey when I was a kid, it seems like most of the cool things that made hockey different have been phased out over the last fifteen years or so.

- More teams in Canada? At one point it was, what, seven of 21 teams? Now it is six of 30. Call me crazy, but more teams in Canada seems cooler when you are talking about "Canada's game".

- Cool names for conferences and divisions. "Eastern Conference". How original.

- Intradivsional rounds of playoffs. While it meant we had to look forward to the Bruins' annual elimination at the hands of the Habs, the format was something that made the NHL unique.

Why the NHL doesn't revisit some of those things, I don't understand. Is the NHL really a better product having six divisions instead of four? Are folks who are likely to get into hockey more likely to do so because they made it more like the NBA?

Also, I'd like to see three points for a win.






Holy fuck shit motherfucker shit. Read comics. Fuck shit shit fuck shit I sold out when I did my job. Fuck fuck fuck shit fuck. Sorry had to do it....

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Revenge of the Sith = one thumb up from me. Fuck shit. I want to tittie fuck your ass.
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.95
Hockey would do fine on TV if the did one thing.

Change the damn camera angle.

My suggestion would be as follows:

Split the TV shot into a mutliple box. The far left portion of the screen would be a rectangle with an overhead shot, one goal on top, the other on bottom.

To the right of this, put your standard crappy for TV hockey broadcast.

The problem with Hockey on TV is you can't figure out what people are setting up, or where the line changes are, etc. It's totally passive because you have to watch what the cameraman is following - the puck.

At a hockey game, I'm 60% on the puck, 40% about watching everything else that is going on.




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odessasteps
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Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.84

I think hockey on TV has drastically improved with the rise of HD.

The picture is clearer (people can see the puck) and the 16x9 means that you can see more of the ice and see more plays develop.

The last thing I want to see if the "video game" camera angle (vertical instead of horizontal) used on tv.



Mark Coale
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.95
Well, Sega Genesis NHL 94 holds a special place in my heart. I love that damn game. If all hockey was like that game, I'd never miss a game.




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Since: 8.5.02
From: San Diego, CA

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.03
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    Well, Sega Genesis NHL 94 holds a special place in my heart. I love that damn game. If all hockey was like that game, I'd never miss a game.


And if my Genesis still worked, I would be playing that game every day. Best Video Game Ever...

The best thing that could have happened to hockey on TV is HD. My father stopped watching hockey several years ago because he could not follow the puck in standard def. Now, he can follow the game again and loves how clear everything is.

They definitely need to do something different with the cameras. I really like when the go to the camera behind the net on power plays. It just seems to give a better "feel" of the game. Plus, that's where I liked to sit when the now-defunct San Diego Gulls were in the old IHL. With HD, they have the extra space to show the angles Guru mentioned. And that idiotic sideline camera they used for NBA broadcasts would be perfect for the NHL.



Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? MORONS!!!
Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.95
1 - 2 - 3 - 4

It's all your fault

You suck

Loser!

I'll miss the Gulls. I didn't know they folded.




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Sujuk








Since: 8.5.02
From: San Diego, CA

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Y!:
#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.03
I miss the Gulls, too. They ceased operations after the NHL lockout.



Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? MORONS!!!
Big Bad
Scrapple








Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.62
Contraction isn't necessary. Just move the Panthers, Thrashers, Coyotes and Predators to markets that would actually appreciate hockey. Now, the obvious choices would be Quebec City, Winnipeg, Hamilton, but because Gary Bettman is a moron, he is dead-set on adding any new Canadian teams. Someone upthread mentioned that hockey is a gate-driven league moreso than other major sports, and Bettman's logic is that American fans won't come out to see their team play, say, Winnipeg. I have to be honest, I find this kind of ludicrous. The six Canadian franchises are basically propping up the entire league's finances thanks to the strong Canadian dollar and the fact that (whaddya know) people in Canada actually care about the game. I would think this would override an American club whining because 1000 fewer fans might attend a game against a Canadian side.

Move the Thrashers to Quebec City, the Coyotes to Winnipeg, the Preds to Hamilton (come back, Jim Balsille!) and the Panthers to, say, Portland.



How is it that I am a good actor? What I do is I... pretend to be the person Im portraying. Youre confused. Case in point: in Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson comes to me and says I would like you to be Gandalf the Wizard, and I said You are aware that I am not really a wizard? and Peter Jackson said I would like you to use your acting skills to portray a wizard for the duration of the show. So I said Okay and then I said to myself Mmm.. How do I do that? And this is what I did: I imagined that I was a wizard, and then I pretended, and acted, in that way on the stage. How did I know what to say? The words were written down for me in a script. How did I know where to stand? People told me where to stand." -- Sir Ian McKellen, Extras
JustinShapiro
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Since: 12.12.01
From: Pittsburgh, PA

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.80
The NHL has no place in Hamilton and Jim Balsillie has no place in the NHL. I wish great malice on that man.

(edited by JustinShapiro on 30.7.08 0025)
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